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Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Impact | 0 comments

The State of the Orphans in our State

The State of the Orphans in our State

God is still a Father to the fatherless (Ps. 68:5), and the church is becoming more aware of this reality and its practical implications for followers of Jesus.

Orphan Sunday[1] is upon us – an internationally observed day in which many churches focus on the Father’s heart for orphans and highlight ways to serve marginalized children. There is a very healthy, gospel-centered, organization that the Lord is using to resource churches to move toward the orphan and vulnerable child in Jesus’ name.[2]

Yet, even though God still loves orphans and the church is increasingly coming alive in practical desire to love and change the destiny of orphans, the need is not diminishing. Take for instance legal orphans[3] in our own state system.

Check out some of the latest statistics as follows:

  • As of last reporting on 10/25/15, there are currently 11,027 children in Foster Care in Oklahoma
  • For fiscal year 2016, which started on 07/01/15, OKDHS[4] projected the need to be 1054 new homes/beds, by the end of the fiscal year, which ends on 06/30/16.  Currently they have only signed up 174 new homes/beds the first 4 months of the fiscal year.  To stay on track, they needed to sign up at least 351 new homes/beds by now.
    • OKDHS lost 167 foster homes since this time last year:
    • 174 New homes – 167 lost homes = 7 net gain over this time last year!!!
  • As of last reporting on 10/06/15, there are currently 351 children “available” to be placed in an adoptive home statewide.  They have many more children “eligible” to adopt, but they are already placed in an adoptive home.
  • Of the 351 children available to adopt only 42 of them are ages 0-5, all of the others are over the age of 6.
  • Region 1, (which includes Logan county where I live and serve as pastor), currently has 69 children available to be placed for adoption are ages listed as follows:
    • There are 6 children available between 0-2
    • There are 5 children available between 3-5
    • There are 36 children available between 6-12
    • There are 22 children available over the age of 13.

I realize this is not your problem. It’s not my problem. After all, these aren’t my kids and probably aren’t yours. Right?

Jesus may not have the same opinion:

An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great” (Luke 9:46-48).

To receive Jesus in a deeper way into your home through fostering or adopting you may apply to become a foster or adoptive family by either calling the Bridge Resource Support Center at 1-800-376-9729 or apply online at www.okbridgefamilies.com.

Imagine if there were so many Christians – lovers of Jesus – that offered themselves to this great work … that there was no more need. Currently there is a need. Will you prayerfully consider what part God wants you to have in expressing the Father’s heart for orphans?

[1] www.orphansunday.org

[2] www.cafo.org

[3] Legal orphan – I am applying this to those who are in temporary custody as a foster child as well as those who have had lost their parents through the legal system due to parental failure (abuse, neglect, etc.)

[4] OKDHS stands for Oklahoma Department of Human Services

About The Author

James Hunt
James Hunt

James serves as the Senior Pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Guthrie, OK. He loves serving Jesus by serving God's people. He also enjoys spending time with his wife of over 20 years as well as his four children. You'll find him just as comfortable in the office deep in thought as he is at a rodeo. He likes boots, jeans, and state park trips with the family. His dream car is actually a 1968 truck. His favorite bicycle is one with a big motor. Of course, he has neither a motorcycle nor an old truck. But a guy can dream, right?

James Hunt has blogged 53 posts at wordslingersok.com

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