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We went to press this week with the latest print edition of The Christian Chronicle. Depending on where you live, it should hit your mailbox in the next week or two.
Flipping through the pages of this issue, I could not help but notice a number of advertisements seeking houseparents for Christian children’s homes.
I counted six such quarter-page ads — from New Mexico Christian Children’s Home, Arms of Hope, Mid-Western Children’s Home, Tennessee Children’s Home, Christ’s Haven for Children and Albuquerque Christian Children’s Home.
Of course, the difficulty of finding Christian couples willing to serve as houseparents isn’t exactly breaking news. We’ve reported on this before. In a front-page story in the January 2012 edition, we highlighted concerns about declining funding for children’s homes:
In a survey of 20 children’s homes in more than a dozen states, The Christian Chronicle found widespread concern about declining church support amid trying economic times and shifting ministry priorities.
“It has been tough to watch as more and more homes have been squeezed out of church budgets,” said Cory Long, CEO of Carpenter’s Place, a girls’ home in Wichita, Kan., “and more and more homes are having to look outside the churches to get support.”
My personal experience shapes my perspective. My late grandparents Lloyd and Margaret Ross served as houseparents for Children’s Homes Inc. in Paragould, Ark. My parents, Bob and Judy Ross, devoted 25 years of service as houseparents to Christ’s Haven for Children in Keller, Texas. I reflected on Mom and Dad’s labor of love in a June 2007 column.
Reader feedback: Would you ever consider serving as a houseparent at at a Christian children’s home? Why or why not?
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