Making a difference

Children are waiting for their new families and a local church is answering the call to help.

Children are waiting for their new families and a local church is answering the call to help.

Local Life.Church joins statewide foster efforts

More Oklahoma children have the opportunity to find a home due to Life.Church’s efforts, including here in Mustang, with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Life.Church and DHS partnered in April as part of Governor Mary Fallin’s Oklahoma Fosters initiative, a coordinated campaign to find foster families for the hundreds of children who continue to come into state custody, according to a letter from Fallin on oklahomafosters.com.

Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel sent out a message about foster care and adoption the second week of the “How to Neighbor” series. The message was on Mother’s Day and was titled Orphans Embraced. It focused on the fact that there are about 10,500 children in foster care in Oklahoma alone. Oklahoma has the second highest rate per capita of children who are in foster care.

“There’s far more Christians in the world than children who need homes,” Groeschel said. “I’m believing that we, as the church, can make a difference because I want to show you that the church is God’s plan A to help children that are in need.”

Groeschel went on to talk about how people could get involved with fostering or adopting a child, or even just helping out in different ways.

In the two weeks after the message, 320 inquiries about foster care and adoption came into DHS, which is double the amount of inquiries from the two weeks prior to the message.

“We are incredibly appreciative of the partnership with both Life.Church and Oklahoma Fosters as well as with the numerous other faith organizations that are supporting our work with foster children and their families,” Child Welfare Director Jami Ledoux said in a news release about the partnership.

Nearly 100 inquiries came from the two Canadian Valley campuses in Mustang and Yukon alone, said Ryan Motsinger, associate campus pastor at Life.Church Mustang.

“In addition to that, many more have committed to praying for the children in the system, as well as the families that are supporting those kids,” Motsinger said.

Motsinger said he felt overwhelming excitement when he found out Life.Church was partnering with DHS, as did everyone else in the church.

“The thought of being able to go outside of our church walls and care for children in our community, we are ecstatic about,” he said.

Motsinger said Life.Church Mustang specifically focuses on bringing awareness and vision to the foster care crisis in our state.

“We casted the vision, made it very easy to take those steps, and DHS made it very easy for us to help our people take those steps into the process so it’s been a really seamless experience for our people,” Motsinger said.

Life.Church Yukon was unavailable for comment at presstime.

At the end of the Orphans Embraced message Groeschel made two promises, it’ll be hard and the children are worth it.

To find out more or to get involved, people may contact their local Life.Church or just visit oklahomafosters.com.

“If you make a difference in the life of a child, you will not change the world, but you will change his or her world,” Groeschel said.

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