We are grateful for the opportunity to share this post from Taralyn Amen. Taralyn and Darrel Amen have been married 20 years and have five precious children, two of whom God brought to their family through adoption. They are covenant members of The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, where Darrel serves as an Elder. They have recently launched a new foster and adoption ministry at The Village and have a passion for recruiting new families to serve the 140 million orphans worldwide.
Entering into foster care or adoption can be scary, but with over 140 million orphans worldwide, the church is the only option! God’s people are called to care for orphans. Period. Our Lord is moving among His people and many families are answering the call to bring children into their homes, many of them who bring special challenges with them.
How then can a local body surround these families and care for them as they care for God’s precious Image Bearers?
What This Looks Like at Our Church
At The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas we have a passion for recruiting more and more families to enter into the journey of orphan care, but we know with that step of faith can come many unforeseen challenges. We want to encourage and serve our families so that we, as a local body, can “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
Although our ministry is young, we do have a growing support group for foster and adoptive families. Weary parents can drop their children off with trained childcare workers, who will love on them and keep them safe and engaged, while mom and dad can share fellowship and prayer with other parents who understand their challenges. We are working toward pairing mentor families with new families who are walking a similar foster care or adoption path. The goal is to be proactive in supporting our families so challenges don’t become crises.
When indeed a family does need more individualized care, leaders and elders become involved by counseling, praying with and even referring families to professional Biblical counselors whom we have relationships with, if necessary. It is important for the body to come around a family in crisis to support them in everything from babysitting, meals, lawn care, etc. … as well as helping them care for their own souls through time away, date nights and counseling. We strive to have a “team” of supporters around this family to faithfully walk them through to the other side of the crisis.
Planning for Proactive Care
A wise mentor once told me that there really is no “formula” and that we must meet each person, each family, “where they are.” Although it is very true, it is also true that without being proactive, we will be reactive and often a reactive response to care can lead to confusion and conflicting voices.
We, at The Village, are still growing in this essential part of orphan ministry, but have many Godly, discerning counselors on our team pointing us to Jesus, His Word and His heart for the orphan. Our prayer is that our local body will be encouraged and an encouragement to your local body as we all strive to make a dent, by His Spirit, in that overwhelming number of 140 million orphans worldwide!