The Aaron Project began in 2015 through a partnership of Christian Churches who were committed to impacting the foster care system in Whatcom County, Washington. Though many families are called to foster, most foster families do not continue beyond the first year. There is a crisis in the foster care system. Too many children needing placement combined with not enough families fostering means sibling groups are being separated, kids from our county are being sent to places far away making family visits difficult, and kids may bounce from home to home for several days, or even weeks before settling into a long-term family who can care for them. To compound the crisis, families who foster often find themselves burnt out, discouraged and over-whelmed in caring for kids from hard places, eventually leaving families unable to care for the kids in their home and resulting in yet another placement change for the child and fewer and fewer foster homes to meet the needs of the children in state care. In response to this crisis the vision for The Aaron Project was born.

The Aaron Project draws it’s inspiration from the story in Exodus chapter 17. In this story, the Israelites are fighting a difficult battle. As long as Moses’ arms are in the air, they are successful, but when Moses grows exhausted, and lowers his arms, the Israelites begin to be overtaken. In a stroke of brilliance Moses’ friends, Aaron and Hur, come alongside Moses, each of them taking an arm and holding it in the air. Because of their support, Moses was able to persevere and the Israelites are victorious. In the same way, we invite individuals and groups to come along-side those families who have entered into the often difficult and exhausting mission of parenting children from hard places. Through the support of those who would hold up their arms, families are able to persevere through the challenges life often brings.

The Aaron Project connects foster and adoptive families, with local individuals, families or groups who are willing to serve in small ways that make a big difference. Each family is supported by at least four people, each of whom serves in a unique niche (prayer, encouragement, practical service, or kid care). Each supporter is asked to budget 2 – 4 hours a month to support the family they have been paired with. We believe this project will help sustain families, increase foster family retention, decrease placement disruptions, and enhance the experience of children coming from difficult life circumstances.

Those who have responded to the call to foster or adopt children have gone “all in” with their lives. James describes this as “religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless”. It’s boots on the ground, money where your mouth is, life gets messy discipleship.

For many foster and adoptive families the journey is difficult. But the church can make a difference. We can show these families they are not alone. The Aaron Project host training events and suggests four practical ways to be helpful. Not everyone can be a foster or adoptive parent, but everyone can care about hurting children. The Aaron Project equips and connects people to hold up the arms of those who are on the front lines caring for orphans.