Lifeline’s commitment to foster care ministry extends well beyond initial training.
In addition to encouragement and counseling as needed, Lifeline hosts an annual retreat for our foster families, intended to be a time of refreshment and equipping. As part of every retreat, guest speakers instruct parents regarding issues that are practical and relevant to foster parents and the children placed in their homes. This year’s retreat, Gatherer, was based on Isaiah 40:11 and emphasized Christ as the Good Shepherd who cares for His sheep in intimate ways. Topics included Thriving as a Single Mom in Foster Care to Making Disciples of Kids from Hard Places. The founders of Biblical Marriage Institute led a workshop on Nurturing Marriage in Ministry, and two ladies who experienced foster care as children gave powerful testimonies. In addition, a biological child of foster parents shared about the experience of foster care as a sibling.
While our foster parents enjoy fellowship and learn with one another, their children (both children in care and children of the foster parents) are cared for by approved volunteers who facilitate age-appropriate activities with them.
One attendee found this retreat to be a time of respite but also a much needed reminder of her calling and her reliance upon the Lord for sustaining grace and life change:
“What I needed to hear and be reminded of is that I just need to disciple, no matter what the end result may be. I fight the thoughts that no matter what I pour or speak into [my foster daughter’s] life, it’s not going to matter.” The retreat recalled the reality of faithful obedience to her mind, “To be reminded I don’t need to try and figure it all out, I just need to do my part. It was like taking a breath for the first time. I was thinking ‘Oh yeah, I’m really not the author and finisher of anyone’s faith, or responsible for anyone’s end result, I just need to keep pouring into her life.’”
Lifeline is privileged to walk alongside our families at all points of need and to be a part of pouring into the lives of families and children as the Lord changes lives.