Care Communities in Action

Montgomery, Alabama is a revolving door for many military families. They move in and out on a yearly basis in what has become their life’s pattern of service to our country. Many of these military families join local churches in order to provide a semblance of stability and normalcy for their children. They jump in and form new relationships with an ease of practiced skill, knowing that time is ticking if they want to make new friends. 

Last summer one such new military family moved to Alabama from New Jersey. They joined the Vaughn Forest Baptist Church as they settled into their new life in Montgomery. While in New Jersey, they had been trying to adopt a sibling group of three boys (8, 10, 11). However, the adoption hadn’t been finalized before their move. The two states didn’t work easily together and as of January, they still hadn’t had their Alabama Child Welfare/Adoption training. They were scheduled to transfer to another state by June of 2020. If the adoption wasn’t finalized by then, they would yet again be faced with starting the process over. 

This is where the church stepped in.

Vaughn Forest Baptist Church has been supporting foster and adoptive families through an active Family Advocacy Ministry (FAM.) Agape of Central Alabama supports Vaughn Forest because Agape recently became an affiliate of Promise686. Promise686, which is a non-profit ministry based out of Atlanta, GA, and its affiliates like Agape, equip churches to:

  • Raise awareness around the needs of vulnerable children

  • Help prevent children from going into foster care by supporting biological families in need

  • Recruit and equip foster & adoptive families

  • Create Care Communities for those caring for at-risk kids

Vaughn Forest Baptist Church has a vibrant FAM with Care Communities ready to serve foster and adoptive families. This new family asked for a Care Community to come alongside them in prayer. They didn’t need the other aspects of service – just prayer. Mighty, powerful, and sustaining prayer. Vaughn Forest gathered a group of volunteers to fulfill this request. They prayed and walked alongside this family through their journey.

The three boys were facing anxiety and had experienced various traumas in their young lives. They were facing an unknown future made less certain with the onset of COVID-19. However, even in the midst of a global pandemic, God heard the prayers and He answered. He sped the adoption process and paved the way for the adoption to be finalized. The caseworker came to their home to conduct the training and complete the necessary steps. The boys’ adoption was finalized on June 16, and the movers came to pack the house the next day. Six days later they moved out of state with their family cemented as a forever family. The Care Community at Vaughn Forest and this family were blessed to witness the hand of God moving the process of adoption forward while almost everything else in the world had come to a screeching halt. In this case, the true impact was felt by everyone involved.   

Promise686 and Agape believe every church can do something to make a difference in the child welfare crisis.

Depending on your church’s area of interests, resources available, and families in need, your something could look like:

  • Praying diligently and consistently

  • Raising awareness around the needs of vulnerable children

  • Recruiting families to consider adoption and fostering

  • Serving foster & adoptive families, and biological families in crisis through Care Communities

  • Meeting physical and financial needs 

  • Providing adoption grants & resources to the families in your congregation

  • Ministering to families and meeting emotional and spiritual needs

Every FAM may look different, but they all have one thing in common: needs are met and lives are changed. Did you know the national average of families who quit fostering within the first year is about 50%? When supported by a FAM and its Care Communities, over 90% continue fostering into a second year. Care Communities are just one way Family Advocacy Ministries bring about positive change in the lives of children and families. Contact Agape to find out how your church can get involved in helping to solve the child welfare crisis. 



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