Lives change when God’s people come together to seek God’s heart for their community and their world. Promise686 was born in 2007 when a group of Christians at Perimeter Church in Johns Creek, GA decided to act on the belief that every Christian should be engaged in orphan care. They saw the plight of orphans internationally and of children in foster care in the United States, alongside a simple promise in Psalm 68:6, “God sets the lonely in families.” As His church, they wanted to be used to help place lonely children into Christian families.
The financial cost of adoption is one of the leading barriers to solving the orphan crisis. Knowing many families never consider adoption because of the financial cost, Promise686 began with the initiation of an adoption grant program. The grant fund constituted a one-time gift from Show Hope which was then matched by Perimeter Church. Once initial grants were awarded, the need to educate prospective adoptive families and offer them support became apparent. In 2009, Promise686 became a 501(c)(3) and began offering grants beyond their local church community to families around metro-Atlanta. Offering grants, education, and hands-on support, however, was not enough. Key volunteer leaders and the Board of Directors of Promise686 sensed God directing the ministry to focus on the local “orphan” crisis—children in the foster care system.
In 2010, Promise686 started working with private agencies to ensure greater awareness of the needs of foster children and supporting local foster families. In 2012, after two years of placing teams of volunteers around foster families, the ministry began a relationship with a local county office of the Division of Family Children Services. The partnership’s purpose was to provide over 100 new foster families from local churches. With remarkable progress in one county, this partnership has now spread to eighteen additional counties – with more to be added soon.
Promise686 now seeks to build a broad coalition of churches that will respond to the biblical call to care for orphans and foster children. Promise686 mobilizes and equips churches to first address the local crisis in foster care and then educates and supports families who are called to adopt – domestically and internationally. The Promise686 vision involves a DNA change for local churches — calling every church to have a strong orphan care ministry.