We all love a restoration story. We see them everywhere from the books we read to the heroes we aspire to be like, all the way down to the shows we watch on TV. My wife Michelle and I can get caught up watching shows like “Fixer Upper,” “Home Town” and “Fixer to Fabulous” as they transform a space or a home. Don’t we all love seeing those “befores” become the most spectacular “afters”? Those shows don’t just offer us entertainment; they offer us something to envision. Now we can look at houses in disrepair and imagine what they can become with effort and care. We have a way to picture a different reality for those spaces and that ability to envision is powerful.
God’s stories of restoration
God offers us so many stories of restoration in the Bible, so we have something we can envision as well. He takes story after story of a life or a situation in utter disrepair, and He shows us how to mend, heal, rebuild and restore.
We see this beautifully captured in Isaiah 58:12, “Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.”
Restorer of homes
Being a restorer of homes takes on so many different forms at 4KIDS. Many people imagine a home restored when a child finds a new forever family with their foster family, but there are many ways God works to restore homes. June is National Reunification Awareness Month, and it’s an important time for reflecting on the heart of reunification.
Afterall, the goal of foster care is reunification. The hope is that the child’s parents would experience growth and healing, so they can come safely back together as a family. Just as we would champion an adoptive family, we also are championing the families who are able to come back together and reunify. In countless instances here at 4KIDS we see foster families ministering to biological families and retaining relationships with them in a way that embodies God’s heart for restoration. It’s a picture of true community, and this relationship has the ability to carry beyond the fabric of just that one daily.
When I look at these restored families, I see a reflection of the great commission and the great commandment in action simultaneously, God’s extravagant love extending beyond a child in a foster home to an entire family.
Day by day restoring
Restoring these families and continuing to support and care for them often looks like sharing more of life together day by day. Just as these massive renovation projects begin it can look overwhelming, but it’s the day to day consistency that adds up to a full restoration.
Recently, one of our 4KIDS Foster Families helped 12-year-old and 6-year-old brothers make the transition from their foster home back into their biological dad’s home. They made their swimming pool available to the family on the weekends and when summer rolled around, they were ready to help dad with childcare. These brothers got to see their foster parents not just continue to love them but also extend that love to their dad.
Imagine how that will impact their hearts and minds as they grow up. They know there are people who love them and are always willing to help them, and that is a foundation for a beautiful restoration.
The heart of restoration
It’s hard to even find adequate words for the heart behind restoration. It is such an intricate picture of God’s love and plan for each and every one of our lives. The way we can embody this kind of restorative love has the power to transform lives all around us. I would encourage you to take just four minutes to watch this video and hear the heart of restoration on full display. The ways this 4KIDS Foster Family has been able to extend love and grace to a biological family will move you and inspire you to champion the at-risk families around us who need more care and support.
Read last month’s article by Kevin Enders at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/whats-your-why-not/