Hearts for Jesus welcome
Our Hearts for Jesus 2016 campaign will help our school children understand important biblical concepts of engaging people in meaningful ministry, helping them experience and embrace God's love in their lives. Our focus under these important themes will be our work with foster children, extended to include foster children who are now waiting for a forever family through adoption.
Currently, Michigan has over 13,000 children in foster care, and 1,800 waiting for forever families — having had parental rights terminated by the courts. Children are placed in foster care after other interventions have failed, but generally are removed from their family's home as a result of abuse, neglect, and violence. Children in foster care, on average, remain in "the system" for two years before permanency is determined (ie. either reunited with family or rights terminated and available for adoption).
While the themes of the campaign will focus on engaging people so that they experience and embrace God's love, the specific focus of the curriculum will include:
- God's creation plan for the family as the key unit in society, reinforcing that God has designed healthy families in large part to nurture, love, and train children.
- God's creation plan for kids, and the important role they play in healthy families as they are "trained up in the way they should go" so that they are equipped to serve God throughout their lives (God-given potential)
- God's creation design is broken through sin, and therefore not all families are healthy, strong, and following God's design. As a result, kids all around us find themselves in foster care or even without a family.
- We can fulfill God's purpose in our lives by helping (engaging) others to experience and embrace God's love, despite the brokeness of the world.
Our goal with this campaign, consistent with the work of Wellspring Lutheran Services, is to help the school children see the lives of these foster/adopt children through an “intergenerational lens,” connecting God’s design for the family — which includes the blessings and richness of life with moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins. In healthy families, the generations remain lovingly connected; this is part of God’s design and we believe it is critical in helping fostered and adopted children to move to a place where they can truly experience and embrace God’s love in their lives.