I cannot claim to be an expert on foster care but I can share with you the ways God has been moving, breaking, and deepening my heart for the precious lives living in the foster care system right now.
First I will begin to share with you some of the statistics I have learned about foster care according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
-On any given day, there are nearly 428,000 children in foster care in the United States.
-In 2015, over 670,000 children spent time in the U.S. foster care.
-While most children in foster care live in family settings, 14% live in institutions or group homes.
-In 2015, more than 62,000 children – whose parental rights had been legally terminated were waiting to be adopted into forever homes.
-In 2015, more than 20,000 young people aged out of foster care without permanent families.
So what does God call us to do? How can we love the fatherless and motherless in foster care? How can we be a part of God’s plan for these thousands of children?
Over the next several months I would like to share how we as a community of Christ followers can make an eternal impact in the foster care system whether that be to become foster parents, adopt children from foster care, support foster families, become a certified babysitter for a foster family, prayer, or simply to seek God’s message of adoption within the gospel.
Yes statistically there are 428,000 children a day in foster care and yet to God it is not merely statistics because God knows each person by name. He knows their story. He knows their brokenness. He knows his plan to pursue and nourish them. He longs to share with them his love and to be their everlasting Father. As God has been fostering my heart towards foster care He keeps bringing me back to Psalm 139 and I believe this is what God would want to share with the 428,000 souls in the foster care system today
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you! Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!“
Hope McCleary graduated from Mesa State College with a degree in Mass Communications. After graduating she spent two years working in local news at KKCO 11 News in Grand Junction, Co. She decided to give up her career in the media to share the message of Christ full-time. She joined full-time staff with Master Plan Ministries the summer of 2012 and got married to Forrest McCleary in September of 2012. Through her own personal ups and downs in college Hope has a heart for college women understand their worth as God’s daughters, to see them grow in their faith, to grow in the unique gifts God has given them, and to stand firm in their faith even with the pressures of the world all around them. Hope’s interests include world and local missions, photography, singing, playing guitar and writing music, reading, meeting new people, coffee, and hiking.
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