JENKS—Nearly 8,500 children are in the foster care system in the state of Oklahoma. One Oklahoma Baptist church that has taken the initiative to do their part to solve the foster care crisis is Jenks, First.
WRAP is a ministry that several foster families in the church began three years ago. Breanna Brumley is one of the ministry coordinators. Breanna and her husband Cody, who is the executive pastor at Jenks, First, are a foster family, along with their three biological children.
Breanna said WRAP began when a group of adoptive mothers needed a support system. This group met with Breanna and Cody and discussed how the church sometimes does a good job of reminding people of the need to love the orphan, but hasn’t always done the best at supporting people once they step into that role.
“I have to say, I never believed the church didn’t’ want to do anything. I always thought they just don’t know what to do,” Breanna said.
So the group formed into what WRAP is today, which is a growing group that provides support for foster families.
The W in WRAP stands for “Wrestle in prayer.” In addition to asking the church body to be in prayer for foster and adoptive families, there is a Facebook group in which foster and adoptive families can post prayer requests and needs.
The R stands for Respite care. “We have a group of people that have signed up and said ‘When a family has a need, give me a call,’ Whether that is offering to come sit with other children in the family while the parents run one child to an appointment or offering free babysitting, so the parents can have a bit of a break. This is what the respite care group does,” Breanna said.
A is for “Acts of service.” This is where families provide meals the following week and up to three weeks after a foster family receives a new placement, so the family doesn’t have to worry about mealtime. Another thing people have done is mow lawns while a family is out of the country for international adoption cases.
“This is the best way to tell our church body that if you have resources or talents, whatever those resources or talents are, you can use them to love on our foster and adoptive families,” Breanna said.
The P stands for “Promises of God.” Breanna said, when someone steps into a role to care for, or become a foster or adoptive family. They are actively fulfilling God’s promises.
“It’s been a slow process. Three years ago, it was five of us in a room every Wednesday, wondering if people understood us.” Now, Breanna says the church has shifted in how they see foster care.
New families have come to Jenks, First because of the foster care ministry, because they can be among people who understand what they are going through.
Additionally, each year, a few families in the church step up and become foster families. “They say if these people can do it and they have this support system, I want to do it too,” Breanna said.
On Nov. 18, Jenks, First will host the “From Fear to Love” foster care event. At this event, information for anyone interested in either becoming foster families or coming alongside and supporting foster families will be available.
“We’re trying to get all of the resources needed in one building. So, if you don’t know what you want to do, you can go around table to table and at least have a face, name and contact number for the next step in your journey,” Breanna said.
According to Breanna, “When you know better, you do better,” and that describes the action Jenks, First and the WRAP ministry have taken when it comes to being an advocate for orphans.
“Fear is because of all of the unknowns, but sometimes you take that step because we don’t live in fear; we live in faith because Jesus sustains us. He wants us to walk in love because He is love,” Breanna said.