“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27 ESV)
We believe that caring for orphans is an important outworking of our faith in Jesus Christ. Because every believer in Jesus has himself been adopted into God’s family (Eph. 1:5), caring for orphans is a beautiful picture of pure and undefiled religion that reveals the gospel. The gospel says all have fallen short of God’s perfect standard, but God, in mercy and love, saves and redeems sinners to become children of God who enjoy all the privileges of being adopted into God’s family. Similarly, caring for orphans is one way we can be an extension of God’s grace and love in the lives of at-risk and vulnerable children.
At College Church, we have various avenues for you to be involved in caring for orphans. Find out more about each of these opportunities. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safe Families for Children is an international organization powered by volunteers who want to keep children in vulnerable situations out of foster care. Safe Families partners with parents who are going through a crisis (e.g., incarceration, emotional or mental needs, financial instability) by providing temporary homes for their children, usually between one to two months. The end goal of these temporary homes is always reunification of the family. College Church is a participating church in Safe Families ministry, and many of our congregants lovingly receive these vulnerable children.
Visit safe-families.org for more information.
To participate in the College Church Safe Families network, receive encouragement or provide practical help to families currently hosting a child, contact email@example.com.
Recent statistics suggest there are 17,920 children in foster care in Illinois and 3,347 of these children are waiting for adoptive families (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.) Many children in foster care have experienced abuse and neglect and have never known a stable family upbringing. By welcoming these children into our homes, whether for a week or a year, we display Christ’s love for the ones who often feel most invisible.
Here are some resources for foster care in Illinois:
Illinois Department of DCFS: www.illinois.gov/dcfs/
Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois: www.lcfs.org/foster
With over 18 million children domestically and internationally who need a family and a home, the church has a unique opportunity to demonstrate the gospel by adopting children into families. For others, our role may be to come alongside those who are pursuing adoption with prayer, encouragement and practical help. There is also a great opportunity to come alongside families who have already adopted and are in need of practical care and support.
College Church also provides financial assistance for families in the church pursuing both domestic and international adoption. See the Caroline Adoption Fund.
College Church recognizes that finances can often be a significant roadblock for families seeking to adopt. The Caroline Adoption Fund—administered by Lifesong for Orphans—is a College Church fund that provides limited financial assistance to those at College Church in pursuit of domestic and international adoption. These funds are provided by College Church congregants who seek to encourage and assist others in pursuing adoption at College Church.
The Caroline Adoption Fund is named after the late Caroline Hoch, the adopted granddaughter of pastor emeritus R. Kent Hughes.
To apply or find out more information about the Caroline Adoption Fund, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.