A vision for holistic redemption in foster care requires an entire community to bridge the gap between a fallen world and the God who cares for the vulnerable. Read the story below and consider how you can be part of the story of someone’s reconciliation:
During the summer of 2015, Brandon and Trina Bishop agreed to care for two boys, ages 9 and 12. They sought out ways to meet and get to know the boys’ mother, as well as to maximize their time with her. The Bishops’ assured the boys and their mother that they wanted to keep her involved in their lives and wanted to be a resource for all of them.
The relationship between the boys and the Bishops grew, as did some challenges along the way. One of the boys received a diagnosis of dyslexia and ADHD, which made school difficult for him. Through encouragement, extra tutoring, and lots of hard work, “He pulled his grades up by the end of the year,” said Trina. While his brother was improving academically, the other son joined the dive team during the summer and earned the Most Improved award. These sons saw improvements because of the intentional love of family—both biological and in the care of the Bishops, who were cheerleaders for all three members of this family.
A day came when the boys’ mom received a day pass from her treatment program, and they were able to meet for lunch at a local restaurant. After that first outing the Bishops were able to include the boys’ mom for a trip to a pumpkin patch, Disney on Ice, and Halloween festivities. She even joined the Bishops’ family for Thanksgiving and attended church with them on occasion, always with lunch afterwards. The boys’ mom invited the Bishop’s to her 6-month graduation from treatment, and they were able to see her get baptized after surrendering her life to Christ. This mom was getting stronger, and her progress was evident!
Recently, the Bishops knew the time was getting close for the boys to be reunited with their mom permanently. God orchestrated the steps needed to make this happen. The boys’ mom was struggling to find a safe apartment that she could afford. The Bishops’ friend had purchased a house through an auction and offered to rent it to the boys’ mom. The family’s church body arranged a day to make needed repairs and required improvements to the house. God used the church so that a family could be reunited. The two families still see each other frequently – usually on a weekly basis – as the Bishops help with child care and also love for the boys to visit with their son, Hayden. He loves these boys very much! The Bishops lives were forever changed by these relationships.
This story is a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ, working together to see families improve, get stronger, and be forever changed through the love of Christ and reconciled relationships. But, more stories like this are waiting to be told. The little girl sleeping on a couch at Department of Human Resources needs a family to stand in the gap; she needs someone to provide resources so the family can be trained; she needs her mom to be able to attend the parenting classes required by the court.
Join Lifeline as we seek to tell more stories of gospel of reconciliation in foster care. Be a part of someone’s story. An investment of $2,500 will empower Lifeline to impact one life. What part can you play to help impact one life this year?