Guest Speaker: Darrin Miller, Youth for Christ
Pastor Chris introduced our guest speaker who shared the challenge and joy of meeting the need for Foster Care in our community. Guest speaker, Darrin Miller shared his family’s journey. Just 9-years ago, the Millers said, “Yes!” to foster care and then adoption. Darrin challenged us to examine our hearts in light of God’s Father Heart as expressed in His Word. He asked us the overarching question, “How should we live out God’s mission in the way of City Central: “We Adore God, Become like Jesus, and Contend for the Kingdom.” His answer: becoming like Jesus is to know the Father’s love for the fatherless.
2 You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our[a] hearts, to be known and read by all. 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 2 Cor. 3:2-3 (ESV)
God manifests His love through the example of Jesus, the penultimate “Rescuer.” Scripture is clear, we believers are the ones who’ve been rescued and who are imparted by His Spirit to become rescuers, bringing especially the orphan, widow, and foreigner. Darrin reminded us that we are the vehicle that God uses to extend His kingdom. While the emphasis in this mission is on the orphans, we need to see them as the Father does, as individuals – people, like us, created by God with divine design and purpose.
4 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[b] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 12:8-17(ESV)
Darrin and Sue have needed to rely on God as Jehovah Jireh, “Provider,” in their answer to His call. Their six children are the living testament to their response to be the extension of God’s love to those who were unloved. God has performed miracles in response to tragic circumstances to make the Millers a family like the family of God, adopted sons and daughters of the King! Darrin’s clear lesson from this experience is that it’s not about us doing something great, but about God doing something great in our hearts.
3 … when we were children, [we] were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:2–5 (ESV)
5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, Ephesians 1:5 (ESV)
Questions with eternal impact have been asked. The Millers have answered. They are presenting them to us as witnesses that answering God’s call to be the family of God means he’ll provide what we need to spend our lives on behalf of others. Darrin interviewed two of his kids who shared what family means to them. His son knew the answer immediately, “Family means people who love me, both family and church family and friends.” His daughter was reflective, but clear, “Following the Lord means doing the little things, taking kids to soccer, helping with my younger siblings, I don’t regret anything I’ve said, “Yes” to, over the years.”
27 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. James 1:27 (ESV)
If we’re not careful, we can leave Church the same way we came in. Darrin insisted that the Bible supports the truth that God has a heart for the orphans and that every generation must rise to the quest of opening our hearts and lives to them as well.
17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. Isaiah 1:17 (ESV)
5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. Psalm 68:5-6 (ESV)
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. Psalm 27:10 (ESV)
Lastly, Darrin encouraged us, “Don’t disqualify yourself. We are all adopted. Ask the Lord what you should do. He will bless your “Yes!””
19 “When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 24:19-22 (ESV)
1. What do you suppose it was so important to God that He created a “family of God?”Why not simply disciples, or followers, or adherents of God?
2. Read James 1:27 again. How do you think God wants us to live out “religion that is pure and undefiled?”
In what ways do we as the church, and individual Christians, demonstrate this principle?
3. What might some people say they are scared of if they answer the call to become a foster or adoptive parent?
4. What opportunities exist for us to say, “Yes!” to God’s call to be the rescuer to the orphans and vulnerable children in our community?
1. After hearing of the need and the challenge, what is God opening your heart to with regard to foster and adoptive care?
2. List some of the ways that you’ve “disqualified” yourself from helping meet this need.
Ask God what might qualify you to be a foster parent?
How might you otherwise support the church and community in providing these orphans a “forever-home?”
City Central has partnered for many years with the foster care agency Olive Crest. Representatives were on-hand to help anyone considering fostering to reach out for their guidance. You can find more information on opportunities like Standard Fostering, Respite Care, Foster-to-Adopt, and Emergency Care by visiting their website at https://www.olivecrest.org/pacific-northwest/fostering/. Staff are glad to answer any questions, even put you in touch with a family at City Central who have been on a foster parenting journey already.