Many people in our community live their lives based on a deeply felt faith—“the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Such faith allows people to see possibilities where others perceive only problems, to believe that blessings can be born of even the most trying times. It gives the confident assurance that all things serve a higher purpose, both here and hereafter. And it allows ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
For hundreds of children in Marion and Citrus Counties, their futures depend on the faith of others. These children have suffered trauma, abuse and neglect. They need safe foster and adoptive homes where they can be shown a loving way of life they have not seen but have long hoped for. The greatest need is for people to step out in faith for children ages 9 to 15, the critically formative years when we build our foundation for life.
What action does my faith require? That is the key question that all faithful people must ask themselves, because as the Bible tells us, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). For those with sincere religious beliefs, one of the greatest opportunities to put their faith into action is to provide a home for a child who has suffered. As one local pastor put it, “Foster parenting and adoption are acts of God’s love to those who have not been loved.”
Those of us who are a part of the faith community must understand the Biblical mandate to care for others, especially children who find themselves in distress. Our faith compels us to love and nurture those who have nothing to give in return. This mandate is not defined by age or life situation, and it includes children who may be older or may seem to be more challenging. These young people need to know that their lives have meaning and purpose. What greater reward could there be than knowing that you helped restore hope in a child who has lost all faith in the future?
Are you called to foster or adopt? How can you come alongside and provide support for those who are called to foster or adopt? Not everyone is called to do the same thing, but if our faith is strong, it will drive us to consider what role we must play in meeting this great need.
Please at least explore what role you are called to fill in the life of a child. Call Paula Mealy of Kids Central, Inc. at (352) 387-3487, or email her at [email protected] For more information, you can also visit KidsCentralFosterParents.org.
Kids Central is the nonprofit lead agency charged with caring for the abused, neglected and abandoned children in Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter Counties.
Kids Central, Inc. › 2117 SW Hwy 484, Ocala › (352) 873-6332 › kidscentralinc.org