A Fostering Church
Posted: September 1, 2021
Some children have biological (birth) parents who can’t take care of them. Sometimes they need safe homes—for a short time, or for longer. Government agencies place those kids with foster parents who can help. One church in Mississippi has helped over 300 families foster children.
Tony Karnes is a pastor at Michael Memorial Baptist Church. In 2015, Pastor Karnes visited an emergency shelter for kids. It was full. There weren’t enough families for the children to stay with. That broke Pastor Karnes’ heart.
Pastor Karnes and his church worked with the state to make the process for becoming a foster family faster. They called the program Rescue 100. Fifty families from the church started fostering. And they recruited 250 other families!
Kevin and Kelli Lundy have fostered eight children. They know their church is there to help. Mrs. Lundy can ask when they have needs like size 3 summer clothes or a babysitter.
Mr. Lundy says it’s important to get to know foster children as individuals. The kids start off as strangers. Over time, they become part of the Lundy home. After one two-year-old left, another one came. It was easy to treat the new child like the previous child, but “they’re completely different,” says Mr. Lundy. “They like different books. They like different toys.”
Another family, the Bardwells, cares for kids for short periods of time. They help biological parents get ready to take care of their children again. Jennifer Bardwell had Bible studies with one mom. Mrs. Bardwell also taught the mom how to drive and helped her get a job.
The Griffins began as foster parents too. Later, they adopted their daughter, Skylar Rose.
The church doesn’t just help foster families. The foster children get to play with other kids in the same situation. And they invite biological parents to come to worship so that kids and parents can spend time together.