8046 children in Oklahoma were in the foster care system as of Jan. 1. On the front page of the Tulsa World today was an article about the 843 meth labs found in Oklahoma this past year, with 429 of them being in Tulsa. When the parents are arrested, the kids enter into DHS care. That is just one of the ways that children enter the foster care system. In Tulsa, the kids are picked up by the police and brought to the Laura Dester shelter. It is supposed to provide a temporary stop of a day or two. Instead, for some, it ends up being the place where they might spend weeks or months. They could be in a safe, stable family situation, only there are not enough foster families available for all the children.

Taking the child in his arms, [Jesus] said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”
Mark 9:36-37

There is a solution that could take care of this issue. The solution was proposed at the 8046 Foster Care Conference: 1-1-1. If one child was taken care of by one family out of each one church in Oklahoma, there would be enough homes for every child in the DHS system to have a safe place to go.

“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.
Ezekiel 22:30

Right now those kids need families and churches to stand in the gap and fulfill our true responsibilities: to care for the orphans, just as God cared for us and adopted us when we needed His help the most. Thank God that He was so merciful to us to send Jesus. Now we have the opportunity to spread His love to these children that need love, more than anything else.

If you would like more information about getting involved in foster care of children, there are a few places you can go for more information. \

You could contact my church with questions, and there are also links to the necessary paperwork you would need if you wanted to start along the road to foster care:
http://www.tcabc.com/
foster@tcabc.com

You can visit the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Foster Care page:

http://www.okdhs.org/programsandservices/foster/

This is also a good site about foster care in Oklahoma, Bridge Family Resource Center:

http://www.okbridgefamilies.com/