We reached out to Pastor Robert to hear more about the story behind this partnership to encourage and inspire you and your church community.
Question: Can you introduce yourself and how you first heard about the program at Casa Hogar?
Answer: My Name is Robert Singleton, and I am currently the lead pastor at Faithway Baptist Church. Because we are part of the Fellowship, we receive many updates on current missionary work around the world. Through this, I learned of their child sponsorship program at Casa Hogar just over two years ago. At that time, my wife and I had two wonderful children but had suffered fertility issues for four years prior. This was leading us to consider adoption at that time and consider the thousands of children around the world that do not have a family that loves and cares for them. In all this we realized God’s Hand as he not only blessed us with another boy shortly after this but also, we are currently expecting twins this summer. Even with God’s blessings over the past two years our heart for the orphan never diminished.
Question: In January, Faithway launched an initiative to invite people within the congregation to consider sponsoring a child at Casa Hogar. Can you share a bit about the vision and what motivated you and the church to do this?
Answer: Last spring our world was turned upside down by COVID-19. It exposed to us all what was important in life and the things we all can take for granted. This led me to start a series through James, as he is speaking to those who are facing trials of various kinds. James' emphasis on the widow, orphan, and poor struck a chord with so many of us at Faithway. God had brought us to a place through the trial of COVID-19 to look outside of our own comforts and church ministries to areas that move God’s heart. It really connected to us the need to be part of something outside of ourselves as a church and practice pure and undefiled religion instead of holding to a definition without any demonstration. Martin Luther, said, “The world does not need a definition of religion as much as it needs a demonstration."
I had been in contact with Norman Nielsen from FAIR a few months before the pandemic and it seemed God was bringing the pieces together in his timing. We promoted it throughout our church, we had Dan Shurr come and speak about the ministry and the opportunities for sponsorship and short-term mission teams in the future. The final thing we did was ask our church to seek God [related to] sponsoring a child for $35 a month.
Question: Can you share a bit about how your church community has responded since the initial invitation?
Answer: One of the greatest privileges through this process is seeing the heart of people in our congregation towards this ministry, many of which have young families themselves. Also, many people in our congregation were just waiting for the opportunity to engage in an orphanage ministry. To our amazement, we have seen a wonderful response of 24 sponsors at $35 a month so far. We trust in the future that this number will grow.
Question: What challenges did you and the church face in making this a major initiative?
Answer: We took our time throughout this process. COVID-19 had a part to play in this but we are so thankful that it was not a rushed process. I honestly can’t pinpoint other major challenges in this initiative. We are very thankful for the clear communication from the FAIR department throughout this process.
Question: How do you envision this partnership with Casa Hogar will continue in the coming years?
Answer: We are currently at the beginning stages of planning a short mission’s trip to Casa Hogar for 2022. We would also love to see our sponsorship grow from year to year and send a team each year.
Question: For other church communities considering similar partnerships, is there anything you would like to share to help them know how to get started?
Answer: I would say consider the biblical commandments to care for the orphan and those less fortunate in this world. FAIR has been a great help every step of the way. I also love the added element of short-term mission trips as I feel this will benefit our church as much as we wish to be a blessing to Casa Hogar.
Thank you, Pastor Robert for the thoughtful interview. The FAIR team is encouraged by how this partnership has developed and how your church community has responded to the opportunity.
In response to Pastor Robert’s invitation, how can you care for the orphan and those less fortunate in this world? If you or your church community would like to talk with us about partnering with Casa Hogar or any of our child sponsorship programs, please send us an email and you can learn more about this initiative on our website.