The Florida foster care system holds 1,000 children in their arms who are awaiting adoptive families to open their arms and homes to them. For families that have felt a tug on their heart to learn more about adoption, Focus on the Family has just the right event for you. They will be bringing their Wait No More conference to Florida on Saturday, January 30th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale.
The conference brings together representatives from the government, churches and placement agencies to educate potential adoptive parents. Groups such as 4KIDS, Florida Baptist Children’s Home, His House and Place of Hope will all be involved.
According to Kelly Rosati, Senior Director for Focus on the Family’s Sanctity of Human Life department, a similar conference held in Colorado attracted 1,300 people from 250 churches.
“We ended up having 265 families from that single event start the process of adopting children out of foster care,” she says.
Rosati, an adoptive parent of four, questions, “If there are 1,000 children in the Florida foster care system waiting to be adopted and there are 13,000 churches in Florida – why are there kids waiting?”
Rosati says participants will be able to hear God’s heart when it comes to adoption. They will also hear from adoptive parents and perspectives from a child and a social worker.
Doug Sauder, President of 4KIDS and author of The One Factor, remembers the first time he saw God’s hand at work when it comes to foster care.
“A teen named Raven came up to me and said, ‘Can you find me a home?'”
“I sent out an email to 1,000 people. A school teacher and her family took her in,” he explains. “The church is making a difference.”
“The book of James talks about God placing the lonely with families, and that is happening here. Government officials, even up through the White House, are taking notice, that the church is making a difference.”
From a pastor’s perspective
Dr. C.E. Glover of Mt. Bethel Ministries stated at a recent Focus on the Family pastor’s breakfast, held at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church to promote the event, “Jesus’ ethical manifesto was that he came to heal the brokenhearted – who can be more brokenhearted than a child in foster care?
“We decided we’d be contemporaries with Jesus at our church and developed programs to strengthen the family.”
Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, says he wants to educate and encourage people about the issue of foster care and adoption.
“We’re a Gospel motivated pack of people, not to earn God’s favor, because we already have it–The Gospel says ‘I’m accepted, therefore I obey.’ Religion says ‘I obey, therefore I’m accepted,'” he explains. “If we ignore the problem, we ignore part of scripture which asks us to take care of the widows and orphans,” he says.
Pastor Bob Coy of Calvary Chapel said, “I’ve been blown away at what God has done over the last 10 years 5 we as pastors can get the word out about something that has a lasting impact. This foster care issue is a solvable problem.”
“When we decide to fix this thing, God gets the glory,” Coy says, “And we are blessed.”
From the eyes of a teen
Ashley Martin entered the foster care system at age 8 with her big brother. She was adopted 10 years ago by a woman named Ginger.
“Not all my foster parents were Christians. Ginger has been such a blessing; the Lord worked a miracle and she took us in and 4KIDS offered help,” says the teen.
There is no charge to attend the Wait No More conference. However, because free lunch and conference-related materials will be offered, pre-registration is strongly recommended. For more information or to register, visit icareaboutorphans.org or call 800-A-Family.
“I’m so impressed with the churches in South Florida, the way they’ve come together, crossing denominational walls, to reach out to these kids.” says Rosati. “If you’re a Christian and you’ve ever even thought about adoption, this is the event for you.”
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