speakers: @jasonkovacs@caseyhenagan @bennockels
question: [for jason] the numbers range from 143 million to 160 million orphans. this is for kids who lose one parent. if you look at the 15-18 million orphans who have lost both parents, a small percentage are adoptable. what can the church do not only for those children who are adoptable, but those children who are not legally adoptable? answer: i think we need to look at the permanency question. we throw out these numbers and statistics, and really, every number is a child who God loves. it helps me to look at it through His perspective. in heaven, there are no orphans, no orphanages, there's only family. the coming of Jesus is one big finalization of adoption. to have a family, to have permanency, is the best option. but the reality of sin makes this just not possible. the church here needs to work with the church globally to encourage and to teach and to move towards placing these children in permanent situations.
God adopts us into His family.
question: [for ben] talk about orphan care and adoption ministry within your church. answer: i just want to be quick to identify the weightiness present here - i feel it with you. i call this weightiness the glory of God and it's crushing in the best way. our church was pioneered under the mode of city transformation. we really believe mission fueled and empowered by the holy spirit should be the rally cry of communities of faith. when we were working on the heartbeat of our church, we kept coming back to the vulnerable child - the fatherless. so we asked what it would like to mentor the poorest students? what would it look like to develop adoptive and foster families within our church?
church leaders: engage dhs - bless them, listen to them, champion them. we joined dhs city officials and something amazing happened. when our individual ideas became a collective idea, something broke. we want to help them do their job well. they now want to create 250 new foster families from within the faith community.
he asked deborah smith, head of family services in oklahoma, "what's the need?"
she said "well. the need today is 33. there was 33 kids who stayed in a shelter last night."
friends, this is solvable.
question: [for casey] what is a pastor to do when he doesn't really know where to begin? how can he shepherd his people to caring for the orphan? answer: as a pastor, my goal is to get people out of their comfort zones. as a body, as a church, we need to do whatever we can to win souls. right now, there are more Americans who don't attend church. then, we need to get people to focus on others. [first GOD, then others]. for my church, developing opportunities for my church to engage in the fatherlessness. child sponsorship, raising up fathers, mentorship and foster care. in america, the number one poverty is single moms. also, we pay for homestudies with adoptive families in our church.