by Kari Stewart on October 25, 2022
Throughout God’s Word, He invites us to go near the vulnerable, speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves, and to be a doer of His Word, not just a listener.
Then He said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent me. For he who is the least among you all – he is the greatest.” Luke 9:48
Welcoming a child in need – what does that look like? I know it is hard to look hard things in the face, hold hard stories, and allow ourselves to feel the depth of pain a child or teen has experienced from those who are supposed to love them and care for them. But that is what God is asking us to do:
- Look hard things in the face
- Hold hard stories
- Allow ourselves to feel the depth of pain a child or teen has experienced
All the while, knowing that He is not asking us to do this alone. Collectively we can — and have — made an impact in the lives of children, teens, and families!
For 15 years, Timberline Church in Northern Colorado has actively and prayerfully stood in the gap advocating for vulnerable children, teens, and families, both around the world and right here in our community. We have stood in the gap by providing backpacks full of school supplies, hosting Royal Family Kids Camp, and mentoring, which provides another caring adult in the life of a foster youth. For 15 years, Timberline Church has supported the families who have said “yes” to providing a safe place for them to be, temporarily or as a forever family.
Recently, Timberline Church received two very special recognitions that we want to celebrate:
Foster Friendly Faith Community on Foster Friendly App for foster families in the State of CO
Foster Adoption Friendly Church by Project 1.27
We have received these recognitions by providing trauma-informed training to our staff, caring for foster, adoptive, and kinship families within our church and community, and partnering with other organizations to collectively be a voice for those who don’t have a voice.
I recently asked one of our foster/adoptive families what it meant to them that Timberline Church has received these recognitions and this was their response:
As foster/adoptive parents, we often say to one another that it's so good to just be with people who "get it". They "get" the complexity of our family dynamic. They "get" that our family does not all look like one another. They "get" that our kids have been through trauma. They "get" some of the hard behaviors we come with. We don't have to come with an explanation for who we are or why we are this way. Belonging to a Foster Adoption Friendly Church, like Timberline, gives us a place to worship that "gets" us. We can show up in our brokenness, our beautiful mess, and we're able to just be ourselves and worship our Heavenly Father together. We know it's a safe place for everyone in our family to be loved and to share our love with our community.
With God’s help, we will continue to be present in the lives of foster and adoptive youth in our community. We will continue to invite each other to Stand in the Gap, for it’s in that gap that lives changed lives: theirs and ours!