God has given us the gift of prayer as a means to communicate with Him; to talk with God. Prayer can strengthen our faith, and change our lives as we open ourselves to hear God’s word. As we open ourselves completely to God, laying before Him our concerns and desires, we lean upon Him completely as we reach deep into ourselves, hiding nothing from God as we admit our personal failures. Furthermore, prayer can bring us peace during turbulent times, as well. For my wife and I, we pray each time we get a call from a case worker about taking a foster child into our home, as we seek God’s wisdom and strength. When we pray according to God’s will, we are opening up a power that is unstoppable. Jesus tells us this Himself when he said,
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
When those who are not foster parents hear that my wife and I usually have an average of 8 children in our house at a time, I am often met with the same question over and over again, “I don’t know how you do it.” My response is usually, “With a great deal of prayer.” Without a doubt, prayer is an important part of fostering. As foster parents, we lean upon God for strength to help these children battle the many emotional, physical, and psychological challenges they face. Along with this, we pray that we are able to love these children with the unconditional love they so dearly need. I have spoken to numerous foster parents who have spent sleepless nights and worried days, lifting up their foster children in prayer during difficult times of visitations with unstable biological parents, court appearances, and when a child leaves their home for another. Indeed, as a foster parent, I rely upon God on a daily basis. I have found that the general society does not really understand or appreciate what foster care is about. They do not realize what foster children go through each day, nor for that matter what foster parents go through, either. Even my own friends and family members do not fully understand what my wife and I experience each day as a foster parent, or really why we do it. I even have family members who question why my wife and I continue to take into our hears and home children who are in need, after all these years, and after all the sleepless nights and stress filled days. God’s call on my life, though, is a strong one, and one that my wife and I cannot ignore, as I am sure it is for you, as well.
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It is true. As foster parents, we have the opportunity to be witnesses of God’s great love for them, as well as His redeeming grace, mercy, and forgiveness. We can share our faith with these children, and be His arms and legs, working for His glory to help these children in need, and planting the seed of faith in them.
It is also true that the seed we plant may not bloom until years later. I often remind the foster parents that I work with that it may take some time before the seeds of faith that you have planted bloom and blossom. Yet, perhaps you feel that you are not making a difference in the lives of the children you foster. Perhaps you believe the work you are doing does not matter in the long run. Let me correct you, please. I want you to understand that what you are doing does matter, and it matters significantly.
There is a good chance that in the future, the foster child you cared for may not remember your name. There is a good chance that in the future, the foster child you care for may not remember your faces. But I can assure you this, each foster child who comes through your home will remember one thing; that for a period in his life, he was loved, and some day down the road, he will blossom into something better because of it. When you share God’s love with a child in need, you are changing the life of a child, and changing the world. You are answering God’s call to serve Him and His children in need.
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