December 25, 2018 10:21 PM
There are about 4,000 churches in Minnesota and, at any given time, there are 1,000 children up for adoption throughout the state.
That's where the idea behind the Aspen Grove Church Network's Adoption Challenge was born. If one family out of every four churches could adopt a child, there would no longer be a need.
"We just see it clearly within scripture that God wants us to take care of children, and especially children who need homes," said Pastor Aaron Sorenson.
Sorenson is a pastor at Delano's Crow River Church.
He and his wife, Kristen, began their adoption journey years ago and celebrated this Christmas with their 2-year-old son Jonas and their 5-month-old daughter Lany.
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He reflected on the adoption process and how difficult it was in the beginning trying to navigate through it alone.
"As we got further along, we just noticed that there were more people within our churches who were either thinking of adoption and foster care or in the process," said Sorenson.
Sorenson began discussing his family's story with the two other pastors in his church network, who also were working through their own adoption and fostering processes. The three pastors soon came up with an idea: to challenge the families within their church congregations to get 50 children adopted in five years.
"I knew people would think, 'Oh this sounds like a really nice idea,'" said Pastor John Walt with Mercy Hill Church in Minnetonka. "But it's a big ask."
Walt launched the challenge at his church after leading the way and adopting two children out of foster care.
"For me, it feels like we're really doing what we're meant to do," he said. "I think this is what it really means to be the church."
Three years into the challenge, 43 children from around the world have found their forever homes thanks to families in the Aspen Grove church community.
"We don't know when we'll hit 50, but once we do, we'll keep going. I don't think we want this to be something where we say, 'Oh we did it. We accomplished it. Now let's go do something else,'" said Sorenson. "This is something that's become part of our church's DNA and something that we always want to be a part of and always want to be doing."
The Aspen Grove Church Network is made up of Crow River Church in Delano, Mercy Hill Church in Minnetonka and Woodridge Church in Medina.
Updated: December 25, 2018 10:21 PM
Created: December 25, 2018 03:41 PM
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