By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
MONROE, La. (LBM) – The Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries has an urgent need for a husband and wife to accept the call to serve as cottage parents.
The couple will have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on children in their care on the ministry’s campus in Monroe, according to LBCH President and CEO Perry Hancock.
“The greatest staff need we have at the present time is loving, compassionate cottage parents,” Hancock told the Baptist Message. “They are at the center of everything we are trying to accomplish in a child’s life. Cottage parents provide the support, encouragement, and guidance that our children so desperately need. They have the opportunity not only to prepare a child for life but also for life eternal.
“It is the positive Christian witness of our Cottage Parents that often leads a child to accept Jesus as Savior,” he continued. “If any Baptist couple felt that serving in this role might be God’s call for their lives, we would love to talk with them and pray with them about this great ministry opportunity.”
Susan Nolan, executive director of child and family services for the LBCH, said the parents have the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ to children, who many times may never have experienced the love of Jesus in other settings.
The couple would join a team that includes three other cottage parents who lead their children to participate in many day-to-day activities that other Louisiana Baptist families enjoy, including eating meals together, sending the kids to school, taking the children to church and on vacation and supporting them in extra-curricular activities. What separates the cottages from a normal home, Nolan said, are the on-campus opportunities, such as social workers and a nurse available and recreational activities.
“They can positively influence these children. A loving, caring and nurturing parent can challenge them the rest of their lives,” Nolan said. “They don’t have to wonder where their next meal is coming from or if they will be safe in the home.
“Many of the children want to grow spiritually and emotionally and cottage parents get to live out their faith with them,” Nolan shared. “I think about Christ with the children on his lap and the love and compassion He showed to them. That’s what our foster parents do. They provide stability and faith.
“You can take children to church every time the doors are open and if the environment where they are cared for is the opposite of what they experience at church, they won’t see Christ. Children don’t learn what you tell them to do. They watch you and learn by example,” she offered.
For more information on how to apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org.