USA (MNN) — Globally, 130 million children have lost one or both parents. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 500,000 children in foster care. May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, and Bethany Christian Services is rallying prayer warriors for this year's National Foster Care Prayer Vigil May 17-24.
In Holland, Michigan, one church has organized a vigil on May 20th to raise awareness about the 17,000 children in foster care in Michigan. The vigil will include portraits of foster
children and a village of homes made out of 6,000 Popsicle sticks. This number represents all the children waiting for a foster family in Michigan. Activities are planned too: tying fleece blankets for new foster kids, prayer points at displays, a praise service, and a call for donations of gently-used stuffed animals, books, or personal hygiene items for local foster
The National Foster Care Vigil is a reminder you that your prayer vigil doesn't have to be quite that formal. They suggest integrating it into a planned Bible study, lunch with co-workers,
a trip to the beach, or any other activity. If you want, you can register your vigil online so that other believers in your area can join you. There are vigils posted all over the U.S. if you'd like to join one that has already been planned.
One person who participated in a previous vigil said, "There were black and white, old and young, male and female, Methodists, Baptist, Pentecostals — all together. Nothing mattered but the children and crying out for their needs." Of a separate vigil, another person said that it was "encouraging to know that even though our group was small, there were others joining together across the nation."
If you're unsure what to pray about, go online to learn more about the life of foster children and what happens to waiting children. They are 54% less likely to earn a
high-school diploma if removed from foster care at age 18. They usually suffer from not having had the emotional and psychological support they need.
Putting a child in a Christian foster home or a forever home will give them a positive influence and more opportunities to hear the Gospel and accept Christ as their Savior.