Often, the experiences that bring children into foster care are frightening and traumatizing. These children have experienced chaos, and the worlds they have known have been turned upside down. They have endured things that have left them scared, burdened, and carry emotional and physical scars. They have never experienced a love that never fails.
These are some of the messages we share with the children that enter foster care with Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries (ABCH).
- Jesus sees us and loves us.
- He knows our names.
- God knows our sins, yet still loves us.
- He created us for His purposes.
- Jesus desires a personal relationship with us.
- He sees our pain and our wounds.
- God collects our tears.
- He offers us a healing touch—a balm for our hurts.
- Jesus offers hope in a sin‐filled world.
- He is trustworthy and faithful.
Nicole* entered foster care as a teenager. We learned she had been called many derogatory names, most notably, “that girl.” No one had sought to know her or truly care for her. For most of her life, her mother had left her on the doorstep of others to care for her. She was abused by many, but the wounds that hurt the most were from her mother. She was broken. Felt she had no worth.
When she entered foster care with ABCH, Nicole experienced nurture and love for the first time. She heard the Gospel, and over time, and began to experience healing that only the Lord can do. Learned that God loved her and desired a relationship with her, that she was wanted and valued by God. She grew in her knowledge of God through studying the Bible with her house parents and Sunday School teacher. As a result, at a youth retreat, she invited Jesus into her heart and followed with baptism.
Nicole stopped on the steps of the baptismal, moments her baptism. She asked her house parent if she could pray for her mother. Though she had experienced much abuse and neglect at her mother’s hands, she recognized that God loved her mother too. Nicole prayed for forgiveness for her ill actions toward her mother and prayed that her mother, in turn, would come to know His saving grace. She also prayed that God would heal their relationship. Through all of this, she learned her name is written across the palms of the Lord’s hands, and He has deemed her precious and priceless. In turn, she could not wait to share this Good News with others.
Alexis* entered foster care while in elementary school. Just like Nicole, she had experienced years of neglect. Alexis was malnourished due to lack of proper food and looked much younger than her stated age. She was developmentally delayed and significantly behind others her age due to the neglect she had experienced. Like many who have experienced neglect, Alexis held a core belief of, “I do not matter.” She lacked confidence and trusted others more than herself.
Alexis learned about God during her time with us at ABCH, That He loved her so much that He sent His one and only Son to die for her. Alexis hungered to grow in her relationship with the Lord. She was full of questions for her house parents and Sunday School teacher. At bedtime, her house mom would read her Bible stories and patiently answer her questions regarding spiritual matters. One night, Alexis let her house mom know that she had a strong desire to accept Christ as her Savior, but she felt incapable. She feared her words would be inadequate.
She asked her house mom if she would say the prayer for her because she did not think her words would be good enough for God to hear. Alexis’ house mom gently explained that Alexis’ words were important to the Lord; God desired to hear her words and what was on her heart. Alexis knelt beside her bed and prayed using her own words to invite Jesus Christ to be her Lord and Savior. She learned that she mattered to God. He loved her. A few days later, Alexis met with her pastor and shared her decision to accept the Lord into her heart. He was supportive, spending time sharing how to grow in her relationship with the Lord.
His Love Never Fails
Each of these young ladies entered foster care wounded, scared, broken, and feeling alone. Their experiences were traumatic. However, each one was embraced, loved, and introduced to a loving Savior who knew them before they were even born and who offers hope and wholeness in Him. Nicole and Alexis experienced love by the body of Christ and were pointed to the truth of who they are in Christ. They learned that He alone can save. His love never fails.