OK So yesterday was a dream! A dream I (we) have had for years. A dream to tell 1,000's of people about foster care and adoption! About the millions of children waiting- 1,200 in foster care in our county alone, over 20,000 in foster care in Florida, over 500,000 in foster care in the U.S. and the 163 million orphans worldwide!!!!!
Those are not just numbers people! They are faces, personalities, PEOPLE!
So we spoke at all 3 services LIVE :). It was AWESOME!!! We had quite a good response as well. Let me tell you about some of the wonderful people I got to speak with yesterday:
- A woman who said she was "from the other side" of foster care. A relative of hers had 5 kiddos, and they just didn't feel equipped to take them all in. That guilt has been hanging out, but she is realizing that God may still have plans for her to get involved at our church to help others walk that path!
- Some that came by to say- I am adopted- THANK YOU! Thank you for sharing the need.
- Just married sweet couple that said WHEN not IF we adopt- we love that we have a resource here in our church family.
- My husband is not on board, but I have a strong desire to adopt. I love being a mom and would love to take in another child(ren). ****note: I have shared some of your stories out there ladies of how you prayed for a long time and God moved in His time in your husband's heart. I pray this gave her a hope.
- I can't wait to foster- how can I get started! Well, you are in time because foster care classes are starting next week!!!!! WAHOOO!!!!
- I really have a heart for foster care....how can I help others doing it?
- A precious family that came to our home on Saturday! They have adopted 6 children from Ethiopia, and are praying about going back for number 7 - who is HIV positive :) Praise God!
-A lady whose heart was broken for those who can not conceive. She really wanted to minister to couples who are hurting. Huge heart!
- Couples who were worried about how to raise funds for adoptions. ***To which I replied that is why we are building a network to support each other, to pray, to raise funds together, to help with ideas for no interest loans, grant applications, etc. :)
- Couples saying how can I help? Do you need a babysitter for an event? What can I do to help others who are adopting or fostering? - PRAISE JESUS!
- A young boy who came up to me about 7-8 years old who hugged my neck for 5 minutes and thanked me over and over again for sharing about our family! ***LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!
- A young lady who came up to say that she was one of the children who aged out of foster care without being adopted. She was lucky enough to have lived in a home where they teach life skills for a while. She is now on her own, but doing pretty good.
And many others too! Jason and I were overwhelmed with JOY! With knowing the truth has been told. That many responded, and we pray continue to respond. To hear stories of those who have fostered and adopted, and those who want to. To hear of those who want to help others.
We are THANKFUL! Thankful that our church's heart is for the forgotten.
Praying we can continue to build up the body of Christ to carry out James 1:27 (our memory verse this week) "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
***Will post the message online when it gets posted to the website ;) for those who missed it.