making the connection...
Baptist Church, West Monroe
Why did you decide to become a Connect 1:27 Church?
First West recognizes the need for Foster and Adoptive parents in NELA. In seeing the need, we realized we could tie it to our church’s mission and vision. By doing so, we can encourage our members to get involved.
What does your church do as a Connect 1:27 Church?
We had a Foster and Adoption Sunday where these ministries were highlighted. We also set up a Foster to Adopt fund to help families in our church with the costs associated with the process of fostering to adopt.
We hosted this area’s Foster Care banquet, and held a special Parent’s Night Out for those families a few weeks later.
We partnered with the DCFS and the LBCH to host the Quality Parenting Initiative.
We helped by providing some volunteers at Family Fun Day.
Is there a specific event or ministry in your church that supports Foster and Adoptive Families?
This is a new opportunity for First West, however, that does not mean God isn’t moving. We have had several families that have started and completed, or are currently in the process of being a foster parent and/or adoptive parent.
What is your advice to churches who are considering becoming involved in Foster and Adoption Ministry?
The need for foster and adoptive parents in this area is so great. We believe that taking care of the orphan is a mandated principle of Scripture. We are committed to that and would encourage other churches to do the same.
making the connection...
Jesse and Laura, Southeast LA
How many years have you served as a foster parent, and to how many children?
We have been certified for 1 and 1/2 years. We have had 1 long term placement and have done respite since our foster child went home with his family last March.
Why did you become a foster parent?
Crossroads Nola was influential in our in our decision to become foster parents. We truly feel that families are broken and hurting in our commu-nity. We also feel that as Christian parents we can take steps to come alongside these families and provide support for the parents and love and stability for the children. We also really believe that the stability we can provide to children whose families are in crisis really matters for the long term.
Why do you continue to be a foster parent?
Fostering is hard and emotionally draining. That is just a fact. We continue in this work because it matters. It matters in the immediate sense because families in crisis need families who will step into the trenches with them right now. It also matters in the eternal sense. This is a step into a dark and difficult world, but we must press forward and be the light. It is absolutely imperative that we be a witness into the fos-ter care community and that we show our children how to be on mission in their community.
Describe your family dynamic.
We have 3 daughters, and we have a mostly silly and fun-loving dynamic. Our house is full of energy!
What is your favorite activity to do as a family?
We love to be outside! We ride bikes to our favorite Mexican restaurant and we love to swim. We fre-quent the parks in our area. We also really love a good family movie night!
What has God taught you as a foster parent?
That HE is sovereign over it all. That we can rest in knowing that he holds these babies in HIS hand. I’m not saying it is easy, but it is comforting. We just have to show up and provide the love & care, and HE has the rest. Our God is big enough to call these kids out of hard circumstances, and we can trust Him. God has really strengthened our walks and our understanding of His sovereignty.