Today we had Together Sunday. This was our first joint service with both of our church campuses together. Following the service, we had baptism, a meal, and family fun activities. The best part of the day was seeing three very special kids choose to be baptized.
We are incredibly blessed to be in a church that embraces the call to care for orphans. Foster care and adoption are part of the DNA of our church. On any given week you will see multiple minibusses and 12 passenger vans in our parking lot. You'll see a rainbow of littles in our kid's department, and you'll see families that look more like It's A Small World than the generic picture frame family.
Recently, I had a conversation with a family that adopted a sibling group of four that added some diversity to their family. I asked about their family's story and how they ended up at our church. The dad said what sold them was the day that a person at the church asked if the kids were adopted. He said yes and the response was, just a matter of fact, "that's cool. " There was no praise of how awesome it is that they took them in. The was no talk of what a blessing they must be to the children. There was none of the typical, "I could never do that." His kids weren't put on display as "those poor children" that he and his wife swooped in and saved.
The culture of our church is such that it seems odder to not have a connection to foster care and/or adoption than to have one. Our people are people that see these kids as kids with a story that need a savior just like every other kid. They are kids that deserve for us to be uncomfortable to love them the way Jesus loves them. They deserve for us to put ourselves and our selfish worries aside to see to it that they experience the love of Christ in real and practical ways. They deserve to not only know the love of Jesus but to know the love of a family.
That culture is what made today so special. I watched three precious children, loved by Jesus, loved by their foster and adoptive families, and loved by our church take the next step in their faith. Bryan baptized a brother and sister who found their forever home with an incredible family in our church. I watched a foster dad baptize his foster son. (The foster son that he had the privilege of leading to Christ.) Yes, there were tears, lots of them. (The foster family & friends, our staff, and even me. )