THE CALL AND THE OPPORTUNITY
God has made it abundantly clear in the Bible that caring for orphans, whether children who have lost their parents, or are vulnerable to becoming orphans, are to be of concern to those who claim to follow him. According to Isaiah 1:17, if we profess to know and love God we are to “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless….” James 1:27 tells us we are visit orphans in their affliction. The Greek word for “visit” is episkeptomai, and it implies a relational type of care. It is checking in one someone with the intention of helping them.
We are called to enter into the lives of vulnerable children. We may feel hopeless in eradicating some of the circumstances that lend to children becoming vulnerable in the first place, but that must not stop us from caring for them. Children do not choose their circumstances, they are born into them.
Ask God to direct you in how you are to give of your time, talent, and treasure. You likely won’t have to go as far as you may have thought. You might be feeling called to adopt, foster, or partner with an organization that is working to help vulnerable children locally and around the world.
Adopt a child that needs a permanent family
Locally through MCFD
There are over 900 children and youth in British Columbia foster care are waiting to be adopted. The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) places approximately 350 children each year, but many children and youth are still waiting. Adopting children through MCFD does not cost anything.
–Adoptive Families Association of BC
Private Adoption Locally or Globally
You can use an adoption agency to begin the adoption process either locally and globally. Westside is in the process of setting up an adoption fund to assist families with some of the costs. More info on this soon!
–BC Adoption Agencies
Foster a child or support someone who does
The number of children in foster care is growing. In BC there are over 9,000 children in care, and another 1,000 children waiting to go to a family, hoping a spot will open up. There are also 900 children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted into a permanent family.
Maybe what is feasible for you is committing to babysitting twice a month for a family with a foster child, or getting connected through the Ministry with a single parent who is in need of occasional respite care for his or her child. You don’t have to have a lot of space, or even give a lot of time, to be able to make the occasional big difference.
Partner/Volunteer with organizations that work with vulnerable children and youth
- Youth Unlimited: relationally engages in wholistic work with vulnerable youth in partnership with the Church and the community.
- Inner Hope Youth Ministries: walks alongside youth and families in East Vancouver nurturing hope, belonging and transformation through support, discipleship, life skills, and housing.
Adoption can be expensive. You can donate to Westside's Adoption Fund to help families with the adoption process. This is new as of February 2018, so more info on this fund coming soon!