“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: To look after orphans…in their distress…”
-James 1:27 (NIV)
Colorado’s Project 1.27 is a faith-based program in which churches and counties work together to find permanent homes for the 800+ Colorado children who are legally free for adoption.
This unique ministry, which partners with several Colorado churches, is designed to motivate Christians and churches to adopt in their local communities.
Impetus for the ministry originated with Pastor Robert Gelinas of Colorado Community Church in Aurora. An adoptive dad, Pastor Gelinas spurred members of his congregation to adopt from foster care. He met with state officials, who became excited about the possibilities of the church and government working together to make a difference with kids.
Chris Padbury, Executive Director of Project 1.27 (and an adoptive dad of five), overviewed the project’s multi-faceted mission:
- The counties that partner with Project 1.27 standardize the paperwork and training requirements for adoptive parents.
- Project 1.27 conducts state-certified adoptive parent training in a church setting. Prospective parents receive both secular and spiritual training. The pre-screening, training and paperwork assistance Project 1.27 does helps streamline the state’s homestudy and certification process.
- Project 1.27 organizes support teams of 3-5 families per adoptive family. Support teams (which often involve an entire church) provide the family with practical help such as meals, friendship, prayer, encouraging phone calls, respite care, donated household goods and children’s items, tutoring, home repairs, and more.
One of Padbury’s top priorities is to “recruit pastors to catch the vision” for adoption ministry. Project 1.27 supports each new adoption ministry and provides churches with resources to help them launch their ministry.
“A church in town asked us to partner with them,” said Padbury. “They told us that they were planning to preach a sermon on adoption and they invited the state director of Human Services and me.”
During the service, the pastor explained God’s calling for us to adopt. The director of Human Services explained the need for Colorado families to adopt from foster care. And Padbury explained how it was possible for families to adopt.
“That church started an adoption ministry, and they have a regular attendance of 20-to-30 pre-adoptive and adoptive parents. That ministry was non-existent until they had the call from the pulpit.”
In addition to partnering with churches, Project 1.27 also partners with businesses, who donate equipment, cater events, offer their employees volunteer opportunities, and provide matching financial gifts, auction items, and employee adoption benefits.
120,000 children in U.S. foster care are legally free for adoption. For many of these children, the State serves as a pseudo-parent for years, until they age our of foster care. It’s estimated that 60 percent of the children who age out of foster care become homeless or end up in prison; 70 percent of the prison population has spent time in foster care.
The state of Colorado spends $30,000-$70,000 every year to support each child in the foster care system. Project 1.27, on the other hand, spends a one-time $5,000 to help place a child in an adoptive family.
As of March 8, 2007, Project 1.27 has helped place 46 children (20 of those adoptions are finalized). Five churches formally partner with Project 1.27, and the 162 families involved with the project attend 73 different churches.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if Christians living in every U.S. state and every Canadian province caught the vision of Project 1.27?
To learn more about Project 1.27, to request a DVD about the ministry (suggested donation $15) or to financially support the non-profit ministry, visit www.Project127.com.
2220 S. Chambers Road
Aurora, CO 80014
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A permanent copy of this article is archived in the Adoption Resource Center at www.laurachristianson.com.
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