Published January 1, 2020
For over 150 years, Sunrise Children's Services has been serving the Lord by serving Kentucky's children and families. The year was 1869 when a small group of ladies from Walnut Street Baptist Church stepped out in faith to open the Louisville Baptist Orphan's Home. The number of women was small, but the love in their hearts knew no bounds. As He is so wonderful at doing, God multiplied their faithful efforts.
Today at Sunrise Children's Services the work continues. Why? Because all life matters to God. From conception to the last breath, all life matters. Toddler or teen, all life matters. Adorable newborn or adolescent, all life matters. Sunrise Children's Services provides care and hope for hurting families and children through Christ-centered ministries. With God's guidance, and the faithful help of His people, this work — this calling — continues.
God's Word reminds us that "even the very hairs of your head are all numbered…" (Luke 12:7). Our rightful response to His love is an obedience to love others as He has loved us. As we do, remember, we do this for all of life.
Some churches have joined in this work of God. Sunrise is thankful, but as the needs to care for children in crisis grows, the response must grow also. Perhaps you have wanted to do something, and you did not know where to start. If so, please read on, ask God how you can serve, and then act.
Merriam-Webster defines foster: "to provide the care that a parent usually gives to a child." This is the role of the foster parent. Children need to have someone to care for them — especially during difficult times. Sunrise equips parents to do this through professional, specialized, Christ-centered training with 24/7 support.
After successful completion of training and certification, you may choose to foster full-time: the child remains in your home until their goal is reached, which may be return to parent, relative placement or others.
You may serve as a respite foster parent. If so, you would provide care for short periods, anywhere from a day or more. Life happens. Sometimes the full-time foster parent needs a short break due to health issues, emergencies or other occasions. You are a "lifesaver" when this need arises.
This type of foster parenting has a wonderful end goal: a forever home for the child. Both the child and parent get the blessing in this beautiful process. Sunrise will guide and support you to achieve this act of love.
First steps to serve Sunrise will answer your questions, provide trainings and walk you through the process. A thorough informational meeting can be held at your church and tailored to your time frame. For your leadership, Sunrise can host an A.R.I.S.E. meeting — increasing awareness of trauma-informed care, realizing the biblical mandate, identifying counseling resources, surrounding children in crisis with God's love and equipping your church with information on suicide prevention.
Get connected, get started
The need is great and shows no signs of slowing. Children feel alone and hopeless, but you and your church can make a difference. Our kids — your kids — are waiting for someone to care and love them. Will it be you?
Terry Frazier, worship pastor of Glasgow Bible Church, serves as foster care ministry liaison for Sunrise Children's Services.
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