A few years ago, God began opening our Impact Team’s eyes to a piece of the foster care puzzle that we were missing. We loved caring for kids in care, foster parents, and agency workers, but we realized we were completely missing out on a connection with the biological parents of kids in care which is, in my opinion, one of the greatest opportunities for impact.
This led us to launch a new ministry where we began hosting supervised visits on our campus every Tuesday night between kids in foster care and their biological parents. Some nights are filled with laughter, playing, and incredibly fun moments of art projects, family dinners, and cuddles. Other nights are filled with tears, difficult goodbyes, and complex situations. Sometimes there are bear hugs and huge smiles as families get to see each other for the first time in a week. Sometimes there is anxious pacing and uncertainty as cases change and plans shift. Most nights…it’s a combination of all of these things.
Foster care is messy. This ministry is messy. I don’t think there has been a single Tuesday night I’ve driven home without shedding a few tears. But when I look around at these bio families, these foster families, these incredible kids, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of thankfulness that we as a church have the privilege of being invited into their stories.
We get to see moms cook dinner for their kids for the first time in a year.
We get to witness dads cuddle their newborn babies and see them smile for the first time.
We get to help lighten the load for foster families and caseworkers in a small way.
We get to see kids find a home here, feel safe here, and have fun here.
One of my favorite stories about Christ’s Church is that the land we currently sit on was originally sold to the church because it was deemed “unusable farmland.” While I know that church is so much more than a physical location, I can’t help but smile when I see all that God is doing on this land – the lives he is changing, the families he is restoring, the grace he is offering. Perhaps this land could never be used to grow crops, but it’s being used to grow so much more, and I cannot wait to see how he continues to use it for his glory.