Can you imagine spending your 9th birthday at a foster care agency?
Connor (name changed to protect privacy) is all too aware of this reality as he spent several days and nights waiting for a foster family to open their home to him. My friends, this is not okay!
Did you know there are over 400,000 children in the United States foster care system? There are also over 300,000 churches across our nation. Do you ever wonder: Why isn’t the Church doing more?
What if it’s not an apathy issue but rather an awareness issue?
Most people don’t know about…
The six-year-old who begs her foster dad not to throw away the garbage bag that held her belongings because she will need it when she moves again.
The biological mom who felt the familiar pit of hopelessness yet again, when after working so hard to finish her rehabilitation program, none of her clothes fit. Now what?
The foster mom standing in her kitchen and crying because she feels alone and misunderstood. She wonders, why did I say yes to foster care?
The caseworker who struggles to sleep at night as she deals with symptoms that mirror PTSD from being surrounded by trauma daily.
Most people just don’t know.
Here’s the reality: The Church cares deeply for hurting people. However, they don’t always know the need or how to help.
It’s not an apathy issue. It’s an awareness issue.
The Forgotten Initiative (TFI) started in 2011 as one ministry serving one community, and now, we serve 45 communities in 25 states. Each ministry is led by local volunteer leaders—our TFI Advocates.
Helping the church support the foster care community is our sweet spot!
We exist to help the Church and the foster care community experience Jesus together, which often happens when we least expect it.
TFI Advocate in North Carolina, Leah Johnson, provides us with an example of this:
After getting a call about a mom who had done the hard work of graduating from rehab, only to realize after leaving that none of her clothes fit, Leah was excited to present this need to a local church.
Once aware, this local church stepped in and gave this mom a gift card that provided dignity and joy as she and her recently reunified kids got to go shopping and celebrate her success together!
Awareness led to a simple gift of kindness—a gift card. More than an amount of money, this gift card communicated hope, worth, and dignity to this parent and her kids and brought joy and gratitude to their social worker.
Hope, worth, dignity, joy, gratitude? These are attributes of Jesus, and they provide real on-ramps for gospel impact!
Here’s another example shared by TFI Advocate, Tess, in Georgia.
“I wasn’t expecting her [the Deputy Director] to be with me for the full hour and a half and was initially a little intimidated. There were regular, quiet gaps between people coming and going, which was a little awkward.
Then we began talking, and I was able to share parts of my testimony and explain how God has equipped the Church with an incredible opportunity to encourage and support the foster community.
Before long, she was sharing her background and faith experience. She fell away from her faith after a family tragedy but after seeing our church’s consistent generosity and care for her and her staff, she felt compelled to return to church and recommit her life to God.
She has since emailed several times about how our conversation that day made a lasting impact on her faith.
I thought that agency event was all about loving on the Deputy Director’s staff but had no idea God would use it to draw her back to himself.”
A simple conversation led to a life transformed! One decision to be present opened the door to Christ’s presence!
This same kind of impact is happening through all of our 45 ministries across the nation, and we aren’t stopping here!
Through the generosity of our ministry partners, we are on course to launch 50 local ministries by June 30, 2023, with a goal of 150 over the next five years.
Your generous investment to help us raise $300,000 by December 31 will yield an eternal impact.
Will you prayerfully consider investing $10, $25, $100, or whatever amount God is placing on your heart by December 31 and help us get to 50 ministries? Our 22/23 FY Budget is $645,000 (ending on June 30).
Let’s do this together!
Adoption, foster care, and advocacy were not part of Jami’s dreams for her life, but God changed her heart when He made her aware, and she is passionate about helping others become aware too! She and her husband Clint are parents to their seven children (five through adoption).
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