TBCH PARTNERS WITH TENNESSEE FOSTER CARE

By David Roach
Baptist Press

NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services has found a valuable partner to help improve the state’s foster care system: faith-based organizations like the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes.

Since December, TBCH has participated in a collaboration of government and the private sector to encourage foster parenting. Known as TN Fosters, the collaboration seeks to unite state government, faith groups, nonprofit organizations and businesses in recruiting foster parents and supporting foster families. [Read more…]

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ARE PASTORS NEGLECTING A GREAT MISSION?

By Bradford Smith
Missions Pastor, The Way, Clarksville

Bradford Smith

Bradford Smith

Until recently, I’d never heard a sermon on adoption. A great multitude languishes right in our very midst, devoid of hope, desperate in affliction, and ignorant of the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Who will be the one to deliver the words of life to the orphan, even by proxy? This is a great gospel issue.

Here is the logic. Pastors desire to reach the lost with the gospel. Many (most) of the lost are unchurched and statistically unlikely to repent as an adult. Yet, every year, we “graduate” thousands of unchurched children into adulthood via the foster system, swelling the ranks of those least likely to repent. [Read more…]

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ADOPTION PICTURE OF SALVATION, PARENTS SAY

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

Nathan and Jennifer Washburn with children Owen RenLi and Kara Victoria.

Nathan and Jennifer Washburn with children Owen RenLi and Kara Victoria.

GREENBRIER — Nathan and Jennifer Washburn rank parenting among their greatest joys, but a desire to have children was not their main motivation in adopting.

Instead, the couple who married in 2004 point to spiritual value as their main motivation for their 2010 adoption from Kazakhstan of Kara Victoria Washburn, now 5, and, in 2014 from China, Owen RenLi Washburn, 3.

“It was primarily a theological motivation to adopt,” Nathan Washburn, pastor of First Baptist Church, Greenbrier, told Baptist Press. “It’s such a great picture of our spiritual adoption in Christ.”

As Southern Baptists observed Jan. 17 as Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, which was placed on the convention calendar in 1988, Washburn describes adoption as a practical application of honoring the value God has ordained in all of human life.

“Although there are different circumstances in life and different stages of life, there’s not a spectrum to God’s image in people,” Washburn said. “Every person bears His image and bears it in its fullness. There’s really no difference.” [Read more…]

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