here are over 400,000 children in foster care with over 100,000 waiting to be adopted and children of color being underrepresented in the foster care system, according to national adoption director for Bethany Christian Services, Kimberly Offutt.
Bethany Christian Services teamed with radio host and television personality, Willie Moore Jr., to form a partnership that caters to foster families interested in adopting children of color.
The partnership was formed on December 20, 2018 at Word of Faith Cathedral with Bishop Dale Bronner, who is a friend of Moore Jr.
Moore Jr. was adopted at three months old to Willie Moore Sr. and Flora Moore. Moore Jr.’s adoption story as well as His ties with Bronner and Word of Faith Cathedral is one of the factors that influenced the formation of this partnership with Bethany Christian Services.
“Through that partnership, we have been able to recruit more families of color in foster care,” Offutt told Atlanta Christian Voice. “[Moore Jr.’s] purpose [for creating the partnership] was to promote foster care and to get the church involved.”
The mission and vision of the Bethany Christian Services partnership with Moore Jr. is for every child to have a forever family.
One of the main reasons that Bethany Christian Services and Moore Jr. decided to form this partnership was to bring more awareness to children of color in foster care and African American churches.
It is written in the New International Version of James 1:27, “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.”
“We don’t want any child waiting,” Offutt said. “We are called to care for orphans locally, globally and all over the world. We have that Biblical mandate in James 1:27. As the Body of Christ, we all have a part to play. Our churches can be praying for the churches, families and members for those who are called to do this. All of us have that dynamic part to play in this call for foster parents.”
“We have that Biblical mandate in James 1:27,” Offutt tells Atlanta Christian Voice. “All of us have that dynamic part to play in this call for foster parents.”
Bethany Christian Services has made many differences in the lives of the foster care system, including in the life of adopted child, Cody.
Cody, who was placed in a residential facility and had been in the foster care system since the age of six years old, had lost hope of finding a forever family until he was found by his adopted parents at the age of sixteen years old.
“[Bethany Christian Services] was able to find a forever family for Cody,” Offutt told Atlanta Christian Voice. “Cody had given up hope. He had hope again. Cody’s life is forever changed. He has a family.”
Offutt emphasizes how finding a forever family is significant for the adopted child and for the foster parents, as the Body of Christ.
“Having a family brings a lot of hope for our children,” Offutt said. “They need that life back and you can make a difference in your child’s life.”
Offutt encourages all churches to take a part in this partnership because it is a ministry in and of itself for church communities, locally and around the globe.
“Our kids need you now,” Offutt said. “We need you to take that next step. I challenge families to recognize that God laid it on your heart and that God laid that Biblical mandate for you. This is ministry.”
To find out more about Bethany Christian Services and Moore Jr, how you can assist in this partnership or promote foster care awareness in your community, visit https://bethany.org/ and https://www.williemoorejr.org/.