It is Fall, and the cooling Autumn air is a refreshing breeze in the season of change this time of year brings. It is, most assuredly, my favorite time of year! Turkeys, pumpkin pies and spiced lattes; poppies and veterans; orange and red leaves carpeting the ground, and of course, who could forget, Black Friday! They are all embedded in the symbols and celebrations of November. Men all over America affectionately grow out their beards as a part of the good cause of “No Shave November,” which is popularly re-branded, “Movember,” and is a month-long awareness for fundraising for prostate cancer research.
But do you know who is forgotten the most in November? The children!
November is National Adoption Month. And with the holidays settling in, ironically, it is always the children who are forgotten. It says something about us as a nation when pumpkin spiced lattes, and Black Friday discounts are more promoted and celebrated than the protection and future security of our most vulnerable and vital segment of society. We need to stop and remember no community has a viable future without well-cared children to become the next generation. This generation’s neglected children are more certainly the subsequent generation’s most significant social problems and expenses. Investing in children, now, is sound moral and economic thinking.
November is not only National Adoption month, it is designed to highlight the adoption opportunities in the foster care system. Many Christians claim they are “pro-life” but too often are only pro-life for “cosmetic religio-politico” reasons and the proof is how involved they will be once a baby is born! If you are really pro-life, it means more then being “anti-abortion.” But too many Christians I know are not pro-life at all. They are “anti-abortion” and care little about what happens to that life once it is born. Ironically, it is often the very same “pro-life” lawmakers we vote for who cut child health care, cut foster care aid programs, and never promote to their constituents the viable life-saving options they have in fostering to adopt. It seems these politicians are too busy campaigning on what gets them elected, namely being anti-abortion while screaming “pro-life,” as an American value and useful election tool.
Jesus was pro-life! Jesus was pro-life in more than in name only! Jesus was pro-life past the womb. Jesus cared not just about getting babies born, but securing an abundant life for them (John 10:10) and securing even eternal life for them! Jesus did not leave us in poverty. Jesus did not abandon us to the cruel world of “provide for yourself,” or “solve your own problems,” and Jesus did not let the helpless become the damned! Jesus warned all, that if they cause “a little one” to stumble, or in other words to be harmed, hurt, or abused, God would not look the other way but rather would bring about a judgment so harsh that the one who receives it will wish they had never existed. Jesus does not mince words, and he is not stuttering when he declares, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Hello Church, as a Pastor, I have a very real question to put before the church at large… What are you doing to bring the Children to Jesus?
No, I don’t just mean your church children classes and Christian schools, or kid’s bible stories that get three minutes in our service, or even your Vacation Bible Schools and trendy Youth Groups that are all only used for in-reach. What about to those children who have no faith, who know no God, who have no church family because they don’t even have any family at all? Do you have a ministry for them? Do you even think about them or care? Are they even on our faith radar at all? Or have we just decided our role was only to get them born, and after that Hell could have them? Because Hell eventually will, literally, have them, if getting them born was the last time the church could be bothered to care!
So, the Spirit of the Lord has come upon me in the season of the year, to remind the church at large of what, as far back as the Old Testament, God has been calling real believers to do. God has called us to be like Him! To be like the one who is a “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows–this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” Psalm 68:5,6
Don’t tell me you’re holy, don’t tell me you are on the right side of history, don’t tell me you are on the right side of the vote if all you care about is getting babies born so you then can abandon them! You don’t impress me, and everything I read in the Bible leads me to believe you don’t impress God! Maybe, this year, perhaps the Spirit is calling you, too. Perhaps as you enter into the Holidays or “holy days,” as you watch the cheer fall, you will feel the urge to stop merely being “anti-abortion” but be really fully pro-life. I am “anti-abortion,” but I have come to understand that is only step one in being pro-life. To be pro-life means to be pro-life for the entire life of the child, not just the first nine months that lead up to birth.
Not everyone can be a foster parent. Not everyone can adopt. But everyone can care, everyone can advocate, everyone can lobby, everyone let some little one know they actually matter to Jesus. And above all, everyone can be educated, practice and model being a safe person for children at large.
Here is a list of things you can start now to help celebrate National Adoption Month and God’s call on Christians to care for the Children of the world:
Share this article will all your Social media contacts. Simple enough for anyone to do. What’s your excuse?
Promote National adoption month in your Church every year and all year round.
Seek advance certification and training in protecting children from physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse. This sort of training should be mandatory for anyone working with children in any way and is helpful and insightful to everyone in general.
Volunteer with “at-risk” children in a neighborhood school, community center, or foster care support agency. (This includes fully complying with all training and clearances).
Start a prayer ministry where people actively meet together and pray for both children in the church, but also in the community. Proactively meet and pray for all the local schools, children’s Community Centers, Children’s agencies, and support staff. Actively pay attention and pray about reports of missing children in your area.
Send notes of encouragement and appreciation to known people in the community who go above and beyond to help children at risk (teachers, social workers, mentors, etc.) Let them know you and your group are continually praying for their efforts.
Become a volunteer Big Brother, Big Sister, CASA worker, mentor, coach, etc. (This also includes fully complying with all training and clearances).
Make a donation, or regularly donate, to a local non-profit children’s services agency either in time, money, or even a tangible, usable gift.
Consider, prayerfully, if God is calling you to foster or even adopt. If you remotely sense that call in your life you owe to yourself, and to God, to actively, at the very least, investigate or look into the steps and requirements with a local state or private foster/adoption agency.
If you know you are not called to foster full time, prayerfully consider if you are called to be a respite foster care provider. Respite workers only foster short term, to give a regular foster family much needed breaks. Giving a foster family a much needed short time break can often be just as impacting as fostering and help a family be an enduring place of care.
Remeber, the Church cannot sit idly by, claiming to be pro-life, when there are over 428,000children in foster care in the United States with the average time in foster care being at least two years per child. This is a national epidemic that is destroying our nation, and the precious little lambs Jesus has called Christians to actively love into the kingdom! Because being Pro-life means being pro-life for the full life of all children, everywhere. Here are 43 more (completely unrelated to mine above) ways you can help celebrate National Adoption Month. See the following link: https://adoptionnetwork.com/forty-three-ways-everyone-can-celebrate-national-adoption-month
Pastor Vinnie and His wife Tina have fostered, intermittently, for the past several years. Jose, their only son, came to them from the foster care system at the age of two years old having already been in three other foster care homes, not even including his birth home. Jose is finally home forever because the MacIsaacs don’t just talk about being pro-life they live pro-life, and it brings them the most significant joys (See pictures below).
Won’t you join them, on whatever level, and whichever capacity God may call you to? This November don’t just talk about being pro-life, pray about it, and see where God leads you.
Jose came to live with us at age two. He had lived in fostercare since 18moths old and we were his 3 foster family.
Pastor Vinnie’s Family is a mixed race adoptive family.