Open Hearts, Open Homes exists to glorify God as we equip the local church to care for orphans, foster children, and at-risk children and support the families who are ministering to them.
For More Information:
If you are a family who is considering adoption, fostering, or becoming a Safe Family and would like more information or you are a family of BCC that would like to support in the follow areas, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jill Gerst at 309.830.3680.
Components of OHOH
Equipping the Local Church
Resources for Local Churches
Caring for Children
Adoption (International and Domestic)
Mission Trips/Orphanage Support
Sponsorship for Children and Families
Support Group – Focused Fellowship
Physical Needs (meals, transportation, clothing, respite, babysitting, etc…)
If you are looking for a resource on the theology and practical application of orphan care, please consider the book A Passion for the Fatherless: Developing a God-Centered Ministry to Orphans by our teaching pastor, Daniel Bennett. To order a copy go to: http://www.amazon.com/Passion-Fatherless-Developing-God-Centered-Ministry/dp/082542660X
While many Christian couples have the desire to adopt, initial costs may keep them from following God's call. It is our desire to encourage Bethany families by reducing the financial barriers to adoption. There is opportunity to financially assist Bethany families. We invite you to join us through giving, either to our Adoption Ministry General Fund, or to individual funds set up for the Bethany families that are currently in the process of adopting.
The screening process for an Adoption Fund to be opened for a couple is 1) be a member of one of the Bethany Fellowship of Churches, 2) complete Orphan Care Bible Study, 3) fill out application, 4) interview with OHOH committee, and 5) be recommended through elder approval. We have been able to assist families through grants and no-interest loans when appropriate.
Safe Families for Children expands the community safety net by providing parents in need with mentoring relationships and tangible support in times of crisis. Safe Families for Children believes children will be safe and well-cared for if families in crisis have a network of support.
Volunteer families, prompted, solely by compassion, build relationships with at-risk families and can open their homes to children. This allows parents to have the time and space to work out their problems without having to worry about losing parental custody. The process of becoming a Host Family varies depending on your level of involvement. For those opening their home to a child the process would include an application, a home visit, ongoing training, and a background check. In total, you can expect the process to take about 2 months before you would be contacted to have a child stay in your home. For more information about Safe Families, visit their website: here.
Other Ways to Get Involved
Babysitting – Offer to watch children for families as respite, for appointments , etc.
Meals – drop off a surprise meal to a family “just because” or sign up for a specific time when families get new hostings or are going through a time of crisis. You can adopt a family and offer to bring a meal once a month or as needed.
Transportation – offer to provide transportation for foster children having visits with bio parents or transporting Safe Family kids to and from school to their host families.
Resources – provide resources as needed to families hosting kids and bio families as a source of support. Anything from beds and sheets to gas cards and grocery gift cards.
Pray – Choose a family serving in your church to pray for on a regular basis and let them know you are doing so as a way of encouragement that they are not alone. Pray for a Safe Family mom, DCFS workers, investigators, and judges making life altering decisions for children.
Show love – take coffee to a foster care agency to show support, write an encouraging letter to a family hosting kids or who are fostering/adopting and may be going through hard times.
Send a letter or care package to a child in a residential facility.