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“Bethany Christian Services is a recognized global leader as a nonprofit adoption and child welfare agency working with hurting families and finding children the sustainable support and essential love they need.”
Posted 3/26/15 at 10:44 AM | Bethany Christian Services
Homosexuality has been a difficult issue for the Church. The tone around this topic seems to land at two extremes: hotly debated or not discussed at all. It is a complex issue, especially when advocates on all sides defend their perspectives with Scripture. Those closely following this conversation are likely asking one of two questions: how should the Church respond or when will the Church respond. No response is no longer an option.
Caught in middle are those whose faith and sexuality are key to their identity. Justin Lee is the founder of the Gay Christian Network and author of Torn:Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs-Christians Debate. I spoke with Justin about the struggle for acceptance in the Church, and how Christians can follow Jesus’ example of showing love and compassion to every person, with no exceptions. Listen to our conversation here and consider how we are called to care for every child. FULL POST
Posted 3/4/15 at 9:51 AM | Bethany Christian Services
As the leader of a child welfare and social services agency, I would be remiss to not recognize this March as National Social Work Awareness month—its theme “Paving the Way” for change.
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts social work as one of the fastest growing careers in the United States with more than 650,000 professionals holding social work degrees. The very word social,in all its forms, seems to drive our society like never before. We are “social”when we belong to a group or community. And of course, we constantly engage or interact with others on various social media platforms. Social can also describe our unique personalities, according to the degree we interact with others. FULL POST
Posted 3/1/15 at 8:55 PM | Bethany Christian Services
Bethany Christian Services and our partners in Zambia are taking another step forward for family-based care. We are ramping up our efforts to establish foster-to-adopt homes over the next four years for 200 children who are currently on the streets or institutionalized.
Our ministry in Zambia is a prime example of Bethany’s commitment to family-based care. Our Milk and Medicine program, which provides for orphaned babies and babies whose mothers have HIV/AIDS, is, and will continue to be, an important part of the social services Bethany provides in Zambia through our One Family support. The Christian Alliance for Children (CACZ), part of Alliance for Children Everywhere (ACE), has been our partner in Zambia since 2008. Working together with CACZ, we hope to place 50 children in foster homes this calendar year. FULL POST
Posted 2/24/15 at 9:33 PM | Bethany Christian Services
In honor of Black History month, guest blogger Dr. Steven Timmermans, executive director of Christian Reformed Church of North America, shares how our nation’s roots in racial reconciliation helped to plant the seed for a family tree he and his wife never imagined.
Dr. John M. Perkins has been a contribution of relocation and racial reconciliation. Raised by his grandmother and extended family of sharecroppers, Perkins’ early life was marked by racism. He was 17 when he lost his brother to a fatal shooting by a police officer. He moved to California where he started a family. Ten years after his brother’s death, Perkins accepted his son’s invitation to attend church, and there he found new life in Christ. In his early thirties, he moved to Mississippi and founded the Voice of Calvary Bible Institute.
When my wife and I traveled to Mississippi for a conference more than 35 years ago, we never expected the life-changing challenge we received from Dr. Perkins. His words changed our lives forever. Perkins shared that Scripture calls the races to be reconciled, just as God reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and that God has given us a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). He said that he considers his life to be a holistic ministry—an effort to free us all from the bondage of racism and repair the damage racism had done. FULL POST
Posted 2/17/15 at 9:40 PM | Bethany Christian Services
If you had to choose, would you use your last $40 on groceries this week or to take your sick child to the doctor? Would you spend it at the gas station so you could get to work or at the pharmacy so your child could get well?
The high cost of healthcare has forced many parents to make these difficult choices. Acacia Bamberg Salatti is the Director of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She recently joined me as an Every Child podcast guest to share about provisions in the Affordable Care Act that provide medical and preventive care for many of the families and children Bethany serves—single parents, vulnerable children with significant medical needs, and teens aging out of foster care. Listen here. FULL POST
Posted 2/17/15 at 12:52 AM | Bethany Christian Services
8 Ways Infertility Changes You Forever -- Before You Parent
Can good ever come from suffering? It sounds like a cliché, but any believer who has faced life-changing challenges knows that profound insights and newfound wisdom often result from the trials we endure in life. Wendi Kitsteiner shares changes she perceives in herself since she began her infertility journey. FULL POST
Posted 2/9/15 at 9:13 PM | Bethany Christian Services
Two films are being released on Valentine’s Day—Old Fashioned and Fifty Shades of Grey. In Old Fashioned, we witness love that is transformational, while Fifty Shades of Grey promotes transactional relationships without love.
Today’s culture and media promote a lifestyle that we find difficult to relate to. The world is broken, and we as Christians are not immune. We too experience divorce, premarital relations, broken homes, rejection, and a lot of hurt in our lives. We ask ourselves how we and our children can live in the world but not become “of the world”. How do we raise our children to uphold Biblical principles that honor ourselves and God? We need hope and healing. The kind portrayed in Old Fashioned.
Family is the first most common, simple, and successful institution that most benefits a child’s welfare. Keeping families together and bringing families together is the core of Bethany’s work – for the benefit of every child. At Bethany, we seek to serve with love that transforms, heals, and provides hope to families.
Posted 2/9/15 at 9:04 PM | Bethany Christian Services
Bethany’s fees are based on actual costs for the services we provide, which is not only our practice but also a requirement of our accreditation by the Council on Accreditation. In other words, we cannot profit from providing adoption services. Our fees for both domestic and international adoption are structured based on the costs of our adoption services, such as conducting home studies, providing counseling for both expectant parents and the prospective adoptive families, and processing various legally required documents and court filings. Further, COA requires a number of hours of training for the adoptive family, which we provide through paid Christian professionals who uphold our gold standards and best practices. FULL POST
Posted 2/8/15 at 10:26 PM | Bethany Christian Services
What happens when a Baptist church and government officials climb over the wall that separates church and state? You might expect a fight, but First Baptist Church of Simpsonville, South Carolina is not your normal church. And as it turns out, folks in the Statehouse aren’t the bad guys.
It all started when children’s minister, Dr. Rhonda Littleton, felt God calling the church to do something in the community.
“We spent a year praying, asking God to show us what he wanted us to do,” she said.
The result is a ministry they call “A Home for Me,” that focuses on foster care, adoption, and family reunification—partnering with the state’s Department of Social Services. Is it really possible for a church to work with the government without compromising their beliefs? Dr. Littleton believes it’s not only possible, but something that more churches should be doing. In our recent conversation, she explains how and why. FULL POST
Posted 1/30/15 at 6:32 PM | Bethany Christian Services
Human trafficking of any kind is a tremendous blight on God’s world, but the existence of child slavery is particularly incomprehensible for many of us. How can anyone deliberately do such damage to a child for profit? As Christians, we must not merely ask how this can be, but we must act to prevent, protect, and restore. That is what we at Bethany believe we must do for those young lives that do—or could—fall victim to this global abomination.
Ten-year-old Nicole* and her family in Ghana believed a relative’s friend when she said she could give their daughter a better life and education in the states. Instead, she forced Nicole into years of slavery in plain sight of neighbors and customers at the salons where she worked seven days a week to make money for this woman and her husband. Eventually Nicole was rescued by police after an astute observer placed a call to the authorities. She was provided a foster care home through Bethany’s refugee program where she was given security and value as a human being—which every child deserves. Today, she is an adult, living productively on her own—no longer a victim of human trafficking—but a survivor. FULL POST