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Ministry Moments Blog
Recently an Arms of Love Foster Care leader reconnected with a family who fostered, adopted and closed their license through our agency. They had the privilege of adopting an adorable five-year-old boy and six-year-old girl. The children had few known issues and the family was ecstatic. Life seemed like it would move forward smoothly.
At the event where the family reconnected with our team, the ministry leader saw these sweet and beautiful children smiling and playing like the other children. However, the mother began to share how hard it had been parenting these children, and the many challenges that have affected their family and marriage. The angelic-looking little boy has temper tantrums, rages and is in trouble at school most of the time. Their little princess is doing better, but has some major heart issues. They would all benefit from family counseling. She further explained that she has reached out to the children’s therapist, subsidy worker and school counselor and they have offered little to no hope or help for their children. Her last question was, “Do you have any advice?”
Fortunately, this is a strong family who loves each other deeply and will not give up on their marriage or their children. This does not change the reality that they have some really hard and unexpected things to deal with, and feel very much alone. Sadly, this type of story occurs all too often for families who adopt children in the state’s care. They continue to see the effects of their children’s trauma. A sense of loneliness and helplessness can sometimes lead to dissolution of the adoption, resulting in the child re-entering state care. The cycle of trauma then continues.
This family would have benefited from a variety of continued services such as an assigned licensing specialist contacting them and advocating for services regularly, family counseling and possibly respite care. Unfortunately, there is no state funding for services benefiting adoptive parents. Many are left feeling alone to navigate the murky waters of life after adoption.
Arms of Love Foster Care launched an endowment campaign in March 2018 to ensure ministry will continue for years to come. We are praying that 100 donors will give $1,000 in March. We praise God that $27,000 has already been raised. Contributions to the endowment fund will enable staff to continue to offer support to families who adopt, helping them to feel encouraged and know they are not alone. This will ensure positive permanency in the life of a child. Please visit abcsfostercare.com/endowment to learn more.
A devotion by Tim Lesher, Casa de Amor
We’ve continued to ask different people to tell us about their “why” in their ministry area, today we hear about Casa de Amor from Tim Lesher.
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. - 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Here we see the beginning of Paul’s beautiful description of our ministry on earth. It is not that Christ’s love should be at the top of the list. It IS the top of the list. You see, the words “controls us” should mean it forces us to live our lives this way. It is not plan B. The love of Christ is it! We do this because Jesus died for ALL. God has called us to make sure that EVERYONE has the opportunity to feel and respond to the love of God, no matter their background or past. God loves all and we are called to love all. Let us challenge one another to never forget that we do this because of the love of Christ! Love all.
A devotion by Stephanie Rasmussen, Foster Care Licensing Specialist - Mohave County
We’ve continued to ask different people to tell us about their “why” in their ministry area, today we hear about Foster Care from Stephanie Rasmussen.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:10
When I was a little girl, I knew I would work with kids when I grew up because I knew that was very important. Everything I did as a kid, teen and then college student was always geared towards helping kids in one way or another.
After college, I became a teacher where I met a child who was in a very bad home situation. Still, she was the happiest girl I had ever met. I always prayed that DCS would remove her but I wasn’t prepared for it when it happened. All I could think about was how she was taken from everything she knew, even her school, and now had to figure out a brand new life. I knew I had to do something to help other kids in similar situations.
This desire to help other kids ultimately led me to ABCS where I can now help families help these kids. I feel this is what God has called me to do. He has prepared me for this role ever since I was little.
A devotion by Brenda DeVillez, Parent Aide Team Supervisor - Maricopa County
We’ve asked a few different people to tell us about their “why” in their ministry area, today we hear about Parent Aide from Brenda DeVillez.
…Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. - Matthew 20:26-28
I need to give a little background about myself in order to get to the “why.” I had the blessing of growing up as a missionary kid. My father did church planting in Mexico. My parents were constantly meeting new people and also going into neighborhoods that needed much help. My parents would at times “drag” me along on these meetings. Even though at the time I may have been “bothered” by it, I was able to see what serving others looked like. Jesus Himself came to serve and not to be served. My life experiences have led me to where I am today. I have been called to serve and am blessed that I am able to do that here at ABCS. The families that we come in contact with through the Parent Aide program are hurting. They can be difficult and at times we might think they are “undeserving” (for whatever reason). Regardless of their background, we are here to serve these families just as Jesus has instructed us. My desire for us all is that through our servant-like attitude, we continue to provide hope and care to these hurting families.
A devotion by Mike Taylor, Arms of Love Foster Care Licensing Specialist - Pima County
We’ve asked a few different people to tell us about their “why” in their ministry area, today we hear about Foster Care from Mike Taylor.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. – Ephesians 3:20
There are times in our lives when life gets in the way of our calling and God makes us come to place of searching, struggle and redirection in which all you can say is, “What’s next, Lord?” ABCS is my “Next.” God opened a door for a new kind of ministry that allowed me to use my many experiences as a Christian, a pastor and a parent (birth, foster and adoptive). I have been amazed by the situations that God has put me in that I thought, “been there, done that.” This has shown me how God allowed me to be in those situations so that I could use those experiences to help other people as they seek God’s vision for their future. So what has this taught me? For me it comes down to, if God is who the Bible says He is, I simply must trust God moving forward. I am very grateful for the many experiences I have had and am now experiencing, and have been amazed at how God has used even some very painful experiences to supply me with grace, strength and growth opportunities to help others. The “Next” times are rarely easy, but God has never failed me in each of those times and I agree with Paul in Ephesians 3:20. My “Why” is because God made ABCS my “Next.” I see my current “Next” as a bridge that God uses to help others find their “What’s Next?”