Made New

Something that I find so beautiful about my relationship with the Lord is that He knows how to speak to me in a language that my heart understands.  I should not be surprised by this, He did create me after all!  Of course, He knows the perfect way to reveal the lessons that I need in perfect timing. 

I have always found understanding in metaphors.  I guess I need to be able to measure things in my human condition.  The Lord has never ceased to amaze me with the way he connects my heart to small, yet powerful things.  Things do not have to be complicated to have huge effect.

I love restoring pieces of furniture and I buy most of my clothes from thrift stores.  I consider it a total blast to wake up early on the weekend and go out hunting for beat up, broken, dirty pieces of furniture.  My husband on the other hand, does not share this interest, but I am blessed to have a man who supports me in my furniture fixing endeavors!  One of my husband’s favorite pieces of furniture in our living room is a side table that I pulled out of the trash. 

One weekend, while I was working on this side table, which only had three legs and was covered in dirt, the Lord gave me a picture of his perfect ability to restore us.  The Lord restores broken children that we see coming through the foster care system, our marriages, our families, our churches. 

I grew up in a family who was called to foster care ministry.  Foster children are often small, fragile, overlooked and broken, yet I believe our God finds these souls to be the most beautiful of all.  How amazing is it that our God allows us, the church, to hunt these treasures, pull them out of a place of brokenness, provide restoration, and place them in our homes as valuable and treasured members?  Is the journey of fostering an easy one?  No, not at all.  Despite the hardships, isn’t it one of most rewarding experiences to know that you were used to restore a soul, a life, and a future that otherwise would have been thrown aside?  Absolutely. 

 

 

 

Foster Children and Foster Families Need Stability

Foster Children and Foster Families Need Stability

 by Bill Hancock

When foster children move from family to family - agency to agency - school to school, they are forced to move from relationship to relationship at home, work, church, and community. At first they have the resiliency to start over. But over time - many moves - and broken relationships later, they may lose the hope that new relationships will be different, better, or safe. They learn to not to trust or get close to people. They stop trusting that anyone will care for them. Their general state of being becomes one of defensiveness rooted in anger, fear, and pain.

 

Then they reach the magic age of accountability and they're expected to become independent responsible adults. Reality sets in and they feel trapped; stuck in the middle between the mistakes of their youth and the expectation for meaningful and productive adult lives. The only thing they’ve learned from their mistakes in life is that they make mistakes and relationships don't work for them. Without growing emotionally and spiritually they fail to learn new methods of behavior or acquire the skills necessary to cope with adult responsibilities. Consequently, they set up for themselves the same set of circumstances that disrupt relationships and continue moving from relationship to relationship without experiencing the stability and freedom of unconditional love that comes from God's truth and grace .

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARE YOU ANXIOUS?

Anxiety, in contrast with fear, is not typically unexplainable. Where fear is a feeling that may or may not have an actual cause, anxiety is a fear about what might happen in the future. It is an overwhelming concern for the outcome of events that are imminent.

Anxiety says things like:

  • “How will my children turn out?”
  • “The change at work may cause me to lose my job.”
  • “I am moving but don’t have a house yet. What if I can’t find a place to live?”
  • “I need to pay my bills. What if I don’t have the money at the end of the month to pay them?
  • And any number of other concerns rooted in some degree of reality.

This is what makes anxiety so hard to deal with. We can rationalize it. We make ourselves feel good by declaring that we are just “Realists.” The problem with many who have experienced trauma in their lives is that they have concluded, because of their past, that anything outside of their control will end poorly. And so they need to be in control all of the time. When they feel out of control, anxiety and the fear of the bad thing that will probably happen begins to control them.

Control and trust are at the heart of anxiety. There is so much in life that we cannot control and this is why we are anxious. We need to focus on the things that we can control and then trust an infinite God to take care of the rest! Our reading today describes a “peace that passes understanding” that can be enjoyed by the one who places their cares, concerns and anxieties on Him. When we really trust that He is capable of dealing with our future, we can finally release our overwhelming need for control.

Are you anxious? Cast your care and anxiety on Him because He cares for you and can be trusted!

Jenny's Story

Jenny Goins is the Fostering Our Future Ministry Team Leader at FBC Windermere.  Jenny is a homeschooling mother of four that is graduating her last in May. With this HUGE era coming to an end, she began asking God what He would have her do with this block of time and opportunity about to open up.   

After learning about foster parent support families and respite care, Jenny realized that God was moving in her city and that she needed to be a part of it.   She set up a meeting with her pastor, Chuck Carter, and discussed what Fostering Our Future could mean for their church.  Together they established February 2017 as the target for the ministry rollout.  With a great deal of prayer, Jenny began building her team. 

The team presented the mission to the Church on February 12, 2017.   Our “Month of Missions” began the first Sunday with a message that reminded us that we are ALL called to be missionaries, but in different ways and areas. The second Sunday was local missions and how we are to be the church FOR the city and ways that we could do that. Adoption and Fostering were the emphasis that Sunday and were mentioned and promoted the rest of the month.

According to Jenny, “The rest….is HIS Story: God had this in mind all along, but we as a church needed to listen to Him. We are all called to do something for the widow and orphan as God tells us in James 1:27 and throughout Scripture; but we are not all called to do the same thing…. I am called to be the Ministry Team Leader at FBC Windermere and be the advocate for our foster families. I am not called to adopt or foster. I AM, however, called to head this ministry up at our church.”.  

Ruthy's Story

Ruthy Villaneuva is a Ministry Team Leader at Living Water Fellowship in Kissimmee.  Ruthy and her family have recently been approved as a foster home and anticipating a placement soon.  Ruthy stated that God started working in her heart about 5 years ago with what she thought was a yearning to adopt when her children started to get older. 

Ruthy moved to Florida from Western Michigan.  She had never had much interest in fostering, somewhat because she thought the process seemed difficult, but mostly because the need was not great so there was not much attention given to foster care where she was.  When she got to Florida, she realized that there was a foster care crisis in her area.  Ruthy shared that she first heard about Fostering Our Future through a heartfelt, impassioned testament of Pastor Kristy Gavern and her experience.  Ruthy immediately felt drawn to be a part of Fostering Our Future.   She dove right in with volunteering and in October, attended PRIDE training to start her own foster family journey.  She explained that the entire process has been positive; while there have been some delays, she feels that is all in God’s plan to prepare their home and their family for what He has in store for them. 

Ruthy calls the Family Support Team plan through Fostering Our Future “amazing”.  She has been overwhelmed with the immediate response for support, ranging from donations to meals and even respite care, when she puts out a call for help.  Even in her own journey, Ruthy found that the incredible generosity and receptiveness to help came in the form of a fire extinguisher for her home to be home- study compliant.  Ruthy admitted that she never thought about the support network as a resource for pre-placement services of any kind, but was focused solely on what her needs might be after the placement of a child in their home.  She learned of a need for respite care at another church and was overjoyed that one of her support families was willing to help. 

Ruthy said, “Fostering Our Future is a big family and we are the Body of Christ, providing hope for children that feel hopeless”.

January 2017

January Newsletter
Grace Landing / Fostering Our Future

Devotion

    We often think of the new year as a "do over." Trust Based Relational Intervention is an intervention designed for children from "hard places", but is an approach for all parents and families to use.  One of the things when disciplining children is a "do over", giving the child an opportunity to practice the appropriate way to act.  Jesus does the same for us, He forgives us our sins, remembers them no more, and gives us a chance to "do over." 
 

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9


Trust Based Relational Interven Class
Friday, Feb 3rd 6-9pm and Saturday, Feb 4th 9-4pm
Email: judaa@gracelanding.com to register

News

Adoption Update

Just before Christmas one of our boys in our group home, Felix, was adopted by D and Maria.  Felix has a forever family! We love you!


Thank you for your generosity!

A big thank you to our churches who made sure our boys had a great Christmas! Also to Give Kids Safe Shelter for giving $1,000 toward Christmas.  We were able to take care of a few who came in and put two tires and buy brakes for one of the boys and repair a radiator for one of the girls. Thanks to Gaylord Palms for tickets to the ICE Show!


A big thank you to our churches who made sure our boys had a great Christmas!

  • The Vine
  • Real Life
  • Connection Church
  • Freedom Life
  • Kissimmee Christian

 

Fostering our Future Pastors lead the way!

When pastors lead, families foster, and volunteers support those who foster, children's lives change and our community is transformed.  Thank you for your leadership:

  • Mike Delong - The Vine
  • Jim Book - Kissimmee Christian
  • Greg Squires - Freedom Life
  • Kristi Gavern - Living Water Fellowship

A Look Back

A look back this year with Fostering our Future to see where God is leading us! 124 days ago, four pastors stepped up and put out A Call to Action to help solve the need for foster families in Osceola County.

  • 4 churches
  • 12 Ministry Team Leaders
  • 159 people responded to James 1:27 in taking care of the orphan
  • 130 went through Life on Mission: The Foster Care Journey Class
  • 30 Families were interested in fostering
  • 3 completed the PRIDE class in October
  • 3 families helping homeless girls ages 18-23
  • 6 aged out foster care and homeless boys living in the group homes
  • 38 volunteers trained

Online Equipping and Community Building

Plan Now to Join our New Online Equipping and Community Building Series based on the book “Changes That Heal; The Four Shifts That Make Everything Better…And That Anyone Can Do; By Dr. Henry Cloud (Zondervan Press, 1994).

WHO: Foster Parents and Family Support Team Members
WHERE: Fostering Our Future Members Group Page; via Facebook Live,
WHEN: Sessions are Presented the First Sunday of the month
WHAT TO EXPECT: We will apply “The Four Shifts” principles and strategies to our personal lives and the work of foster care ministry.

Download Presentation Notes from the Members Facebook Page click “Info” - scroll down - click “File”; See PDF titled “Changes That Heal Session Notes” and click. Feel Free to invite friends to join or host a small group at church or home and follow the series.Copyright © 2017 Grace Landing, All rights reserved. 
Thanks for partnering with Grace Landing! 

December 2016

Fostering Our Future

    
Fostering Our Future would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior this season I see the hurts of our youth and families. Healing begins with a simple apology and hug. Consider restoring a broken relationship in your family this Christmas season.

 

It was great to enjoy time with our Ministry Team Leaders, pastors, homeless youth, host families and new foster families; celebrating what everyone is doing as we work together to help vulnerable children. One of our young ladies shared her story, blessing all of us. (Wish I had remembered to take a picture when everyone was there!)

Congratulations to one of our young ladies who now has a car! She wanted to get one before she started Valencia in January. She is so proud! She saved enough to make a down payment on car insurance, her tag, and first time owner fee. Someone from her church sold it to her for $1 because they had been given the car for $1. Passing forward and blessing others!

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Ravyn finished high school today! A big step for him!

 
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A big thank you to TJMaxx for not only their $5,000 grant, but for continuing to hire our homeless youth!

Also, Thank you to Publix Charities for $1500. Your financial support is greatly appreciated.
News


New Strategic Church Partnership -
First Baptist Church Windermere 

 Heidi Steiner - Ministry Team Leader

Heidi Steiner - Ministry Team Leader

 Chuck Carter - Senior Pastor

Chuck Carter - Senior Pastor

 Jenny Goins - Ministry Team Leader

Jenny Goins - Ministry Team Leader


UPCOMING 'PRIDE' TRAINING CLASSES

JANUARY 7,14,21,28

APRIL 1,8,16,22,

JULY 1,8,16,22

OCT. 7,14,21,28

Times and locations TBA.

October Update

Devotional Thought

Isaiahi 1:17 says, "learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widows cause."

Justice flows from God's heart and character. When we pay attention to the treasures of God's heart we put ourselves in a position of blesssing. Fostering our Future would like to say "thank you" to our families in PRIDE who are paying attention to the treasures of God's heart.

Update

Florida's foster care system continues to trend upward. There's not enough quality families to care for our children. The church is the solution to the foster care capacity, stability, and quality problem. Reported in July 2015, the number of children in what's known as out-of-home care (foster homes and group homes) has reached 22,004 statewide, up from 17,591 in 2013. Plan now to attend our next Life On Mission: the Christian Foster Family Journey Session. Let's continue the momentum and choose love. Look for the schedule in your inbox.

TAKE THE NEXT STEP

 Attend our next Life On Mission: Foster Care Journey: Wednesday November 2nd / Living Waters / Facilitated by Ruthy Villanueva

 

 Check out this video to hear a message from one of our partnering pastors.