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We prepared our hearts to serve during Miracles of Mercy campaign by setting aside a full day of prayer and fasting on Saturday, March 12, in the Lakeside Library at our Rancho Capistrano campus. We enjoyed a time of prayer, worship music, vision-casting, and fellowship from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. ...
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Saddleback's Orphan Care Initiative believes that church and family is God's solution to the orphan crisis. Raising a child who has come from a hard place is much more likely to find success inside the support of a church community. Orphan Care is committed to equipping a team of volunteers with training and infrastructure to help meet the unique needs of each adoptive family. There are five key areas that we will seek to help support the family. Each family will be assigned to a family coach (case manager) to help connect them to resources both in and outside the church.

1. Healthy Family: Healthy connected relationships in the family is the best way to prevent and correct behavioral issues. Orphan Care will connect adoptive families to free counselling and curriculum-based support groups that teach the TBRI principles.

2. Healthy Finances: Economic sustainability is a critical need of every family to thrive. Orphan Care will connect adoptive families to Saddleback Church’s Financial Freedom ministry and PEACE Center to help the family achieve economic sustainability.

3. Healthy Education: Access to education is a key component the development every child to prepare them for life. Orphan Care will develop and equip parents with tools to help them advocate on behalf of their child in the classroom. Many teachers would benefit from learning the needs of adoptive children so that they can effectively address behavioral issues.

4. Healthy Household: The demands of raising an adoptive child can cause a family to let the house go. Orphan Care will call on the Men’s Ministry for minor repairs and household maintenance. Additionally for large projects we’ll conduct serve-days to help make sure the housing meets the needs of the family.

5. Healthy Community: Community is the fabric of every society. Orphan Care seeks to fully plug a family into fellowship with church family and adoptive community. Life was never meant to be lived alone–difficulties get cut in half and joys get doubled in the community of friends.

If you know a family who needs help in any of these areas or would like to help families in these areas simply call the orphan care line at 949-609-8555 or email orphans@saddleback.com to learn more.


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Foster parents are in higher demand in Orange County after a new state law that took effect at the beginning of the year aims to place at-risk kids into permanent homes at a faster rate, said county officials. Orange County has until February 18 to come under compliance with this new law. This has placed a great need for licensed foster parents to not only provide homes for new foster children entering the system but also provide co-training for families seeking licensing. If you know someone who is a licensed foster parent in Orange County that is interested in helping the county train families by sharing firsthand experiences, please let us know by emailing orphans@saddleback.com.

Local orphan advocates at homes such as Orangewood Children and Family Center say the law also calls for major changes at group homes so that “children don’t spend years in what is referred to as ‘congregate’ or ‘residential’ care until they age out of the child welfare system at 18,” according to the Orange County Register.

“(The new law) increases our need for good foster homes exponentially,” said Elizabeth DenBleyker, public information officer for Orange County’s Social Services Agency. DenBleyker told the Register that 100 to 120 more such homes are needed.

Advocates favor the general goal of the new law. However, Orange County officials say “the new rules also present a challenge to find enough people – either relatives, other significant adults in a child’s life or foster parents – who can serve as what is being called ‘resource families’ for children whose biological parents are deemed unfit to raise them’,” the Register reports.

Read “Wanted: More Foster Parents in Orange County” beginning below.

Local advocates for children are scrambling to find more foster parents in Orange County, a result of a new state law aimed at placing abused kids into permanent homes faster. The law also figures to alter operations at the county’s best-known children’s home, Orangewood Children and Family Center.

The broader goal of AB403, which took effect Jan. 1, is to get traumatized youth into stable and supportive living situations, preferably in a family-like setting, as soon and as permanently as possible. It sets a limit of 10 days on the time a child can spend in a temporary emergency shelter such as Orangewood.

The law also calls for major changes at group homes so that children don’t spend years in what is referred to as “congregate” or “residential” care until they age out of the child welfare system at 18. Group homes typically have six or more children housed together under the supervision of paid staff.

“(The new law) increases our need for good foster homes exponentially,” said Elizabeth DenBleyker, public information officer for Orange County’s Social Services Agency. DenBleyker pegged the need at 100 to 120 more such homes.

The county has about 400 licensed resource family homes, but only about one-third are prepared and ready to take in children, DenBleyker said.

Currently, 2,304 children are in county dependency, with most of them placed with relatives or other adults in their lives in family-based settings… FULL STORY

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This weekend on the Saddleback Church bulletin, Pastor Phillip Congelliere, campus pastor at Saddleback Aliso Viejo, and his wife Alex, share how their painful struggle with infertility ultimately led them to explore adoption. As God opened their hearts to the possibility of being parents to a child in need of a family, they were presented with a unique and miraculous opportunity to adopt their precious daughter.

 

At Saddleback, we know that the struggle with infertility is a challenge faced by so many couples. We also know that the process of starting to think about growing your family through adoption or foster care can be overwhelming and confusing. The good news is – the Orphan Care Initiative is here to support you! You’re not alone – you can hear from people just like you who have already walked this path.

 

If you are struggling with infertility, or if you would like more information on how you can adopt or foster, we invite you to join us next Wednesday from 6:30-8:30pm in the MO2 Gathering Room of the Saddleback Lake Forest campus for our monthly “ Thinking About Adoption or Foster Care ” gathering. There you will hear helpful overviews from adoptive and foster parents in our own church and have the opportunity to get your questions answered in a no-pressure environment.

 

If you can’t make it to the gathering, we would still love to talk with you! You can call the orphan care line at 949-609-8555 or email orphans@saddleback.com to get connected and learn more.

 

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At the start of the new year, we want to take this opportnity to thank God for all he has done this year in helping orphaned children in Rwanda find forever families. Across Rwanda, orphanages have closed through the partnership of the Orphan Care Initiative, the local church in Rwanda, and the generosity of Sponsorship donors! Children who prayed each night for a family are now wrapped in the embrace of a mama and papa!

The transformation happening in Rwanda would not be possible without the diligent work of volunteers in local churches across Rwanda who have given of their time, resources and talent to help families adopt. We want to take this opportunity to highlight these servant-hearted leaders whose love has led many of them to adopt.

The lay social workers come from all walks of life – grandmothers whose children are grown, wise church leaders, passionate young adults, and mothers with full homes. Their hearts for the children waiting in orphanages compels them to fearlessly track down long lost family members, to walk miles of rough terrain to counsel hurting families, and often to open their own homes to welcome in an additional child. They work out of a deep love for God, their churches, and their community. As one volutneer told us, they consider it their reward when they “see the dignity return to the childrens’ eyes.”

Rwanda Orphan Care

All volunteer social workers receive training in how to best assist adoptive families, often taught by Saddleback Church volunteers on PEACE trips. Last month, a large group of lay social workers were honored for their hard work and the accomplishment of helping families. They rejoiced together by praising God – and you can watch some of the celebration here!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FOOTAGE FROM RWANDA

Rwanda Orphan Care

To become a sponsor or learn more, visit saddleback.com/sponsorship.

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