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FIRST-PERSON: Hope in things we’ll never see

GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) – What gives you hope? Our ultimate hope is eternal life in Christ, and that is the best answer to that question. But there are human analogs for ultimate hope – light in the darkness, the protection of a hen for her chicks, a land of milk and honey, the bosom of Abraham, and so on. What in this life, a pure thing, encourages you to put up with the frustrations of the day? 

FIRST-PERSON: Considering homeschooling in a COVID-19 world

TIGERVILLE, S.C. (BP) -- I recently learned that over 30 percent of students at our local elementary school will not be returning this fall for in-person instruction. While many of these students will be staying home to engage in public education virtually, 10 percent of the total school population is actually pulling their kids out and opting to home school.

Appeals court ruling for adoption agency applauded

NEW YORK CITY (BP) -- A federal appeals court decision in support of a Christian adoption agency has garnered excellent reviews from religious freedom advocates. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City reversed July 21 a federal court opinion that would have required New Hope Family Services to shut down if it maintained its policy of refusing to place children in the homes of same-sex and unmarried couples. The appeals court returned the case to the lower court and kept in place its November 2019 decision that blocked enforcement of that court's ruling.

ERLC commends Trump order on child welfare

WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has commended President Trump's new executive order to bolster the country's child welfare system.

NAMB family devotions focus on seeing Jesus through the uncertainty

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- It can be difficult to find a family devotional that's applicable in challenging seasons and addresses a child's emotions with biblical truth. "These are hard days. Since people are being told to stay at home, we wanted to provide a resource for families with kids that will help them navigate these uncharted waters of COVID-19," said Catherine Renfro, a NAMB evangelism strategist.

Kids’ discipleship resources during school closures

ALBUQUERQUE (BP) -- With schools closing around the country, Krista Peterson, the Baptist Convention of New Mexico's associate director of children's leadership development, has created a list of ideas for home discipleship.

Baptist children’s ministries plan for uncertain future

BRIDGETON, Mo. (BP) -- Religious liberty can seem an abstract concept, but consider Kevin. Kevin is one of more than 13,000 children in Missouri's foster care system. Kevin has been waiting for adoption since he was 6. That was 10 years ago. Back in December, Kevin appeared on KOLR Channel 10 in Springfield, Mo. In a weekly segment, the station features foster kids like Kevin, who are in search of a home and forever family.

Tennessee law would protect Christian adoption agencies

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Tennessee state senators approved legislation Jan. 14 that would prohibit the state from forcing Christian or other faith-based adoption agencies to place children in homes that would "violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies." Senate Bill 1304 passed the Senate by a margin of 20-6. Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville was the only Republican voting against the bill, joining the chamber's five Democrats, according to an article in The Tennessean.

Foster family plays critical role in youth minister’s journey to Christ

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (BP) -- Much of Shaq Hardy's childhood is a blur. For the first 10 years of his life, he moved from foster home to foster home, never able to put down roots. Hardy longed for a sense of home, a place where he belonged. But what Hardy does remember during that frantic decade in foster care is where he learned John 3:16 and how much Jesus loved him. Although he wouldn't come to faith in Christ until five years after he left his last foster home, this last family introduced him to Jesus. For the last several years he was in foster care, the family took him to church just about every week and even involved him in Awana. That's where he learned John 3:16.

Adoption’s ‘ironic blessing’ focus of MBTS prof’s book

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP) -- When Todd Chipman and his wife Julie finalized their adoption of two grade school-aged sisters, the courtroom was packed with excited members of the Kansas City, Kan., congregation that he pastors. Members of The Master's Community Church even arranged for the judge to give American Girl dolls to the sisters from the bench. So overwhelming was the church's support that the Chipmans' attorney extemporaneously added to a formal set of questions for Todd: "Can you assure the court that you will continue to give these children the kind of love you and your church are demonstrating here today?" He replied with a confident yes, and they have.