Refuge Church Life Group Community Missions: MAC Cares
Over the next few months, we will be featuring articles about the ministry partnerships our Life Groups have with various organizations in our community. The first of this series is below, describing our relationship with MAC Cares:
In November 2015, Refuge Church did a brief Justice and Mercy series on Sunday mornings, which included testimonials from a handful of people who had been involved in foster care or adoption. After one particular Sunday during this series, two things became clear to me: One, there is a great need right in our own backyard to show the love of Christ to children without families. And two, all of ushave a responsibility to be involved somehow in caring for them. And bonus! No passports, foreign language training, or international governments are needed before we can begin providing the love and care they so desperately need.
These convictions became so clear to me that I didn’t want to even hesitate–both my family and my Life Group needed to get involved somehow in the care for local foster-care children. So it wasn’t long before Pam Taylor of M.A.C. Cares (Mercy for America’s Children)–a nonprofit located in Wake Forest that was established in order to advocate on behalf of children awaiting adoption out of foster care and to support these new forever families through their adoptive journey–visited our Life Group one week in order to share more about their organization and how all of us might be able to help them regularly.
As we all have seen God do so often, in the providential ways that only He can, simultaneously to His planting a conviction in our hearts to serve with M.A.C. Cares, He had also recently grown their nonprofit to a point where a great deal of new staffing needs had arisen for their monthly Connections Groups, a time each month where foster-care parents meet for training and support and the kids gather for snacks, play time, and support groups of their own. And so within just a few weeks of our meeting with Pam, our Life Group joined up with M.A.C. Cares and began helping in a variety of ways–from providing snacks for the adults and dinner for the kids, to playing games in the gym with them, to even having the privilege of helping to lead some of the kids’ support groups.
Besides the more obvious ways of ministry our involvement with M.A.C. Cares provides for us, perhaps one of the more powerful ways God is using our Life Group here is through the fact that this is not a Christian ministry. The family behind it is made up of believers with huge hearts for doing kingdom work in orphan care ministry, but the foster parents and children they love and support come from all walks of life. Which means that during the monthly support meetings, we have the privilege of loving the same types of crowds Jesus intentionally loved and dined with, which of course the Pharisees hated. But remember what He told them when they complained about who He was hanging out with? “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).
After almost four years of serving with the incredible servants of M.A.C. Cares and establishing relationships with many children who have experienced more pain and hardship in their young years than most of us go through in an entire lifetime, the monthly Connections Group has become a mainstay in my family’s life, as well as many in our Life Group. It’s not always convenient, and it’s not always the most organized, but our being there is alwaysa blessing to the children who have had some extremely rough lives and are in desperate need for God’s disciples to love and provide for them.
If you’d like to learn more about M.A.C. Cares–how you might be able to come alongside them, or even if you or someone you know may be in need of some of the support services they provide–please contact me anytime. I’d love to tell you more about this organization and the amazing kids they help.