When a community cares for a child
Lisa, a retired engineer turned library director, sat looking at her phone as she sipped her morning coffee. It had been a year since she had retired and she was looking for something, some new way to connect with and love those around her. Not knowing what path to follow, Lisa prayed.
Elsewhere, Tricia and her husband John also prayed as they held the hands of their little foster son, five-year-old Sam.
They had been to several hospital visits, sat in a number of waiting rooms, and watched Sam go through one painful round of medication after another. They weren’t sure how they would make it through to the next day.
In 2019, Lisa saw an opportunity to serve foster families near her through the Kingdom Workers Foster Support program. “I wanted to do something different and I’ve always wanted to help foster families, but I knew I couldn’t foster. I saw this as my opportunity to help families.” Lisa got connected with the Foster Support Coordinator for her area and was placed on a Family Care Team assigned to a family living only a short distance away.
"I saw this as my opportunity to help families."
Lisa, a retired library director, was able to help foster families by joining a Family Care Team.
That family happened to be Tricia’s. Lisa recalls the moment she first met the Nelson family, “There are always unknowns when you go to meet someone for the first time, especially in a situation like this. The whole Care Team got together and met the family at their house. I immediately felt a connection with the family, Tricia especially. She wore her faith on her sleeve, and I connected with that.” In that moment, Lisa was all in and committed to do whatever she could to help.
Supporting the Nelson family
Lisa and the other volunteers arranged meals for the Nelson family and gave them gift cards to help cover the costs of driving to and from the hospital. As Lisa got to know the family, she witnessed an incredible change in Sam. Before Sam had been placed in the foster care of the Nelson family he did not know about Jesus, but now he did.
“They got to share Jesus with him, and it was incredible to see his whole life change. I remember John telling us one story in particular about Sam. It was late at night and they were staying at the hospital. Sam woke up and you could tell he was in pain, but he looked at his foster dad and said, ‘I am in a lot of pain right now, but I want you to know I’m praying about it.’”
Serving Tricia and John and watching Sam’s faith grow was an incredible experience for Lisa, “It really was such a gift to get to know this family.” One of Lisa’s favorite things was to bring over a meal for the Nelsons because it gave her time to talk with Tricia, Sam, and occasionally some of the Nelson’s older biological children. Bringing over a home-cooked meal gave Lisa a chance to connect with and love those around her, just like she had prayed for.
You can help a foster family by making a meal for them, or even by making them a card with an encouraging message from scripture.
What happens when a community cares for a child
The Nelson family and the Family Care Team came together in Christian love for one another and for little Sam for several months. Sadly, Sam passed away in late 2019. But he is now with Jesus and is no longer in pain because his foster family and volunteers like Lisa boldly shared the gospel and message of Jesus. “It was so obvious that this family was full of God’s love. God put them together. To be a part of that was wonderful, it was a blessing like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”
“This was such a positive encouragement and help to us. We would love for others to benefit from your program.”
Having a Family Care Team was also a blessing for the Nelson family. Tricia told Kingdom Workers, “This was such a positive encouragement and help to us. We would love for others to benefit from your program. It made such a difference.” God is always capable of taking our gifts and using them to impact the lives of those around us in ways we could never imagine.
Since Sam’s passing, Lisa has kept in touch with the Nelson family and prayed that God would be with them. She wants anyone who is considering joining a Family Care Team to know this. “Know that God will give you the strength you need to be a friend to the family you are serving. God will give you the words to say to encourage them. To meet these families really is a gift, one I will be grateful for forever.”
Start the Foster Support program at your church. We’ll help.
Providing physical and spiritual support to foster families starts with letting us know your church is ready to get started or would like more information. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more about the program here.
Training & Education
We work with your church to identify a Team Lead who coordinates the program for your congregation. The Team Lead is provided with training while churches receive the resources and documents they need to successfully launch this program.
Host a foster event
Events are an easy way to start a thriving foster program at your church. This outreach tool lets people in your community know that you care about foster families and the children in their care.