No “pulling punches,” church advocates for adoption, foster care

WAXAHACHIE—“Adoption is maybe the most explicit picture of the gospel,” said Aaron Clayton, pastor of Remedy Church in Waxahachie. “We were those neglected, hurting, helpless, fighting people, without hope, until God intervened in our lives and rescued us.”

Encouraging adoption and foster care has been a focus of Remedy Church since its beginning in September 2011 with 12 adults and five children in Clayton’s living room. Remedy Church is supported by sponsor church Hillcrest Baptist Church in Cedar Hill and the SBTC church planting division, and has grown to about 65 people in 18 months.

“The primary reason we support orphan and foster care is because it is central to the heart of God,” Clayton said. “Throughout Scripture, God highlights his heart for orphans and specifically charges his people to care for these defenseless people. My conviction is that any church that is not involved in this disregards a major theme of Scripture and is disobedient to the Spirit and the heart of God.”

Remedy Church takes this charge seriously, promoting adoption and foster care in various ways among its congregation. The church meets in space rented from the Texas Baptist Home, which is a foster care and adoption ministry in Waxahachie that is an affiliated ministry partner of SBTC. “We’ve done lunches for their staff as a way to serve those who serve orphans and foster kids. We’ve hosted gift drives and gift-wrapping parties benefitting the kids at the home. We’ve done some clean up in various buildings on campus, and we’ve participated and served at their 5K, raising money for adoption and foster care work.”

Recognizing Orphan Sunday, the first Sunday of November, also increases awareness of adoption and foster care. “We put adoption resources in front of our people, highlighted some specific ways people could get involved immediately and for the long haul, and spent the day laying out the scriptural call to the church to care for orphans.”

Cultivating a culture of adoption is also ongoing at Remedy Church.

“This is something that will take time to do, but our hope is to see orphan care, foster care and adoption become regular parts of our ministry and our conversation at Remedy,” Clayton said. “We already have several families either praying and considering foster or adopting or already taking steps toward it. Our hope is to provide resources and support for these families, including financial help, in order to cultivate a culture of caring for orphans, even at a cost to ourselves.”

In addition to cultivating an adoption culture inside the church, Remedy Church also encourages community awareness of foster care and adoption needs. “Chick-fil-A has asked us to put on their family night periodically, and we use it as an opportunity to invite the families of Waxahachie to participate in orphan care with us through these various outlets. We also use Facebook, our website and personal invites to engage people.”

Engaging the church through finances is the final way Remedy Church encourages foster care and adoption awareness. “We have challenged our people to give above their regular offerings to what we call our Missio Dei Offering. It is our mission offering, given year-round and emphasized in the Advent/Christmas season. One hundred percent of what is given to it is used for six missional causes, one of which is orphan care, so we are challenging people to give regularly toward orphan care and adoption,” Clayton noted.

While challenging his church to embrace God’s heart through adoption, Clayton also lives what he preaches and understands the sacrificial nature of adoption firsthand. He and his wife, Charity, adopted a child from Kazakhstan in 2009.

“We know the road is hard,” he said. “It was by far the hardest season of our lives, exceeded only by how hard it’s been since we came home. So, yes, it’s a hard and costly road. And we don’t pull any punches when we talk about it as a family or as a church. People need to know what they are getting into and count the cost.

“The beauty of it is that it mirrors what God did for us in sending Jesus. We had nothing that should attract him to us or that earned his approval or gained his favor. He chose us and adopted us into his family based on his purpose and grace. Knowing the cost, he willingly paid it to bring us into his family, and he still walks with us down a hard road of rebellion, sin and struggle.

“This is the call to adopt, and after we have weighed the incredibly high cost, we should knowingly, humbly say ‘yes’ anyway, willing to walk down this road in obedience and with courage, believing that Jesus is more satisfying than comfort, security or convenience.”

Stephanie Heading
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