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Ministry Moments Blog
We’ve continued to ask different people to tell us about their “why” in their ministry area, today we hear about Foster Care from Mike Molina, Arms of Love Foster Care licensing specialist.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. - Galatians 6:7–10
Sometimes doing good can become exhausting when we see no change as a result of the good we do! No question the believers of Galatia were feeling this way. They were sowing seeds of goodness, but nothing good seemed to be coming forth. Paul is writing to the Galatian believers to encourage them to keep doing good. At times, I have felt that way in my life and I just want to throw in the towel. When I was a 5th grade teacher, I would pour myself into my student’s lives. At the end of the year I would ask myself is it worth it, considering the pay, excessively large class sizes and lack of resources. A few years after I had been teaching, though, I started seeing the fruit of my labor. Students coming back to tell me thank you for being patient with them, helping them learn, and I even had one tell me thank you for showing me Christ.
Now as a pastor and a licensing worker I am reminded the very thing that drives me is my faith in Christ and wanting others to see him by the good that I do. I will continue to do good because that is what I am called to do and I know at the right time, God’s time, I will reap a harvest for the good I have done.
Alice* came to the New Life Pregnancy Center hoping to get an ultrasound. A peer counselor explained she would first need to take a pregnancy test, and Alice agreed. The two sat in the office together, and Alice explained her situation. A pregnancy test she had taken was positive. She felt all of the pregnancy symptoms, but was extremely worried because she had experienced eight miscarriages in her past. Seeing the fear on Alice’s face, the peer counselor encouraged her that Jesus loves her so much he died for her so that by believing in Him she might have peace and hope for the future. Alice listened intently and said that she had never had any spiritual beliefs.
They continued with the pregnancy test, which came back negative. As the peer counselor told her the test result, Alice sank into a confused silence. The peer counselor asked if she could pray with her. Alice agreed, and as the peer counselor prayed Alice let the tears she had been holding back for so long flow steadily. The peer counselor reminded her again of how deeply Jesus loves and cares for her. She encouraged Alice to return to the center or call for support. Alice thanked the peer counselor genuinely, and as she left, she turned back to the peer counselor to thank her again. Pray for this woman who has endured so much pain and hurt in her life. Pray she would realize the Lord wants to draw her near to him and heal all her wounds.*name changed
My first thought when I wake up is that I hope the car makes it where I need to be because I don’t have the money to fix it. Actually, that thought keeps me up at night. I can’t sleep when the bills aren’t paid. I have two children in school and one who I pay to send to daycare when I am at work or in class. The state can help with childcare costs, but it’s hard to qualify for it when work is infrequent.
I work for a healthcare agency that does not provide enough to maintain my monthly expenses. I am looking for other job opportunities, but I have been turned down many times because I have a criminal background from years ago. Most healthcare agencies won’t give me a chance, and every time I get turned down I feel like I am trapped by my past mistakes.
I live in a constant state of anxiety because there are many factors that can go wrong in my day. Will I have enough money for gas? Will I be able to pay for my cell phone bill? If I don’t have a phone my employer can’t call me. Are my kids doing okay? Am I going to get back to them in time? Should I choose to pay for gas or electric this month? Who will help if someone in my family gets hurt or sick? Who will care for my family if I get hurt or sick? I have recently have had an issue with my foot that has caused a lot of pain when I work. My only choice is to push through it and hope it doesn’t get worse.
I think about going back to college and about my children’s future and if they will struggle through life as I am. My hope for the future is to be given an opportunity to overcome, to move on from my past and to provide a better life for myself and my children.
Many moms experience financial stress like Pam*. A key theme and focus of the New Life Transitional Program is to help clients see a better hope for tomorrow. Each week they work with mentors to set goals and problem solve when a new crisis arises. Financial hardship can seem hard to escape, but God continually offers hope. Pray for moms like Pam to have the resources they need to support their families. *name changed
We’ve continued to ask different people to tell us about their “why” in their ministry area. Meet Stephanie Rasmussen, one of our Arms of Love licensing specialists. Stephanie has served at ABCS Arms of Love Foster Care for 1.5 years and has had experiences that span from childhood to adulthood have shaped her and shown her that God has prepared her to serve in this ministry. One such experience was meeting a student of hers who was struggling in the DCS system. This specific experience made her want to care for and help other children in similar situations. The biggest reward and the “why” for Stephanie is watching foster families work with biological families and seeing them develop an understanding and empathy for those families and their circumstances. She gets to see her foster parents put themselves in the shoes of the bio parents and extend them grace. Steph’s favorite verse is Ephesians 2:10, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. This verse shows God has a specific plan and goal for her life. She has seen there is a specific place and area that God has called her to in life and she is the only one that can fulfill that plan and role. At ABCs God has given her a specific role and area to minister and care for families and children in foster care.
We’ve continued to ask different people to tell us about their “why” in their ministry area. Meet Lauren Belcher, one of our Arms of Love licensing specialists. Lauren has served with Arms of Love Foster Care, a ministry of Arizona Baptist Children's Services & Family Ministries for 2.5 years and has been a foster parent for 6 years. She has always felt an overwhelming desire to show Christ’s love through meeting needs and ensuring the oppressed and needy are cared for. Working with Arms of Love Foster Care allows Lauren the chance to work with broken families and see God redeem their lives. The most amazing thing Lauren has seen in foster care is how Arms of Love foster families show Christ’s love to foster children and their bio families, as well as seeing the impact of that love in the life of both families. She has seen foster parents take bio families under their wing because that is what God has told them to do. Lauren’s favorite verse is John 16:33, I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. This verse gives hope that the things that we go through in this life are things that God has already overcome and that this world is not our home.