Helping Vulnerable Children

happy small girl sitting on floor holding hand of foster mom

The caller said, “Come to Little Rock tomorrow. We have a baby for you. If things work out, you can take her home.” I called my best friend and said through tears, “I’m going to be a mother tomorrow.” The adoption agency was under construction and asked if we might know of a place to have a small adoption ceremony. I called my supervisor at the Baptist building. The chapel was reserved. I thought a few colleagues might want to participate so we sent an email invitation.

When we arrived for the ceremony, the chapel was packed. There were presents everywhere, along with beautiful signs welcoming Hannah and full reception fare laid out. It was extravagant. How did they pull it off in less than 24 hours? As long as I live, I will never forget the moment they laid the sleeping baby in my arms. Twenty years have come and gone, but the memory of that marvelous experience has the power to transport me to another place and time.

The Bible has much to say about caring for the orphaned and fatherless. Even if you are not an adoptive parent, then you can still be involved in helping vulnerable children. Here are 25 ideas:

  1. Pray, asking God what your response should be.
  2. Open your heart through the study of God’s Word.
  3. Read Christian books on orphan care.
  4. Pray for foster and adoptive families you know.
  5. Help adoptive families raise money for their adoption.
  6. Promote a Baptist children’s home offering in your church.
  7. Contact a Baptist children’s home to find out its critical needs.
  8. Take a group to tour or volunteer at a Baptist children’s home.
  9. Write encouraging notes to house parents and staff.
  10. If allowed, become a surrogate parent or role model to one or more of the children at the children’s home.
  11. Collect gift cards for foster parents in your community.
  12. Organize a weekly meal for a foster family.
  13. Gift a foster family a night at the movies or a round of minigolf.
  14. Organize a community foster family respite night at your church when you care for children while parents go on a date.
  15. Take gift baskets of goodies to community caseworkers.
  16. Volunteer at an adoption agency.
  17. Buy Christian books for foster children.
  18. Encourage testimonies of foster and adoptive families during worship and in small groups.
  19. Volunteer to help “childproof” a home before a caseworker inspects it as part of an adoption process (latches on cabinets, protectors in electrical sockets, etc.).
  20. Take a foster mom or dad out to eat and let her or him decompress.
  21. Provide tutoring for a foster child.
  22. Include special family dedication services during worship.
  23. Stock a supply closet with car seats, cribs, diapers, strollers, etc.
  24. Offer to do laundry for a foster family.
  25. Again, and always, pray, asking God what your response should be.


Accept your sacred responsibility to care for at-risk children.
 


Sandy Wisdom-Martin is the executive director, WMU.

 

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