WRAP Around

One thing I love about being a believer is the gift of fellowship with other believers. God created us to be in relationship. He created us to care for one another, to shoulder one another’s burdens, and to share in one another’s joy.

One of my favorite books of the Bible is the book of Acts. I love studying the early church. They went about passionately sharing the gospel but while doing so, they were tightly knit together. They provided for one another’s needs, and encouraged and spurred one another on.

We have spent the last several weeks (months:) in church digging deep into Acts chapter 2. Verse 42 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”. This is a picture of community…. the same community that God calls His children to. I’m afraid that we have settled for a cheapened version of community in most of our churches. We are too busy, too tired, too introverted, too prideful …. and the list goes on.

I’m certain God knew that we would be worn out, exhausted and lonely with out the fellowship, prayer and concern of one another. Just as He designed us to be in relationship with Him, He designed us to be in relationship with each other.

Families who choose to adopt or foster children, often times encounter unexpected challenges and hurdles. Even in the smoothest transitions, families need the support of their church family. As in the case of other areas of life, asking for help can sometimes be difficult. Maybe you have been called to adopt or foster and you know too well the need for others to link arms with you and cover your family in prayer. Maybe you are not called to adopt or foster but you certainly desire to be obedient to God’s command and help care for orphans and children in need. One of our hopes and goals at Altar84 is to share ways that you can “care” for those who are personally bringing these children into their homes and lives.

Recently, we were introduced to a  program offered by Focus on the Family, called WRAP. Here is what WRAP stands for:

Wrestle in prayer

Respite care

Acts of service

Promises of God

Wrestle in prayer: Many adoptive and foster children have experienced much pain and grief. Much of their childhood and dreams have been stolen by the enemy. However, God wants to restore and redeem their lives through placing them in a new, loving family. When this takes place the enemy will not stand idly by. He often continues attacks on the family as they struggle to help their child heal and they begin to introduce them to the Ultimate Healer of their wounds. These families need YOU to wrestle in prayer for them.

If you feel called to support a family through prayer, in addition to their obvious needs, you should talk with them to learn how you can be very specific in your petitioning for them and their new child. Maybe you can seek out a group who will join you by committing to pray for this family. Then together, you want to pray fervently and often. Stay in touch with the family to remind them of your prayers and enjoy praising with them as God heals and restores.

Respite care: This is “short-term or temporary care … to provide relief to the regular caregiver”. Respite care will likely not need to take place for some time after bringing a child into a new family. It takes time for a child to bond and feel attached to a new family, and allowing others to care for a newly adoptive or foster child can cause confusion. Once the child feels secure and safe, parents are sure to be in need of rest and time alone.

If there is a family you want to wrap around by providing respite care for, you will want to spend time getting to know the child well before being left to care for him or her. This time allows you to minister to the child while allowing your friends to focus on their marriage and enjoy much needed time to rest and refuel.

Acts of service: We have all been given spiritual gifts and talents that we were meant to put to use. What better way to use our gifts than by serving an adoptive or foster family. This is simple. If you have a gift for cooking, then you might prepare meals for the family. If you like to do yard work, you could keep their yard mowed and cleaned. Maybe you are out and about a lot, which is hard sometimes for a new mom. If so, you could run errands and grocery shop for your friends. Maybe you are gifted at cleaning and organizing and you could spend some time every week, cleaning and doing laundry for this family.

The options are limitless in how you can serve an adoptive or foster family. Be willing to ask them what their needs are and then prayerfully consider how you can best serve them.

Promises of God: God’s Word is living and active and He makes us many promises that can encourage us during different seasons of life. If you have time each week to send notes, e-mails or even call to remind your friends of what God’s Hope-filled Word says, this may be the best way for you to serve. Adoptive and foster families, as well as their children, need to be reminded of who God is and what He is capable of doing. In the chaos of transitions, we often times fail to remember His truths.

I encourage you to take time to pray through how the LORD may be asking you to WRAP Around the adoptive and foster families in your church or community. Many times these families are not willing to ask for help so we should take the initiative to link arms and walk this amazing journey with them. Can you think of anything more exciting than a front row seat to watch God perform a miracle of redemption in the life of a once orphaned child? I CAN’T!!!

Until there’s NO more,