A few months back, Amy Groeschel and I had the chance to chat with the incredibly charming Sandra Stanley on The Messy Table Podcast, a partner of Life.Church Sisters, where she shared some of her passions with us—one of which is being a foster mom.
Andy and Sandra Stanley lead North Point Ministries, a multi-site church in the Atlanta Metro, that Life.Church considers extended family. The Stanleys not only have a heart for the “capital C” Church and spreading the good news about Jesus, but also a genuine love for kids from hard places.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT
May happens to be Foster Care Awareness Month, but God’s mandate to the Church concerning those who are orphaned and powerless is timeless (Psalm 82:3-4; James 1:27). Sandra’s personal experiences regarding the joys and challenges of being a foster mom opened my eyes a little wider, and I’d love to pass along her wisdom.
3 Things I Learned from Sandra:
- Fostering is needed. Sandra and her family had been on several overseas mission trips, but it wasn’t until serving with a foster organization in her own community that she realized the dire need right in front of her. Becoming aware of this issue—hundreds of displaced kids in her own hometown—is what stirred her to action. We can all play a part in fostering, whether that’s taking kids into your own home, providing respite care when a foster family needs a break, supporting other foster parents financially or emotionally, or fighting with them through prayer.
- Fostering is messy. We live in a sinful, fallen world that is far from perfect. On top of that, kids enter the foster system because they’ve endured especially difficult situations. There are emotional, spiritual, and even physical complications to wade through and help untangle, not just once, but indefinitely. Every child is unique and every fostering circumstance varies, but one thing is certain: God shows up in the mess. He doesn’t necessarily provide all the answers up front or tell us what will happen in the end, but He does give us the capacity to do the next right thing—one day (and one moment) at a time.
- Fostering is worth it. Foster kids aren’t projects to fix; they are people to love. They are sons of the Most High and daughters of the King of all kings. Foster parents who care for those who can’t care for themselves and speak for those who can’t speak for themselves are heroes, but the kids aren’t the only ones who benefit. Sandra shared how these kids have not only captivated her and her husband’s hearts, but their biological children as well (not to mention the community of friends and family surrounding them). Now, Andy and Sandra’s three adult children each have their own passion for foster kids. I think it’s safe to say: Compassion is contagious.