I’m just catching my breath after returning from the Together for Adoption Conference in Austin this past weekend. Jeff and I had an incredible time both at the conference and together. I led a small break-out session entitled “Persistent Passion-Weathering the Storms of Foster Care”. We met some neat people and listened to some great messages that inspired us and gave us a renewed vision for finding families for the kids waiting in our area (and beyond). I thought I’d give a synopsis of some of the information that we found inspirational!
*God’s purpose in adoption is personal, ever growing, ever deepening
*Adoption is God-sized!
*We don’t face the global orphan crisis alone- it is HIS mission!
*You cannot lead a child to a place of healing if you do not know the way yourself.
*Real families need REAL families to help them on this journey- (not perfect families or those who seem to be perfect) The church can (or should) be a place for families to be real.
(Micheal & Amy Monroe) Tapestry Ministries
*Regarding the church and the orphan crisis-Knowledge about the bible requires activation.
*Meeting the orphan crisis will require RADICAL SACRIFICE and RADICAL ACTIVISM
*The United States Foster Care Stats should “mess you up”
* ‘zero’ should be the new measure for the church- ‘zero’ orphans, ‘zero’ foster kids, ‘zero’ widows not being cared for
*Latest statistics- 163,000,000 orphans worldwide
500,000 US foster kids, 125,000 available for adoption
*Pastors are the key- if pastors love orphans, people will love orphans
Dr. Susan Hillis
*Apostolic ministry is focused on the individual- Movements are made up of individuals
*The apostles focused on individuals with great need- Churches are often known more for political posturing than compassion
*What convinces a skeptical world is seeing- the sight- the act
*Jesus Christ is the SOURCE of the power to adopt. He takes what we give and leverages it for His Kingdom.
*God has placed in His church the power to rescue the fatherless. Jesus was willing and able. The hesitation is not in Jesus, but in the church
*We are not the answer to the orphan crisis, Jesus is.
*James 1:27- not sure the translation but “…the kind of religion that makes God smile”-
*Pharoah’s daughter and adoption of Moses. Of all the places she could bathe, she chose the Nile River. Was it a coincidence that she chose the very place that her father was having all of the Hebrew baby boys thrown? She saw the basket- picked it up and looked inside.
*The whole ministry of adoption is wondering ‘what’s inside?’
*Every year 19,000 kids age out of the foster care system, they climb out of the basket on their own and try to make their way to the shore.
*Psalm 68 God is a Father to the fatherless. How does He father them? By placing them in families. God is the Father to these children and the church is the mother. The church is the bride of Christ and needs to wake up and quit watching the baskets floating by…
*Your heart can’t tell the difference between your biological and adopted kids!
*What are we saying when we say we can’t afford to adopt? That God the Father is a ‘dead-beat’ dad? That He can’t take care of His kids?
*It is beautiful to see what God can do when His church comes together to wade in the water looking for baskets.
*Isaiah 53- By faith take a basket and see what you have inside.
*The orphan crisis should disturb and disrupt us.
Robert Gallinas- Project 127
Whew! Those are some brief thoughts from the conference! I think they will post all of the messages and break-out sessions on line sometime this week at togetherforadoption.com :)
By the way, if you haven’t clicked on the 147 Million Orphan link (on my sidebar)- you need to. I met Gwen and Suzanne at the conference- they remind me of me and Caryl (just a wee bit younger!) They are doing an INCREDIBLE job raising awareness about the global orphan crisis- and are just so real.