Don’t Miss This Opportunity
Over 22 years, 4KIDS has found loving homes for over 28,000 children. Can I get an Amen? You may hear on the news about all the brokenness in society and all the hurting, this is a great opportunity for the church to be the Church.
James 2:15-16 says, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”
Here’s the reality: 1,800 kids are removed from abuse, neglect or abandonment every 12 months. That’s about 6-10 kids removed every day. Also, about 93 kids have been removed in a 15-minute radius around Coastal Church. This is happening in our own county. How should the church respond? What is the responsibility of the church in this issue
James 1:27 (NIV) says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
The word may say “Orphans and Widows”, but this also means neglected, abused, and forgotten. This isn’t just the responsibility of the church, it’s an opportunity for the church – an opportunity to care and love those who are neglected and abused.
There is one story where a troubled child had a lot of pent up anger inside him. The hurting child lashed out by setting fires, busting holes in walls, stealing a van, and getting arrested twice in a month. This traumatized kid was desperately in need of love. All he needed was a family that loved him. Recently, one of the 4KIDS staff brought him to Christ. The love of God knows no bounds.
Where It Began for Kevin Enders
Kevin Enders is the President of 4KIDS, a foster care organization in Florida since 2017. He is a great friend of Pastor TJ and his wife Shayla, they have been friends for several years and have grown close through the foster care system. Kevin and his family’s journey began 12 years ago when Kevin and his wife first received salvation. They took foster care training classes in 2006 with 4KIDS, and they got their foster license in 2007. Kevin and his wife both heard the call to foster babies and other small children.
“It was a simple act of obedience. It all started with an empty bedroom, that bedroom showed us that there was something we could do for a child in need.”
Furthermore, he said that they just stepped forward in faith and asked God,
“What would you have for us?”
“You know when you give God, you know, 5 loafs of bread and two fish, what he does with it is beyond what we can imagine.” “Adoption is not everyone’s story, but it was ours.”
After nearly a decade of serving at 4KIDS, he was offered to have his name to be thrown into the hat for the President for 4KIDS. With Kevin’s experience as the vice-president of Footlocker and as an entrepreneur. A great summary of Kevin’s call to follow God would be the story of the rich man talking to Jesus about following Christ and then Jesus says leave everything and follow me. God was molding him for the position as the president of 4KIDS!
“Leadership is scary, but it’s all about God preparing you for your calling … God gives you a sense of peace when he has you where he wants you.”
Love Others as God Loves You
Speaking of love, some people think “How can I love a child that is not mine?” It’s simple, God can blow up your heart for these kids and show you to love in ways you could ever imagine.
John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
How do I deal with the Heartbreak?
Many people wonder how to deal with returning the foster child to their family or letting go of the foster child to their new adopted family. In can be best described as “Sometimes our hearts break so others can heal.” Just as God’s heart was broken when he gave up his son to die on the cross for, we now have salvation and healing. The same goes with those kids.
Kevin had 30 some interviews for 4KIDS for new foster parents because we don’t have that many homes available for kids. There were times where Kevin had to say no 82 times that they didn’t have a home for a foster kid in a month.
“It’s heart wrenching to think that we have to say no, but that’s why we are just continuing the work.”
More About 4Kids
4KIDS is propelled by the vision of “A Home for Every Child”. 4KIDS looks to connect kids to a home and most of all, hope. Since 1997, 4Kids was created to bring hope and justice to underprivileged kids. 4KIDS helps find a safe and secure environment for thousands of babies, kids, teens, and young adults every year. This new home provides a place to heal and renew their sense of value in their hearts. Also, 4KIDS families aren’t in just one location, they’re spread across 6 Florida counties.
Several family-style homes are also supported by 4KIDS. These homes keep siblings together, because families aren’t meant to be split, they’re meant to be together. They also offer troubled teens a family and give a haven for girls at risk of human trafficking. 4KIDS also provides guidance, support and a haven for the many young women facing unplanned pregnancies in our communities every day. When foster kids age out at 18, 4KIDS offer the Spirit of Success Institute with Independent Living Homes to equip young adults with helpful life skills.
What are 4KIDS’ future plans to combat the foster care crisis?
Using 4KIDS, their goal is to raise up an army of Christian therapists and in the past year and a half 4KIDS went from a staff of 1 to a staff of 11 at 4KIDS. The 4KIDS therapy is called EPIC Therapy. EPIC tackles the Emotional parts of a child, Physical parts of a child, Intellectual parts of a child, and Character parts of a child. EPIC therapy. It really is epic, no pun intended. Through this therapy, the kids are thriving.
How can I Help?
Florida is in a real need for more foster families and supporters. If you feel called to this ministry or interested in being a foster family, there is a Foster Care Orientation on June 25, at 7:00 pm at Coastal Community Church. This class provides an overview of what it takes to be a foster parent! Ask questions, meet other families, and get a picture of how you can get plugged in.
There are also many ways that you can get involved outside of being a foster parent. Prayerfully consider how you can make a difference using FAM (Family Advocacy Ministry).
- Team Leader – PRAY for our families on a weekly basis; help volunteers coordinate with the family.
- Childcare – Be background checked to become a babysitter and create quality time for our foster parents by spending quality time with foster children.
- Meals – Prepare of purchase meals for foster families. 1 meal creates approx. 4 hours of quality time for our foster families!
- Family Helper – Use your unique set of skills to bless a foster family in the areas that you are gifted in (i.e. Handyman services, Cleaning, Laundry, Organizing, Tutoring, Mentoring, etc.)
- Prayer Team – Support foster families in prayer. Pray for God’s best for each child’s future.
One form of worship is obedience. Obedience is to actively respond to God’s call on your life. Action is attached to faith.
James 1:26 speaks on this, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
4KIDS is more of a ministry than an organization. Foster parenting and adoption may or may not be your calling, but everyone can do something to help.
To aid in this crisis, embrace your place.
Watch the Full interview with Pastor Josh and Kevin Enders.