Some have often asked, “If you could only use one word to describe the ministry, what would it be?” We have pondered that question often and have always come back to “FAMILY.” We care for children in a family setting, and we work back with the biological family when at all possible. The modeling of a family doesn’t stop when a child ages out of the protective system at the age of eighteen. We have witnessed the beauty of family well beyond.
As we look at “family” in the eyes of our houseparents, they serve as substitute families for the children under their care until the courts deem otherwise. For some children, that has been fairly short time, but for others, it has meant until adulthood . . . and beyond.
Juan Carlos and Milagro have been houseparents with us for over thirteen years. They have raised a generation of children and continue to pour into new lives that come into their home. But what is precious, is that those that age out of care and leave, whether to our Transition Home or back with family members, they continue to call, come back to visit and invite Juan Carlos, Milagro and their family to important events in their lives. They ask for advise, whether they heed or not, like most young adults – but they have someone to call. They call Juan Carlos to bring his truck and help them move. They invite them to their weddings and let them know they are going to be “grandparents.” They invite them to birthday parties of their children. Juan Carlos actually goes every Saturday to purchase fruits and vegetables from one of the girls they had in their home. Research shows that meaningful, long lasting relationships for aging out youth make a huge difference in the post foster life of a young adult. We are thankful for the ways our houseparents pour into the lives of the children and that transfers over into a lifetime relationship.
Please join us for praying that each child truly feels part of a family.
Enjoy some pictures of this reality . . .