“But this might interrupt our life.” – me to God
“I sure hope so!”- God to me
Ever have one of those moments of realization that God has been directing your steps to a new journey. This is what has happened for me with Safe Families. I can remember the initial spark. Sitting in a room full of other pastors enjoying great food and listening to Embrace Oregon, a nonprofit that partners with the foster care system. God spurred intrigue and wonder. How can my family and church family enter into caring for children and families at risk?
Or even further back to when Eli’s class was going to miss a field trip due to children who were misbehaving. The parents in my social circle were upset the other children’s behavior might gyp their child. But that was not my concern; it was why were these children showing this mistaken behavior. I knew some of their stories and knew their behavior was truly a result of unmet needs and rough life stories. I thought it was important for Eli to know he was a part of a community who had struggling members and it was our job to support them. As I shared this perspective the parents just couldn’t hear it and I realized it was the Holy Spirit spurring hospitality, generosity and love.
I begin to seek out more information about possible places of entry into this type of ministry and found Safe Families. Safe Families for Children is a national movement of compassion that is preventing child abuse by encouraging the Church to resume its historical and Biblical responsibility for vulnerable children by becoming part of the support network for these children’s parents. It has now come to Newberg. It provides a chance for parents to get back on their feet before abuse or neglect occur by placing their children with host families for a short period of time while they get support to handle the crisis. The host families are supported by a family friend, resource team, prayer team, family coach, and respite family.
We want to be a part of this movement that supports families at risk in partnership with other local churches. There are many ways for all types of families and individuals with different skill sets and time capabilities to become involved with Safe Families. Support and training from Safe families and church staff are provided. I am looking forward to sharing more with you all on Sunday June 26th.
As I’ve been praying about Safe Families and inviting Jesus into this exciting opportunity and what it might mean for my family, I had the prayer this might disruptive our current lifestyle. Inviting new children into our home and walking with families in crisis may produce a bit if disorganization. I heard the Holy Spirit answer “I hope so!” I was reminded of the many stories in the Bible in which lives were interrupted and that led to great love. Paul walking down the road of Damascus, Jonah going to Nineveh, the woman at well who thought she was just collecting water that day, Zacchaeus and the list could go on and on. My prayer is that you will hear what God is calling you to enter into that will lead to great love.