Surround the One – One to One is Our Specialty
BE THE ONE is a ministry focus that allows Sunrise to fully connect our past with our present to build our future in accordance with the Lord’s directive in James 1:27. BE THE ONE is a very special initiative allowing Christian families and their church to truly surround a child and then allows the entire church body as a whole to become the church made real in action and not just in word. Through the guidance and direction of His word, God directs His church to the magnificent responsibility and mission to stand in the trenches to fill the huge gaps in child welfare and reach out to the most vulnerable among us…those who cannot speak and protect themselves in a world plagued with selfishness, self-destruction, and absolute despair. Through the unique ministry of Christian foster care, Sunrise Children’s Services has taken up the Call to help those individuals called into this very special ministry of foster parenting. We hope to help churches recognize that there are opportunities to be His word in action and help Christian individuals and families treat foster care as in-home mission work.
Sunrise has been the heartbeat of child welfare in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for over 145 years. We fully recognize the special honor we hold that as His church, we are called and specifically prepared with a variety of spiritual gifts and heart desires to serve the church’s children, teens and their families who are placed in the Commonwealth’s child welfare system. These families are not the responsibility of our government…they are the church’s responsibility because every one of them are a part of God’s family and are need of His love. It is the church who is called to provide that safe, loving, Christ-centered place of rest to the abused and neglected and help their families find healing. Through the support of Sunrise, those individuals and families specially called and equipped come to realize and fulfill one of the most difficult yet most beautifuland life-changing callings to show the love of Jesus in a very real and tangible way, thus fulfilling the Great Commission in opening their hearts and homes to a mission field that literally is just minutes from their front door.
Because each individual is equipped with specific gifts, Sunrise realizes that not every family and individual is called to be a foster parent. However, Sunrise has developed other specific opportunities for you to surround and love those families called as foster parents. You may not be a foster family but this does not mean your family and your church as a whole, doesn’t have a vital role to play in the lives of foster families. Sunrise has worked to develop unique and multi-faceted ways that you and your family can serve foster families within your church. This allows you to participate in this ministry as they care for God’s families by supporting them in a way that accents your special gifts.
Every individual and family can play a role in the BE THE ONE initiative. The BE THE ONE ministry is based on scripture found in 1 Corinthians 12:4, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” Please prayerfully consider these five unique ways to reach out to a child and family in need:
- FOSTERING: Foster Families represent God’s love in a very real way. For those families who are feeling called into the beauty of “in-home missions,” the words found in James 1:27 charges us by saying “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Sunrise has a Christ-centered curriculum that helps the fostering family as a whole prepare and develop their spiritual gifts to provide a sanctuary of healing and love to a child in need.
- RESPITE: Some families and individuals are not currently prepared to serve as full time foster families, so Sunrise has a specialized Respite Family option where families are fully trained yet only provide occasional, emergency or temporary care in support of a full time foster family. This is a unique and very special ministry of support, because in the words of the psalmist in Psalm 55:6 – “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” We all need a break from the stresses of everyday life and this vital ministry allows fostering families to focus on their own family needs for a few days.
- SUPPORT: The Sunrise Support Family ministry came about when we read the beautiful words in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 that says: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” These words inspired a unique ministry to be developed so individuals or families who are not be able to open their own home to a child can still open their hearts and volunteer. They are available to help transport a child to a doctor`s appointment, pick up a child after school, be an extra set of hands during a busy weekend, or even just stop by the family home and say, “tell me how I can help you serve our Lord today.”
- BLESSING: 1 Thessalonians 5:11 gave us the foundation and desire to create the Sunrise Blessing Family ministry when the words of scripture came alive as we read: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.“ A Sunrise Blessing Family or individual enters into a covenant relationship with the fostering family to provide encouragement and direct examples of love. This can include regularly welcoming the foster child to the church and church activities, praying daily for the family by name and as individuals, providing words of encouragement to the foster parents when they are burdened, and reaching out to show the love of Christ through a home cooked meal, mowing the lawn, making a coffee date, and/or remembering a birthday in a special way.
- RECRUIT: The newest opportunity to serve Christ through the ministry of Sunrise involves using your gifts and contacts to become a Christian Recruiting Family to help Sunrise identify new ways to find families for the BE THE ONE initiative. God’s words in 1 Corinthians 12:28 tell us: “God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.” Sunrise needs your help sharing our ministry to your church and community that fulfills our focus to be an active witness in more than our words. Recruiting Families help organize trainings, put out yard signs, work to recruit other families to the various BE THE ONE ministries, This allows the Holy Spirit to nurture the gift of hospitality and discernment to see recruitment as a ministry of support to the thousands of children and families in need within our ministry field.
BE THE ONE fully allows Christian families and their church to surround a child and the foster family. Coming to the defense of the broken, showing the love of God to the helpless, creating an environment of love and support to the forgotten and seeking justice in the midst of the chaos this world brings is the very calling of the church. No one is more exceptionally equipped and gifted to take an active role in the lives of our Commonwealth’s most abused and neglected as God’s Church. God has mandated this role to us. We are called to represent Him by showing true life testimony to the fact that His grace is sufficient in weakness and that His mercy will bring the fullness of peace in the most tragic times in life. We cannot sit in the pews of our churches and fulfill this directive – we must go into our world with action. It is time that we as the church step up and take responsibility for OUR children. The government may have a role to play, but God made this our responsibility. Please join Sunrise because now, more than ever before, we are called to BE THE ONE!