06 November 2015

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Alright, y'all, I have been suffering from a bit of a writer's block for a hot minute.  The truth is, I am almost always carrying a story in my head that I can't be free of until it comes out on paper {or blog}.  But lately, things have been empty.  Until now.

Here's the thing, I am tired.  And I am angry.

I heard whispers yesterday about how hard foster care is.  AND IT IS. But the trouble is, those 'whispers of hard' tend to be the whole story that most people ever hear.  Especially in our churches, there's this underlying current of how horribly wrong things can go in foster care situations and this belief that we should protect ourselves from it at all costs.

I saw evidence of it first hand when we first waded into the system 5 years ago. People are eager to tell you the horror stories of their cousins' friends' mom who had a child torn from her after 12 years. Or the story about the terrible foster kid that raged uncontrollably for days on end.

I am not saying these stories aren't true, and I am not even saying these stories shouldn't be told.

The weird thing is, that these stories have somehow instilled enough fear to steer most folks directly away from any desire to be involved in foster care.

Let's be honest, we've all been with a newly pregnant friend who has to listen to awkward birth stories and we can't wait to get away from the ill-timed-narratives so we can reassure our friend that things will be OK.  Terrible things have happened to pregnant people and heartbreaking dramas have unfolded in delivery rooms.  However, the retelling of these stories hasn't turned our culture away from the idea of bearing children.

Yet, somehow these foster care stories build this fear that turns people away from the children.

These precious children that are so loved in the eyes of our Father.  And they are in a position of desperate need through no fault of their own.  AND OUR CHURCHES ARE FULL OF FOLKS THAT COULD SHARE SOME LOVE.

But its scary.  And hard.  But not impossible.  Not even close.



And there's good news for our local community specifically.  Really. Good. News.

FaithBridge Foster Care is coming to Columbus.  Here's a little info from their website: {Click here to go to their website and learn more.}

We are a Christ-centered nonprofit that is changing the way America does foster care by mobilizing, organizing and equipping local churches to solve their community's foster care crisis. Together, we stand in the gap with children and families. Through Christian foster care ministries and the FaithBridge Community of Care, we provide unparalleled support to foster and birth families as we share God's life-changing love in the midst of crisis.



This organization has proven itself in Atlanta.  And Atlanta is a pretty big place.  It saw the need, and it saw the number of churches and it realized things could change.  I couldn't be more thrilled to have them come to town.  While there will still be struggles within the foster care space, there will be a community like there hasn't been before.  Families that bravely sign-up to foster will have the support of other families within their own churches to help them along the way.  Churches will be able to leverage their resources to make sure every foster parent has enough clothes, or beds, or toys, or books.  I don't want to make this sound too good to be true, but at the same time, I don't think I can overstate what a HUGE blessing it will be for Muscogee County and the children in crisis there.

This was stated by the Chattahoochee CASA two weeks ago on Facebook:
ATTENTION, ACTION NEEDED! There are now 520 children in foster care, only 168 served with 352 unserved! That is only 32% of the Muscogee County Foster Children. We need YOU, THEY need YOU! Training will begin Nov. 3rd. If you are interested in joining our class it isn't too late!
 And remember last week when I told y'all about the foster momma that had to tell one of her foster girls that she couldn't sign-up for cheerleading because they didn't have the money?

Y'all this is going to make a difference.  A big measurable difference.  And I am sure of it because they have already done it in Atlanta.

They are getting closer to opening their doors here.  They only need $40,000 to meet their goal.  It sounds like a lot but not for a community of our size.  Not really.

4000 people could give $10.
400 people could give $100.
40 people could give $1000.
4 people could give $10,000.

And I am guessing there are some community leaders that might be interested in being a part of this as well.  Perhaps there are some business owners that have been burdened to give back to our comminity but haven't been sure of where or how. You might even know them!

So what can you do?

1.  Pray.  Pray for the funding to come.  Pray for the leaders in Muscogee County.  And always, always pray for children in foster care and the families that are loving them the best they can.

2. Give.  Click this link, check the box next to Columbus and make a donation.  Today!

3. Share this information.  You likely know people that I don't and they might be able to give today too, essentially multiplying your impact!

4. Be brave.  When you hear foster care horror stories, acknowledge the pain if its a personal story; but if its about a friend's cousin's mom's situation from 1985 boldly speak Truth and stand up for these kiddos without a voice.  Make sure the conversation doesn't end in fear and despair.  These kiddos are worth the struggle.

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