Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland

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So my wife and I, we had three kids in three years and we were under 30. We thought that was it, had our kids, job done. So we had this cunning plan that if we have our kids close together there will come a time in life when they all might leave home together, leaving a nice empty nest for me and my wife to get on, and do those little city breaks to Copenhagen that people do, long romantic walks along the beaches, you name it. And then my wife says to me, “why don’t we become foster parents” and I thought that is a great idea, for other people, because long romantic walks along the beaches with scooters, isn’t quite as romantic, and city breaks to Copenhagen aren’t quite as much fun if you’re taking nappy sacks with you.

I was quite resistant to the idea until a couple of things happened. One was I started to read scripture with a different set of lenses on. Particularly James 1:27 really spoke to me. God says: true religion that God our Father accepts as pure and blameless is to care for widows and orphans in their distress, and that really challenged me because if God tells us how he wants us to worship him, what he considers true worship, if that’s not a part of my spiritual life then I’m actually letting God down. And so I was convicted about that, and then some friends of ours in their 60’s became foster parents for the first time and I thought well if they can do that at that stage in life maybe we can have a go in our 30’s, so our family became a fostering and then an adopting family. Currently we’ve got 7 kids that are a part of our household – it’s always fun, always busy, and as we got involved in this we felt a connection to god at a different level. Sometimes the Bible describes God as a father to the fatherless and a protector of widows and orphans, and when you get to be involved and care for vulnerable children, you get that connection with God.

“true religion that God our Father accepts as pure and blameless is to care for widows and orphans in their distress” – James 1 v 27

So our vision is really simple, we think this is something the church needs to be doing; there are currently around 4000 children that are waiting to be adopted in the UK and on top of that we are short of about 9000 foster parents, and when you factor in the church (and I always love to factor in the church) of churches like the ones that you and I go to, there’s about 15,000 in the UK so I don’t need every Christian to adopt or foster 100 kids I just need every church to find me one new foster family or one new adoptive family, for us to wrap around them and then together, we can make sure every child in the UK that needs one, gets a Home For Good.

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