(MNN) — A partnership between ministries is touching wounded children. Bethany Christian Services is working with
Zondervan Publishing to distribute hundreds of Bibles and storybooks to
children in foster care.
John VanValkenberg says the kids are a perfect fit for this project. "They
have suffered so much from neglect or abuse, and that's why they're in foster
care. The goal of foster care is to reunite the children with their parents,
but that doesn't always happen. The
children of foster care really tend to lose hope that they would ever have a
There is a growing need for families to offer the refuge of
a safe home to kids who have been removed from their biological families. According to Bethany,
last year 1,909 children were cared for by 1,110 foster homes.
Foster parents are people who are committed to providing a
loving home for children, learning how to positively parent, and
providing children ample space to grow. Foster parents demonstrate stability
and maturity and represent all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
They must be willing to participate in a family assessment,
become licensed through the state, and follow the licensing rules of the state.
Ongoing educational training is a required part of becoming a member of Bethany's team.
But the hope of Christ transforms lives. The example of a living Gospel is underscored by the Bible
distribution. Biological parents sign a waiver form for their children to get the resources–a gift that speaks volumes to the children.
VanValkenberg says, "They're really excited when they
receive something like a Bible or a storybook that provides encouragement and
motivation to know that there is something that they can have faith in."
is widely known as an adoption agency, but their Christian care extends to
people struggling with unplanned pregnancies, infertility, foster parenting and
a multitude of other challenges. For more than sixty years, Bethany has responded with compassion,
integrity, and commitment to the needs of children and families.