Today there are more than 400,000 children in foster care, and while our country is preoccupied with chasing the American dream, thousands of children long for a family and a place they can call home. Foster children live in almost every community, and it’s a tremendous opportunity for congregations and individuals to serve and minister in their community – even if they don’t feel called to be foster parents themselves.
Coinciding with National Foster Care Month, TJ and Jenn Menn have released an inspiring new book called Faith to Foster (May 2016), which details their courageous journey as foster parents to twenty two children, and how their faith empowered them through it all. From newborns to high school students, to groups of siblings, this young military couple has been able to provide children with a safe place that they could call home in their greatest time of need.
Jenn and TJ Menn met as West Point cadets in 2004. “As young newlyweds, we sought a way to serve the community together, and foster parenting fit well,” says the authors. TJ is currently an Aviation officer in the United States Army and Jenn is a certified member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.
In addition to the stories of children that have walked through their doors, Faith to Foster provides readers with an insider’s look into the role of today’s foster parents. From the enrollment process, to the moment they receive the first of many placement calls, to chronicling their decision making process and navigating the ins and outs of the system, this will be an invaluable resource to individuals who are in the midst, or about to start their foster parenting adventure.
While everyone may not feel called to be foster parents, the authors also note that churches can provide tremendous support to foster families within their congregation or community. Their church has become a lifeline to them during various placements and would provide help in the form of supplies, childcare, mentoring, spiritual support and more.
“Foster parents can intercede early to help shape lives,” says the authors. “What better time to address the problems of poverty, homelessness, crime, and abuse than before they’re ingrained in the minds and lives of little ones?”
Faith to Foster reminds us how God can use us to make a difference in our communities and neighborhoods one child at a time.