L. U. K. E. W. A. R. M.

Loving, Unconditionally, Kids Everywhere – Where Adoption and Religion Meet

Purpose Statement:

To challenge and freely equip every Bible-believing evangelical Christian church to adopt one child each year into a Christian home, and to actively love that family by essentially becoming supportive immediate and extended family members to the adopted child.

Vision: Every Church, Actively Supporting a

Christian Husband & Wife in Adopting a Child, Every Year

This will be accomplished by God, through the power of Holy Spirit,

in Jesus name when:

·         Church Leaders accept the challenge put forth by this initiative, gaining free access to all necessary LUKEWARM Initiative resources online at www.lukewarminitiative.com.

·         They become committed to fostering a culture of caring for orphans & widows, and Christian adoption, within their church family by presenting the initiative to their church body (eg. as the focus of a Sunday morning service & sermon).

·         Once the church adopts the initiative, they set a day of prayer & fasting to prepare them to do God’s work (James 1:27) serving “the least of these” (Matt. 25:31-46).

·         One person in each church steps up to become a ‘Point Person’ for that church (being a point of contact for the initiative – to point people in the right direction when people in their church have questions).

·         A Christian husband & wife (potential adoptive family) within each church body, who may have already been interested in the idea of adoption, actively begins the process of adopting a child, whether that be through the foster care system, through domestic or international adoption, or through adopting or gaining legal custody of the child of a family member.

·         ‘24/7 Family’: 24 People in each church commit to being actively loving and supportive permanent (when possible) ‘extended family members’ to the adoptive family & the adopted child, through consistent prayer, practical generosity, and Christian support & encouragement. “It takes a whole church to raise a child.”

(Examples: One family within the church may have several adult family members who are able and willing to actively commit to being part of the ‘24/7 Family,’ and another family may have one adult who is able and willing to actively commit to being part of the ‘24/7 Family.’ Some couples may both commit, and some couples will have one adult committed.)

(Larger churches could potentially have more than one ‘24/7 Family’ and be able to adopt more than one child each year. Small churches could partner with another nearby church.) Later on, 7 People out of the 24 prayerfully respond as God leads them to commit to being actively loving and supportive permanent (when possible) ‘immediate family members’ to the adoptive family & the adopted child, after being asked by the adoptive family/adopted child to consider this.

The next year, the new ‘24/7 Family’ may be new people, or some or all of the same people, supporting a new adoptive family. The emphasis is on the 7 who will later become ‘immediate family members’ and commit at a more intimate level in supporting and encouraging the adoptive family & adopted child. If people are already committed as one of the 7 to a previous year’s adopted child/adoptive family, they will want to seriously consider whether they can again commit to being another child’s/family’s ‘immediate family member.’

·         The ‘24/7 Family’ joins the adoptive family and point person and others from the church (eg. youth group, church leaders) in participating in a work day that cares for the needs of a widow in the church or community. If the adoptive family is pursuing domestic/national or international adoption (which usually costs at least $30,000), the project is done through Both Hands (www.bothhands.org) as a fundraiser for the adoption. Participants are helped by Both Hands to get sponsors for the work day at the widow’s house, and 100% of funds raised go toward the adoption expenses.

If the family is pursuing an adoption through a foster care agency (which usually costs very little or nothing), the work day at the widow’s house is not a fundraising event and could occur after the adoption, with the adopted child present. It is a ‘24/7 Family’ team-building event that cares for the needs of a widow.

Either way (doing a Both Hands project for families pursing adoption domestically or internationally, or doing a similar project for an adoption through the foster care system – without the fundraising aspect), a widow is helped in her time of need, a family is supported in their efforts to adopt an orphan, and the Body of Christ grows closer together as the Family of God and we become more known by our positive, active love for those in need.

The ‘24/7 Family’ and adoptive family are both invited to pray about and seriously consider inviting the widow to be ‘part of their family.’ Get to know the widow and her needs. Find out if she is lonely or could use help with things like grocery shopping or cleaning or getting to church. If 24+ people each committed to only 2-3 hours only once a year, the widow would have someone actively caring for her and about her at least once every two weeks. If there is a need for this, and if this is something that the team is interested in committing to, it could be organized and scheduled by the point person or another willing volunteer within the team.

This would complete ‘the generational circle’ with obedient Christian love. The widow may even end up becoming a grandmother figure to the adopted child. Relationships are the most important and healing thing that anyone needs, whether they be orphans, widows, or people within the supportive ‘24/7 Family.’

Churches pray that in 10 years they will have adopted at least 10 children into Christian homes to be loved and supported by their new father & mother, and by your church family! (Some families may adopt sibling groups of two or more children in a year. This can be common in adoption through foster care.)