Sunday, September 11, 2016
There's a movement rising up...
A movement that will address a huge issue in the US.
An issue that affects over 400,000 children each year.
400,000 plus children and teens. That's more than the population of New Orleans.
For many years now, Christians around the world have dedicated one Sunday a year to address the issues of orphans around the world. This Sunday is Orphan Sunday - dedicated to the over 140 million orphans around the world.
I've been blessed to participate in Orphan Sunday in my local church for many years now. I love speaking about this issue. I love calling the Church to rise up and "defend the cause of the fatherless".
Well this year a new movement has begun.
It's a movement to call the Church to continue to rise up for orphans - the "orphans" in our cities, our communities, our own backyards. The local "orphan". We know them as foster children.
I've had the pleasure of working with a fiery pastor from Texas that's been working for the cause of foster children for decades now. Bishop Aaron Blake, pastor of Greater Faith Community Church is the kind of man who does more than preach sermons about the cause of foster children in his community and around the country.
He lives his sermons.
Bishop Blake and his wife Mary have opened their home to several young men over the years -- young men that very likely would have bounced from foster home to foster home. Or they may have landed in group homes or shelters. Instead, the Blakes opened their home. They have loved these young men, trained these young men and raised them as their own.
Bishop Blake has called his church to do the same. Aware that not everyone is called to foster a child through the state system, he has challenged his church members to do something for foster children in their community. Every year he makes a fervent call to his members, asking them to "Stand Up" for children in local foster care.
One such Sunday, he posed this question to his congregation: "Who will stand with me to defend, care and support abused, abandoned and neglected children in our community?"
At the end of this charge each year, Greater Faith church members literally stand up - one by one. They commit to foster or adopt. They commit to support other families that foster or adopt. They commit to serve foster children through local ministries. They commit to pray.
They commit to CARE.
A new movement has grown out of this passion to care for foster children - STAND SUNDAY. Stand Sunday is an Initiative newly formed by the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). Stand Sunday will coincide with Orphan Sunday on Sunday, November 13 this year, and will provide churches and Christians with a heart to serve children in US foster care a platform, resources and a message.
So... I end this post with the same question that Bishop Blake posed to his congregation...
Who will stand with me to defend, care and support abused, abandoned and neglected children in the United States?
Will YOU stand?