Caring for Foster Families in the Church
Joel Ainsworth, Community Pastor at the Church at Cane Bay, and his wife, Emily, are passionate advocates for foster care and adoption. As Joel explains, “from the very beginning, foster care and adoption have been part of our heart as a church because they’ve been such a big part of our story.” In fact, they themselves adopted their two daughters out of foster care.
Their church has a system of missional communities, which serve various missions within the community. One such group serves at Eagle Harbor Boys Ranch, a local group home for foster boys. Many of the church partners have been out there getting to know the boys, their stories, and really getting a heart for caring for kids who are in care.
Supporting Foster Families
Recently, Joel and his wife started a new group called the Foster Care Missional Community. They have two goals: to support and encourage existing foster families in their community, and to get more people engaged in foster care. To support existing foster families, they host events like the recent strawberry picking event where they partnered with a local farm to provide free strawberries for families to pick, brought lunches, and had a photographer take spring pictures of the families to give them a picture they could put on their wall.
To get more people involved, they host foster care informational meetings for the community. Even if someone is not ready to become a foster parent yet, they encourage finding a step they can take to become engaged in caring for these kids who so need people to surround them and love them.
Modeling God’s Kindness
Joel and his church believe that God cared for them when they were at their most vulnerable and in need. They believe that God is calling them to care for others in their community who find themselves in the same place. As Joel explains, “we want to be faithful to be obedient to what God is asking us to do, and for his name and for his glory.”