A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families. (Psalm 68:5-6)
This morning I spent time with Bethany Christian Services in the chapel at the Sununu Youth Services Center. This was a gathering of ecumenical and interfaith leaders to talk about ways to support the 1,086 foster children in our state. Here’s a few highlights from the meeting:
- Pastor Jose Luna (pictured below) of the Sununu Youth Services Center gave the opening prayer.
- Eileen Muller of DCYF remarked that in the past, only occasionally was there a child that couldn’t be placed with a family. Now it happens often that there are not enough host families for the number of children. This is due in large part to the opioid crisis in New Hampshire.
- She also said that if every faith community could support 5 host families, then the crisis would be numerically over. If each church could support 1 host family, that would ease the crisis considerably.
- We heard from Pastor Rich and Abby Clegg of FaithBridge Church in Manchester and their personal experience of fostering multiple children at once. They receive lots of help from the families in their congregation. Even if you don’t think you can foster, you can support the families that do!
- Pastor Rich added the role of faith in being a host family, saying that if Jesus has the power to rise from the dead, then he can give us the power to handle new children in our family.