With Thanksgiving one week away, we have the best reason to show others how grateful we are for them! This week we hosted a Friendsgiving Dinner for our CFLM Church Advocates!
CFLM Church Advocates play a special role in supporting foster and adoptive families. As church Advocates, these men and women help advocate for the needs of foster families within their church (and sometimes families in the community)! They spread awareness throughout their church congregations so that individuals and families know and understand the need for the church to step into the foster care crisis. Then they help others find the role they can play in meeting the needs that exist.
There are over 12,000 children in foster care in Georgia. Over 425 of those children are from Athens-Clarke, Oconee, and Walton counties. However, there are currently around 110 foster homes available to these children.
The significant deficit of foster homes in all counties means children are often moved far away from their community and school to other parts of the state, siblings are split up, or older children are placed in group homes.
As Advocates share the need for more loving foster homes to be available to these children. They also share how everyone can play a role in solving this crisis! While there is a huge need for more foster homes, we know that not every family is called to be a foster family. Our Advocates want to show their church that there is a role for everyone to play! Some may become foster families, while others may be called to support those fostering so that they can care well for the children in their homes and can foster longer! Advocates will work to recruit and train Care Team members to serve one local foster family throughout their placement and then help oversee the team as they serve together. They also help organize collection drives and service projects to meet needs as they arise in the community!
Our Advocate Friendsgiving was a time for some of our CFLM Church Advocates to sit at tables together, enjoy amazing food and decorations, and share stories with one another to encourage us all to keep working together to help churches in this community find ways they can come alongside of foster and adoptive families!
Here are some of the stories that were shared throughout the night:
- Families are finding a church home after seeing the love of Christ displayed through the generosity, love, and kindness of their Care Team!
- All individuals involved with the Care Teams are blessed as they see God working in their lives! Foster parents experience the love of Christ as they are served by individuals on their Care Team. Care Team members live in obedience to God's command to care for orphaned and vulnerable children. Children feel cared for and loved by the relationships they build with their foster family and extended Care Team family!
- As families within one church see the support that exists, they are opening their hearts and home to welcome in children who need a safe and loving home for a season. They have 4 families going through the process to become foster parents!
- College students are wanting to serve families by becoming approved babysitters! Foster families will be able to go on date nights or out to events they are invited to because they now have a list of babysitters they can call who are approved to watch their foster kiddos while they are gone!
There are countless more stories of how the gospel is displayed across our community through each of these ministries! CFLM now has 47 Church Advocates representing 27 churches throughout Athens-Clarke, Oconee, and Walton counties! You can click here to see if your church has a ministry that you can become involved in to find the your role in supporting these families.
Thank you to all of our Church Advocates who wake up each day with a desire to serve families and help others join them in this amazing work!