By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
MONROE – For the first time since starting its off-campus foster care ministry five years ago, the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home has surpassed the benchmark of placing 100 children in foster care in a one-year period, and officials are asking more Louisiana Baptists to open their homes to foster children.
While the milestone is worthy of celebration, Children’s Home President and CEO Perry Hancock said during the trustees’ Sept. 22 meeting that the potential exists to reach even more children and families with the Gospel through this home placement ministry.
“With great need there is great opportunity,” Hancock said. “This is a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in the next generation. If we had more Louisiana Baptists open their homes for foster care, we would make a big difference in this coming generation in Louisiana.”
Through the end of September, 100 children were on-campus residents and 102 were in foster homes.
This increase is due in part to Connect 1:27, a network that assists churches with the development of foster and adoption ministries and that works with Christian families interested in serving as foster and adoptive parents. Connect 1:27 offers online resources, monthly e-newsletters, toolkits designed as ministry guides and conferences that both inform prospective foster care and adoptive parents and trains those currently serving in that capacity.
Connect 1:27 is based on God’s command of James 1:27 – “Religion that our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
FOSTER CARE INFO MEETINGS
Every month, the Children’s Home holds a series of informational meetings for families considering adoption and foster care.
Details for meetings in October are:
Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home
7200 DeSiard St.
Monroe, LA 71203
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Boulevard Baptist Church
10915 Florida Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70815
For more information, e-mail email@example.com
First Baptist Church, New Orleans
5290 Canal Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70124
First Baptist Church, Covington
16333 Highway 1085
Covington, LA 70433
For more information, visit crossroadsnola.org/fosternola/infomtg/
North Point Community Church
4204 Airline Drive
Bossier City, LA 71111
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Hancock also updated trustees on its Haiti partnership.
Through the Louisiana Reach Haiti Project, the Children’s Home, Louisiana Baptist Convention, Haiti Baptist Convention and 40 Louisiana Baptist congregations are teaming up to have a permanent presence in the country.
Through a series of annual mission trips to Haiti, volunteers conduct Vacation Bible School, serve in medical clinics and perform light construction on a children’s village and pastor’s training center.
The October 2017 trip already is full, but applications are being accepted for 2018 mission efforts scheduled for June 2-8 and Oct. 13-19.
Haiti was devastated by a 2010 earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. Louisiana Baptists were among the first to provide disaster relief, and since then have maintained a ministry presence through mission trips that includes construction projects, pastor training, medical clinics, food, water and clothing distributions, evangelism, children’s Bible clubs and Vacation Bible School.
Louisiana Baptists acquired land in September 2016, and soon after volunteers completed a 200-feet-deep well that provides water for residents of the community.
“The children’s village and school in Haiti provide Louisiana Baptists with the opportunity to prepare a generation of young Christian leaders who could make a significant impact for Christ in their own nation,” Hancock said.
Visit connect127.org or call 318.343.2244 to learn more about the Haiti mission trips or the Connect 1:27 Network.