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“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
— James 1:27
Too often in the church ministries that focus on orphans, widows and various helps ministries are seen as side projects that we “will get to when we have time.” But, Scripture shows us that these should be ministries in the forefront! It even uses the term “pure religion” when talking about caring for orphans and widows.
Orphans and widows are in the time of their life where they most need people around them to love them, care for their needs, and show the love of Christ through their actions; if we were in the same state in life, wouldn’t we want the same form others?
Specifically with orphan and foster care, there are many state agencies and programs to help children going through “the system.” But, unfortunately, there are some missing pieces, people in the process who have been forgotten. Who cares for the state and agency case workers? Who ministers to the foster parents? What about the parents who got their children taken, or the children who age of the system? Who is caring for these forgotten individuals?
Today on the podcast: Jami Kaeb
Today we with Jami Kaeb, the co-founder and executive director of a non-profit organization called “The Forgotten Initiative.” She and her husband Clint began The Forgotten Initiative in 2011, largely to bring awareness to the needs of the foster and adoption community.
They also began a new podcast a few weeks back called, “The Forgotten Podcast.” Listen to:
- The Forgotten Podcast online –
(Or subscribe via iTunes or Soundcloud)
- The introductory episode: In Jami’s own words how the ministry began
- Part 1 and Part 2 of Jami’s interview with Jason Johnson
- BONUS: Get the Kindle Version of Jason’s book / orphan care curriculum mentioned in this episode: All in Orphan Care
The Heart of The Forgotten Initiative
The Forgotten Initiative helps the church, be the Church; to step up to the plate of where God called us to be and love others in need, specifically towards groups involved in the foster care and adoption ministry.
The Lie about Foster Care
So many times, we’ve allowed the media and our preconceived thoughts about different groups rule our thinking — in place of the Word of God. Sure, we do that in too many areas of our life, but in foster care, we have skewed views of State Case Workers, of what Foster Parents are like, thinking lowly of the parents who lost their children, and calling the kids going through the system the problem children.
All of these are lies. Lies that keep us, even us who called ourselves Christians, uninvolved in the very places God has called us to be the Church.
The Case workers, Parents who had their children taken, children of those parents and foster parents — all are dealing with some level of loss. I can understand why there is high turnover for agency and state case workers, and foster parents who can’t do it any longer. But that’s why you guys exist! To be that support for people in REAL need.
There are many commands in the Bible, one of which is to take care of the widows and orphans. James calls it “pure religion,” in the good sense of religion. I know the word “religion” has gotten a bad rap in recent years in some circles. But this is a good one. James says that we should, as believers, all care for those in need, but to clarify, we are not ALL called to be FOSTER parents. That’s why we are a Body of Christ, with many members, all doing their part. I didn’t want anyone to think I was guilting them to be foster parents here. But, you should be someone who is a support — whether that’s taking meals, emotional support, childcare … Called to be a social worker, (which truly is a calling!), or your church having an adoption fund to help families adopting children in need.
So, what have we learned?
We all need to do our part in the “pure religion” in caring for those in need : whether that is solely financially, literally lending a helping hand, or supporting those working in physical ways to better be able ot do what God has called them to.
If you are interested in becoming an Advocate with The Forgotten Initiative, or even beginning a program in your church to minister to those in the foster community in your area, learn more about the role of a Forgotten Initiative Advocate.
Connect with Jami Kaeb and The Forgotten Initiative Online:
- The Forgotten Initiative Twitter, Facebook and Blog / Website
- Jami Kaeb on Twitter, and her personal blog: Life With A Personal God.
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