- Thursday, April 25, 2024

With 400,000 children in the United States in foster care and 100,000 of those children eligible for adoption, there is a desperate need in America for people to step up and come alongside the most vulnerable among us. Prestonwood Baptist Church is trying to do just that, recently hosting a massive foster care and adoption conference at their megachurch campus in the Dallas area.

“We feel that we need to marshal as many resources as humanly possible,” said Rev. Jeremiah Johnston, pastor of apologetics at Prestonwood Baptist Church and founder of the Christian Thinkers Society. “[Foster parents] need to be encouraged. They need to be resourced. They need to be celebrated.”

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Through its Chosen ministry, Prestonwood has spent years connecting families seeking to learn more about foster care and adoption with valuable resources. The ministry is based on Deuteronomy 7:6, which says, “The Lord has chosen you out of all the people on the face of the earth to be his treasured possession.”

But with so many children affected nationwide, the church felt the need to also “raise awareness” and “empower, engage, and equip” other churches to establish foster care ministries.

“We believe that every child is indeed a ‘wanted child,’” Rev. Johnston explained. “We believe the church should be the solution no matter what. And we’re willing to stand on that and come what may … we’re going to take care of children and not apologize about it.”

Joining the church in its mission was keynote speaker and adoptive parent Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has worked during his administration to increase adoption and foster care resources across the state.

“Adoption is the most rewarding journey one can undertake. It gave Cecilia & I our greatest joy: being parents,” Gov. Abbott said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Honored to join the CHOSEN Conference today to highlight Texas’ adoption & foster care resources. Together, we can help children across Texas find their forever home.”

But Texas is just the start for Prestonwood, which noted that there are more than 350,000 religious congregations in the U.S. that could do a lot of good if they were to effectively mobilize on the issue.

“This is a stark problem, especially one that is so easily addressed,” Rev. Johnston said. “No one church has to feel like they have to do everything. But every church can do something.”

His words echoed that of Korie Robertson and daughter Sadie Robertson Huff of “Duck Dynasty” fame, who were also speaking at the conference. Mrs. Robertson shares six kids with her husband, Willie, three of which are adopted.

“Adoption has made our family what it is,” Mrs. Robertson said. “It’s not exactly what we had planned … it’s not necessarily easier, but it’s better because God calls us to this abundant life.”

“As the church we do have a responsibility for adoption,” Mrs. Huff added. “The church is expected to take in the children that need help … I’ve gotten to see my family do that and I’ve been so grateful.”

Marissa Mayer is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in Christian Post, The Daily Signal, and Intellectual Takeout. Mayer has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Arizona State University.

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