When I first felt God calling me to orphan care, I knew absolutely nothing about adoption, foster care, or the global orphan crisis. I spent several years mostly learning–through books, organizations, CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans), and other people. I joined the orphan care leadership team at my church and started doing simple things like helping start an adoption grant. Around that time, the ministry was looking for a new leader and I felt ready to take on the challenge. In this role, our ministry grew as we chose to do one thing well, then add more, including Safe Families and foster care. God has taught me so much over the past 5 years about how to do orphan care ministry, and it's been amazing to be a part of it.
I think the most important part of getting involved with vulnerable children is the willingness to learn. Learn about poverty, why children end up in foster care, and why the need for foster parents is rising.
We need to be involved because these children are a part of our community. We don't get to choose whether or not we will interact with them, the question is just when. We can have the opportunity to give children a stable, loving home and help them heal. Studies show that adults who have experienced multiple Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) have a higher rate of developing health risk behaviors such as alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, suicide attempts, and early death. And ultimately, the Bible commands us to care for orphans and widows–starting in the book of Deuteronomy and continuing through the New Testament.
Hands of Hope makes a difference by providing opportunities for people to be involved in orphan care. Not everyone is called to foster, adopt, or otherwise have a child in their home, but we're all called to do something. Hands of Hope provides lots of "somethings"! One consistent adult can change the life of a child! Our new church advocate partnership will have a huge impact going forward as we begin to equip the local church to care for vulnerable children.
Interested in "doing something?" Check out the many opportunities we have for you to do just that! We have plenty of next steps for you to get involved like providing a Bag For Hope, volunteering with children, becoming a chaperone, supporting the Department of Child Services, and more.
Laura Mobley and her husband Jason have two biological kids and one adopted son. Laura recently took on the role of Hands of Hope Foster Care Director.