A Simple Step toward Justice and Mercy
God shaped Kelsey’s heart for foster care.
By Bennett Rolan, Editorial Manager
Kelsey Anderson silently prayed as she held 18-month-old Jayden* for the last time.
“Lord, protect this little one. Help me to trust You with his future. Surround him with Your love, protect him, draw him to You.”
For nine months, Kelsey worked with Jayden as his BSF Children’s Leader. As a foster child, Jayden struggled to make personal connections. Kelsey watched him grow from a terrified infant into an eager toddler – with a heart softened by BSF songs.
“Almost every single time he would come in, he was crying,” Kelsey said. “He was so scared, so confused. He just didn’t want to participate in anything. We would sit and hold him the whole time. When we started singing, he would settle down. It was his favorite time.”
After 9 months, Jayden’s foster placement ended – and so did his time in BSF.
“We got a quick chance to say goodbye,” Kelsey said. “That was really hard. I wanted to control the situation. I wanted to know that he would be OK. I was full of questions.”
On her knees, Kelsey called out to God. “I prayed for the seeds that had been planted. No matter how much I wanted that little one to know Christ, I had to remember that Christ wanted that more. I had to rest in the knowledge that Jesus was ultimately in control.”
Kelsey continued as a BSF Children’s Leader, but she never forgot Jayden. For years, she continued to pray for the boy who discovered God’s peace through simple worship.
“No matter how much I wanted that little one to know Christ, I had to remember that Christ wanted that more.”
God’s heart for justice and mercy
Kelsey stayed in touch with Jayden’s former foster mom. Though they couldn’t know how he was doing, both women continued to pray. They held fast to God’s character and His heart for justice and mercy.
Six years later, Jayden’s former foster mother had news: through a church connection, she learned that Jayden had returned to the foster system and was placed in a Christian home. As a young child, he continued to struggle. Early in his new placement, Jayden was inconsolable. His new foster family was desperate to help, so they began to sing. To their amazement, one thing calmed Jayden’s troubled heart – BSF songs.
When Kelsey heard the news, she immediately knew that God had heard her prayers.
“They were the same songs I used to sing to him while I prayed. These were the seeds that God planted.”
But there was more. Jayden’s former foster mother shared that by the time he was 8 years old, Jayden had accepted Christ. A short time later, Jayden returned to a family member’s home. He knew that the Holy Spirit was with him. What Jayden didn’t know was that his family member had also made a commitment to follow Jesus.
“These were the seeds that God planted.”
Justice and mercy in action
During the years Kelsey prayed for Jayden, God worked. In a situation that seemed out of control, God extended justice and mercy. “God was sovereign. I learned that I could rest in His goodness. This little one was taken care of, even when I couldn’t see it.”
For Kelsey, Jayden represented thousands of children who still needed homes. When she prayed for Jayden, she asked God for direction. Finally, God confirmed her desire to foster and adopt.
Kelsey’s decision to become a foster parent wasn’t easy. Her conviction was clear, but she struggled with doubts. Kelsey often works night shifts, and her husband has a busy schedule. Would they have time? Did they have the financial resources? Was their home big enough? How would this affect their biological children?
But God’s call was undeniable, so Kelsey and her family responded in faith. This year, Kelsey and her family are fostering a child for the first time.
“God was sovereign. I learned I could rest in His goodness.”
“There were times when I didn’t think I would have the strength to do this,” Kelsey shared. “I’m resting in Christ to take it one step at a time. He has been so faithful.”
Micah 6:8 defines what the Lord requires of His people, “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” For Kelsey, that call was realized through the foster system. But God gives each of us unique opportunities to respond.
Where is God calling you “to act justly and to love mercy”? Through humble steps of faith, we can walk with God in confidence.
“It doesn’t have to be something big and grand,” Kelsey said. “We simply have to say, ‘Yes, I will follow you,’ taking one step at a time. We can release our fears to Him because He has been faithful before. Just because the going may be tough, that doesn’t mean it isn’t God’s calling. Our reliance on Him is measured in small steps of faith.”
* name changed for privacy
Bennett Rolan joined the BSF staff in 2017 after working for several Christian ministries and non-profits. She loves to combine her passion for God’s Word and her journalism background to share stories of God’s work in and through BSF. As a wife to a busy college football coach and a mom to four young children, BSF studies keep her relationship with the Lord grounded and focused. She loves to learn from fellow believers as God faithfully grows her each day.
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Thank you for sharing.
GOD has entrusted me with the care of a thirteen year old what anchors me in those hard moments is GOD’S love. GOD is faithful and supplies all we need when we trust HIM.
This story touched my heart. As a grandparent we have to trust in God to draw our own grandchildren unto His tender, loving and saving care. We don’t get to choose the manner in which they see Him. Bit He hears our prayers and knows out desires for them to find Him.
What an encouraging story as I pray for the salvation of my grandchildren. Knowing Jesus wants their salvation more than I do is such a comfort as I release them into His care! (They live far away). The Lord will put all the pieces together that will bring them to Himself!
What an amazing and encouraging story about the power of God both seen and unseen. I think Foster parents have a very high calling from God to influence the next generation and deserve honour. Thank you for sharing this story.
Thank you for a story of Gods faithfulness, when we pray, and don’t always see answers.
Knowing Gods love and faithfulness is what we can trust in!!!
This has encouraged me to keep on planting seeds. I’d rather be the one to harvest.
What a testimony! It encouraged me to be vigilant to pray for my granddaughters, who lived with us when they were four and six years old. We used to bring them to BSF, but now they’re away from us and living with their mom.
Very good story. GOD’S Grace and Mercy will prevail over any situation. GOD bless your Kelsey, Jayden and your entire family.
Isn’t God awesome! Jayden and a family member accepted Christ! God is moving through a lot of lives
and I am so grateful 🙏
I love Jayden’s great story.
May God bless ‘Kelsey Anderson’.
May God increase my faith and more reliance on Him.
I love how this story follows many precepts of the previous blog post. To act justly, love mercy, & to walk humbly! What a convicting verse in so many ways!!!! Micah 6:8
Our daughter and her husband became foster to adopt parents. It was one of the most precious and terrifying times of my life. Learning to trust God through the fostering and finally adoption of these two grandsons has strengthened my love for His goodness and mercy. God bless you for taking on and committing to love and nurture these children.
Useful and interesting.
Really a heart touching story of faith.
Encourages me to take the leap of faith for which God has called me.
Yes, we are frail, incapable, but after all it is His calling, so it is He who is going to take it to its fruition.
Wishing her all the best. May the Lord guide you and lead you through the dark valleys into His glorious sunshine.
What an encouraging testimony. Thank you for sharing.
I had a “small family home”. Specializing in developmental delayed medically fragile children. It was difficult at times but oh so humbling. When it was time to close down and answer the missionary call over seas I adopted a little girl who had been with me since she was two weeks old. That was 18 years ago and I am 77 – 2 weeks.
My daughter is serving our country and stationed in Japan. She’s the youngest Sailor on her Ship and doing well. I give all the praise to Almighty God. It wasn’t always smooth sailing. Through Godly counseling
we navigated through the difficult times. Besides my salvation through Christ Jesus- adopting my precious daughter was the second best decision I ever made.
Thank You Lord!
Your story gives me confidence to keep praying for an adopted Ukrainian granddaughter. She knows the truth was adopted into a Christian home, but in her late teens has chosen to go her own way. It is painful.
it is a great real live testimony on how to practice “to act justly & to love mercy & to walk humbly with God”
Thanks god for your word of God. I’m healed these words.
Praise the Lord for this wonderful story.
For me, ‘justice and mercy’ is The Cross where our Lord who has no sin, takes all our sins with Him to satisfy justice for God and at the same time shows God’s mercies to all of us.
Praise the Lord for His wisdom to design this Cross for us.
What a beautiful and heartwarming story! Praise God for prayer warriors like Kelsey and the foster mom and those songs embedded in Jayden’s soul.
This touched my heart.
What a beautiful, beautiful story of a child and someone that love them, and was willing to pray for them. God loves children!
Such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.
Thank you for your diligence, faithfulness, and consistency. God did show favor. God does answer prayers. Amen !!! God, Thank you for your caring on behalf of Jayden. God is so good!!!
Keep trusting God and praying for our loved ones that they may know God and want to follow Him, He hears our prayers and there nothing He cannot do if it is in His perfect will.
I love Kelsey’s story and it encourages me to continue to pray and listen for His answer. It’s amazing how if we are faithful to His call He blessed in many different ways. I didn’t think about praying for the children who are being taken care of at BSF in that particular way. God is a wonderful God and He answers prayers all the time if we are looking for them.
What an encouraging story! If we plant seeds of mercy, God will cause the growth. Praise God for your sowing!
Beautiful story/sharing from the Faithful God and an Obedient follower.
I am 77 years old and I am working with the 18 months to 2 years. Since I never had children I question
how effective I am. But I do love to sing and I do love children so this gave me a boost of encouragement.
Thank you for sharing this story. We can’t see the end of the story and our lives but God can.
“Wow, what a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing it.
Very clear from Kelsey’s act of mercy yo Jayden is that God desires obedience then He equips us to do His will.
Help me to learn obedience.
Wow!amazing story,thank you for sharing.lt gives me hope as l pray for my son and countless nieces and nephews.God works when we pray.Thank you Jesus
This blessed me in many ways as a foster mom and a CL, my heart is always troubled when a child leaves but I know those seeds planted in their hearts will be somehow watered by The Lord, to Him be the glory.
Keep trusting God and praying for our loved ones that they may know God and want to follow Him, He hears our prayers and there nothing He cannot do if it is in His divine plan and purpose.
What an amazing story of God’s divine leading and going before us as we submit and totally trust in His power.
This story encourages me so much. During the pandemic time, we got to know a young neighbor who had lived a hard life. Oddly, it was the lack of school and activities during the early part of the pandemic that made getting to know this child possible. In time, this youngster was in and out of our house – spending time with my family, going to church and AWANA with my kids. We watched things youngster grow during this time. A few months ago, this youngster was moved to a different family member’s home in a different location. We no longer have input in this child’s life. That has been really hard for me to accept. But I have to trust that God did something during those years this child was able to spend with us – and I have to trust that God will keep this child in His hands. I can physically, tangibly, do nothing more – but I can pray and trust that God will not let this child go and that He will continue to grow this child. Reading the story of Jayden reminds me of God’s faithfulness to His children (literal children in this case). It helps me to trust Him and gives me hope for the youngster that passed through our home for a time.
Yes indeed God is Sovereign and in control of everything. And He loves us to practice justice and mercy as His children . He blessed us so that we can bless others The Bsf children program is amazing .I practically see how it influences the babies and the way they enjoy it .May God’s blessings be up on each Children leader . Thank you
Wonderful story. I was blessed in an indirect way. Thank you 🙂
A very encouraging life story acknowledging God’s sovereignty and practicing Micah 6:8…act justly, love mercy and walk humbly
Our God is Awesome! Our God Reigns! My Redeemer Lives! Thanks so much for sharing your story.
Very encouraging to read about BSF Children’s programme especially about the power of songs and persistent prayer.
Thank you BSF for helping me grow in faith.
Always and in all situations, our God is a merciful and faithful God.