Here is a ministry that Misty and I learned about on the Winston Salem News last night. This church is challenging every church in their area to have one family that is licensed as Foster Parents. If we could get every church in Carroll County Virginia to have at least one Foster Parent Couple, we could take of all of Carroll County’s Foster Care Needs as well as many of the surrounding Counties.
Why is it that more Christians are not stepping up to the task of caring for the children?
After working in a Group Children’s Home for 5 years and adopting a son from there, I will say these places are needed and there are several good ones available. However, a group home is not where children are supposed to grow up. They are supposed to grow up in a home with parents who love them and spend time with them. The Greatest Need of most of the children I worked with in the group home setting was for one on one time with an adult who cared. You no doubt are very busy but adding a child to your busy schedule could in turn change a multitude of lives.
If we could evaluate the things we do in life and see which of those things are life changing for us and for other people.
Here is the link to Channel 12 News and coverage on this stroy.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)
Jesus said, what we do unto the least of these, we do also unto Him. As Christians, we are commanded to care for the widowed and the fatherless, yet we often ignore their plight as we careen through life harried by the demands of our self inflicted business. Imagine the heart of God as it breaks over the child taken from its home because it was the victim of the ugliness and sin of man. Imagine God’s shame as we who are called his own do nothing.
The ministry established by QGBC, “Seeds of Hope” seeks to become an agent of change in the lives of children who are in need of adoption or who are in the foster care system. Our vision is based upon the directives of Jesus in Acts 1:8 that call us to minister at home while ever expanding our outreach to the ends of the earth. Our overall goal is to see every child in the Stokes County adoption or foster care system, and eventually the world, placed in a Christian home. “Seeds of Hope” will initially focus its efforts locally in Stokes County with the hope inspiring other churches worldwide to become vehicles of obedience to God’s commandment of care.
A child is orphaned every 18 seconds.
There are 143 million orphans in the world today. They will spend an average of 10 years of their life in an orphanage or foster care if we do not help.
If only 7% of the 2 billion Christians in the world would care for the orphans, there would effectively be no more orphans.
In the US, approximately 510,000 children are living in the foster care system. The majority of them are hoping to be reunited with their parents or another family member. But 127,000 of them are waiting to be adopted.
In the US, more than 20,000 teens age out of the foster care system each year. They are forced to try and make it on their own with no support or guidance.
Every year 14,050,000 children worldwide age out of the system. That is 38,493 children per day: one child every 2.2 seconds with no family and no place to call home.
90% of the young men in prison were either abandoned by their parents, abused/lived in the foster care system.
30% of all US homeless adults have spent time in the foster care system.
27% of US males that were in the foster care system and 10% of US females that were in the foster care system were incarcerated within 12-18 months after aging of the foster care system.
10% of US females that were in the foster care system had given birth within 12-18 months after aging out of the foster care system.
50% of those who were in foster care were unemployed after aging of the foster care system.
33% of those who were in foster care received public assistance after aging out of the foster care system..
37% of those who were in the foster care system had not finished school.
A rural church in Western Pennsylvania has inherited $2 million from a former church member. A UMNS photo courtesy of Hopewell United Methodist Church.
A UMNS Report
By Kathy L. Gilbert*
Dec. 11, 2008
John Ferguson was a simple man. He drove an old pickup truck, lived in a trailer without running water and kept to himself.
It came as a bit of a shock, then, when the 71-year-old farmer died and left more than $2 million to a small rural United Methodist church that his mother faithfully attended before her death in 1983.
Everyone at the church knew someday the family’s inheritance would come to the church, but no one knew how much money was involved, said the Rev. Jason L. McQueen, pastor of Hopewell United Methodist Church in Blairsville, Pa.
“John was very frugal. He bought $200 cars when he could have bought a new Cadillac.”–Jim Ferguson, cousin
“We had our jaws in our laps for a couple of weeks,” McQueen said of the 80-member congregation, which learned about the gift several months after Ferguson died in January 2007. The will had to go through the probate system before money was distributed.
John’s cousin, Jim Ferguson, was executor of the will, which he described as short and simple. “There was one paragraph that said everything should go to the church,” he said.
“John was very frugal. He bought $200 cars when he could have bought a new Cadillac.”
Both Jim Ferguson and McQueen have been overwhelmed by the media attention generated by the will since The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ran a Dec. 7 article on the gift. Since then, requests for interviews have come in from news outlets such as “Good Morning America,” local television stations and other newspapers.
“I know John would not have wanted all this media attention,” Jim Ferguson said.
McQueen never really got to know the infrequent church member but visited with him after he became ill and was hospitalized. By then, Ferguson was “nonresponsive.”
McQueen came to serve Hopewell and two other rural churches in Western Pennsylvania seven years ago. “I was alerted to the fact that when John passed away, the church was going to get an inheritance. The rumor was that his mother left all her earthly belongings to John and instructed him to leave everything to the church after his death,” he said.
No one really knows how much money Ruth Ferguson passed on to her son.
“The remarkable thing to me is the fact that all his mother’s will stipulated was that whatever was left of the family’s estate go to the church,” McQueen said. “He could have spent it all and not gone against his mother’s wishes; instead he lived a very frugal life and he invested his mother’s money.”
Ferguson’s investments were good ones. “He was the kind of individual that just had that God-given ability to know how to invest money, and basically everything he did prospered,” McQueen said.
His cousin was saddened at the thought of Ferguson living in a modest trailer when he could have invested some of the money in his own health.
“John was always willing to help,” he said. “I’m sure that if I had asked him for anything, I would have gotten it the next day. All his neighbors liked him.”
He remembers his cousin taking his mother to church every Sunday and picking her up after worship. “He didn’t attend too much, especially after his mother died,” he said.
McQueen said the church plans to keep the money in investments and use only interest income for ministries. While the money is not expected to change day-to-day church operations, some church leaders are bracing to receive requests for donations.
Hopewell has formed a committee to distribute the money. One of the first needs to be addressed is restoring local cemeteries—a cause that John Ferguson was passionate about.
“If he drove past a cemetery that was in bad condition, he would make a donation to have it cleaned up,” McQueen said.
Another possibility is helping Hopewell become a “station” church—one that stands on its own and has its own pastor. “That dream has gotten a shot in the arm from the inheritance,” McQueen said.
* Gilbert is a United Methodist Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.
I don’t know if you are familiar with Penn and Teller. If not, you can do a Google Search and soon find what his show is all about. Penn is a self proclaimed Atheist and has done many segments criticizing the Bible. However, here is a video that we all as Christians need to hear. Again if you want to see more of what Penn does, you can find more videos on youtube regarding his unbelief in the Bible. Just be aware there is bad language involved in those.
“I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell, and you think, ‘Well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward’… How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize”?
“How much do you have to hate somebody to believe there is Eternal Life and not tell somebody”?
Thank you to www.Faithengineer.com for sharing this piece.
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