Module Nine: The Road From Here

OVC Essentials Spring 2020 Module Nine: The Road From Here

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    • #64595
      Leah St. Pierre
      CAFO Staff

      Please share what the road from here looks like for you:

      Are there 1 – 3 action items or goals you have at the end of this course?

      What commitments will you make moving forward because of your experience in this course?

    • #64628
      Connie Becker
      Participante

      Hear from the Lord how to better help vulnerable children.

      Learn how to help the children transition from childhood to become healthy functional adults in their world.

      Help others understand this great need, the heart of God.

      I plan keep listening to the Lord on His plan for the vulnerable children He has placed in y care.

      What I learn from these meetings and what the Lord prompts my heart to use to develop plans and training to help our children.

      Train people in our organization to better help our children by using the tools and lessons I learn from these classes.

      • #66195
        Mindy Russell
        Participante

        Can’t wait to work on some of these things with you. I am so thankful for your example, mentorship, and service. Thank you Jesus for getting to do work with my friend!

      • #66206
        Connie Becker
        Participante

        I’m with you Mindy! I believe The Lord is giving us this time to hear from Him and learn better how He wants us to serve His vulnerable children and people! God Bless

    • #66181
      Marsha Baker
      Participante

      Start each day with most important thing first: Time with God

      Continue learning more- keep reading and studying best practices

      Implement better practices with our short term trips

      Work on making the little things the most important things

      Keep advocating for orphans and vulnerable children

      Grateful for this course!

    • #66194
      Mindy Russell
      Participante

      Actions and Goals:

      1. To participate in and complete the STM Pilot course through CAFO.
      2. To equip our caregivers with tools to help them respond to trauma and attachment issues that affect many of the children in our care.
      3. To  continue to shift the focus of our short term mission trips to the communities, families, and caregivers that we serve. To be mindful of how our volunteers interact with the children and to update and re-evaluate our Child Protection Policy.

      • #66202
        Marsha Baker
        Participante

        Mindy– with you in learning more and more on short term trips. Grateful for you wisdom and docs and looking forward to future collaboration!

      • #66207
        Amber Allan
        Participante

        You go girl! Ani and I have been working on our Child Protection Policy and we’ve found so much information in this course to be helpful in guiding that process. I’m happy to see someone else is using this information to work on theirs as well.

      • #66225
        Ryne Isaac
        Participante

        That’s a great list! I definitely relate to 2 & 3. We have a lot of work ahead!

    • #66205
      Pam Taylor
      Participante

      This course has far exceeded my expectations in terms of broadening my knowledge and understanding of how to serve vulnerable children not just here in the United States, but globally. Moving forward in our ministry I plan to now work on equipping and educating our local church leaders on how to take the first steps toward a ministry in their church. I now feel equipped with resources and materials to help guide them when I meet with them. Prior to this course I was going in somewhat blind and did not feel equipped to properly guide and encourage them. In working with those church leaders, I also plan to share what I have learned in regard to short-term missions and hope to shed some light on this area in a very positive and constructive manner. Lastly, I have already implemented the tips Jedd offered during our last session in terms of daily quiet time as well as honoring the sabbath. I plan to stick with this and also plan to implement at least one day of solitude every few months. Thank you for equipping me as I move forward. It has been an honor and a privilege to learn from everyone here.

      • #66255
        Olivia Milliner
        Participante

        I agree Pam! I had no idea how this course would change my outlook on OVC care, and I am hoping that I can use this knowledge to begin a Foster & Adoption ministry in my next church. I know that you will be a blessing and an invaluable resource to your church as you begin this ministry. May God bless and guide your work!

    • #66224
      Ryne Isaac
      Participante

      There are a few things that come to mind immediately.

      1. We are transitioning from our work being a ministry of our church to a 501c3. We have board and team members who need exposed to this content. I want others to walk through this so we can have a shared foundation.

      2. We’re in the planning stages to take a team to Africa in November. There are some clear guidelines we could put in place to make that trip better and safer for our team and the children we work with.

      • #66263
        Margaret Hoffer
        Participante

        Ryne,

        I think it is great that your church will start with this learning as the foundation!  That is such a great way to start.  Where are you going in Africa in November?

    • #66242
      Holly Freitas
      Participante

      Some of my favorite take-aways from this course strengthen my resolve to provide more education to our Care Workers in the areas family strengthening and childhood resilience. We are in a great position to help identify, encourage, and reinforce the value of the caring adults in children’s lives. In a child sponsorship organization, it can be easy to be so child-centered that we mentally disconnect the child from their caregivers. What we need to do instead is to build into the caregivers so that they are the hero’s in the child’s life.

      So my first actionable plan is to develop a mini-course on child resilience in the midst of COVID for our country advocates using some of the materials presented in this course and other resources that I’ve found.

      The second is to create more emphasis on the how our ministry preserves and strengthens families. This will mean integrating new terminology in our training and literature so that our US, international staff, and our sponsors internalize the value of each child’s family and caregivers in the child’s life.

      The third is to challenge our international ministry partners to consider how they can emphasize and celebrate the value of caring adults in the lives of children in their churches and programs.

      Thanks so much for facilitating this course and exposing us to valuable materials that help to build our values around researched best practices and Godly principles.

      • #66249
        Emily Tiner
        Participante

        love this! Wow, you have some incredible action items and goals, praying God gives you grace, inspiration and endurance while you tackle them! I love your heart to emphasize preserving and strengthening families!

      • #66284
        Olivia Milliner
        Participante

        Holly, your dedication to strengthening families and providing caregivers with the resources they need will make such a huge impact! I love your fully applicable action plan items… May God bless you and the families you serve!

    • #66247
      Trent Taylor
      Participante

      For me, the road ahead will be finishing college and obtaining my master’s in counseling. After I earn my masters, I plan on opening up my own practice and continuing to help the vulnerable children through Watch Me Rise. I will also continue to work with my wonderful mom as we see where God takes us with Watch Me Rise. I will also take all the knowledge I have learned from this course and help better our ministry. The most impactful thing I have learned would be from Jedd in terms of self-care. I am so lucky to obtain this knowledge prior to entering this profession. One commitment I will make as I move forward is that I will continue to give God the glory every chance I get. I will also only say yes to opportunities that are going further God’s kingdom and not my own. I have truly enjoyed this course, and I have obtained a wealth of knowledge over the last couple of months. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity. I wish everyone the best of luck as we all head our separate ways.

      • #66260
        Debbie Douce
        Participante

        Trent, I was so blessed to have you as part of this class!! What a gift for you to do this course NOW, not many years later into the ministry God has given you. I love that your take away is understanding the incredible importance of self care. I pray that you will walk daily in the abundant grace  of Jesus and know that He wants your heart most of all. I also love that you have such a deep desire to give God glory whenever you get a chance. I am certain He will give you many of those opportunities. 🙂 Just one of the many ways I have noticed that you give Him glory is by honoring your mom. Well done!

    • #66248
      Emily Tiner
      Participante

      I absolutely loved this course. I’m so thankful for this material and also learning from each of you in this class! Wishing you all the best! My takeaways and applications:

      Spending time growing in my friendship with God and knowing Him more and more.

      Continuing to refine how I view success and what that looks like for me in the small, every day things and refocusing my heart to seeing success as loving every person I encounter and doing small things with great love.

      Continuing to further educate myself in best practices for orphan and vulnerable child care and use what I learn to empathize with and love children well, but also use it to educate through my job with BTCM and advocate on behalf of the children we serve.

      • #66301
        Katrina Brown
        Participante

        Emily,

        I too echo all thesis next steps for myself. I love how you phrased it «growing in my friendship with God.» I just think that paints such a beautiful picture of who God is and can be to us.

        I am so encouraged by your will to re-define how you view success. That spoke to my own heart and need for that, so thank you for bringing that up. I truly feel that I need to see success differently because often my own view of that interferes with how God defines and sees success.

      • #66308
        Ana María Sanchez
        Participante

        Emily I totally agree with your three points! We need to have an open and humble heart to keep learning and rediscovering our calling. I enjoyed so much going through your comment. Thanks for sharing!

    • #66256
      Olivia Milliner
      Participante

      Throughout this course, I learned so much from the emphasis that an «orphan crisis» is really a «community crisis». As I enter the healthcare field, I want to take this mindset into practice to equip parents, families, and community members with the tools they need to create lasting, trusting relationships with their children. When discussing STM, it was mentioned that the primary relationship needs to be the focus, no exceptions. As I work with children in families, I can use this outlook to ensure that I am supporting and loving parents in their work to care for the children. None of us can do better until we know better, and I pray that I can do better from here forward.

    • #66259
      Debbie Douce
      Participante

      This course has inspired me to take the information and see how we can improve best practice in the ministry I am involved in. We have a guide that we have created with protocols. It is never quite complete because we continually revise and add to it as we learn and grow. We dedicate a full day twice a year to working on it. I would love to rewrite our protocol about visiting teams and guests as well as our goal for the young women to participate in a short team mission outreach to present at our next protocol work day. I also would like to present to our team how we can enlist the local church in providing family based care. I will continue to be committed to justice and ending modern day slavery, walking with the broken and vulnerable in their process of restoration, but I believe I am now better prepared to do so!!

      • #66278
        Heather Hall
        Participante

        Debbie–I’m so glad to hear that you are wanting to focus on continuing to revise your ministry’s protocols with the new information you have.  I think that is such an important thing to remember, that these documents are not a one time thing, but that need to continually be revised and changed based on new best practices.  Good luck to you!

    • #66262
      Margaret Hoffer
      Participante

      This was an absolutely fantastic and extremely helpful course.  My biggest action item going forward is to share what I have learned.  As a trip leader, I have the opportunity to work with and train volunteers who are preparing to serve over sees.  I will be able to use what I have learned in this class to support our volunteers to ensure they understand how to help and can also be advocates and share with others.  I have also recommended this course to our staff and to other organizations we work with.  The more we all know the better we can serve!

      • #66411
        Carlos Ramirez
        Participante

        I agree with you Margaret Hoffer, this has been an awesome course and helpful in many ways, know we are able to talk to others about foster care, vulnerable children and tell them about what we learned so we can be a impact for our community changing the life of those children that need a home and family.

    • #66277
      Heather Hall
      Participante

      One of the first action items that comes to mind for me is to share the knowledge I have learned.  I think there are so many pieces of valuable information from this course that can really play a big part in helping to reshape how people view, understand, and approach working with orphans and vulnerable children.  For example, I had a conversation with my brother about the class and he mentioned that there is a group from his church that goes to visit an orphanage in a South America and that I could probably go with them sometime.  This opened up a conversation with him about the potential effects of voluntourism and how there is new understanding about how best to serve in these situations.  My brother mentioned that the information I shared with him was really interesting and that I should come talk with the leader of the group and share with them what I had learned in the class.

      Another action item for me would be to see what opportunities there are to come alongside and support an adoptive or foster family in my church.  Since I have still new to the area, I am just now getting involved with the children’s ministry at my church.  While I’m not yet sure where exactly I’ll be serving, I will definitely be on the look out for families that I might be of some assistance to.  Perhaps once I get more connected, I might even suggest to some of the children’s ministry leaders the CAFO course and perhaps even a more organized and broad effort to more formally support adoptive and foster families in our church.

      One final action item would be to support and encourage my best friend in her path towards fostering/adoption.  My best friend is not married and is unable to have children, but being a mother has been her lifelong dream.  I have already sent her many CAFO resources, but I really hope to be able to convince her to take the course, as well as go to the CAFO conference this or next year.  I obviously want to be as much of a support to her as I can as part of her own support system in this process, but I especially want her to get connected with other single moms that are fostering and adopting, as they will be able to offer things that I cannot.

      Thank you so much for this course; it’s really exceeded my expectations and I hope to share it with many others!

    • #66281
      Amber Allan
      Participante

      I just got off a call discussing what the next steps are as the COVID-19 emergency continues and I had quotes picked up from this course ringing in my head. There’s no doubt that what I learned these past few months will forever guide how I serve, but I consciously want to put the following lessons into practice:

      1. Sabbath: I’ve tried before but never truly understood so it never stuck. Now after listening to Jedd write on it I’ve come to recognize it’s value and importance. Although it seemed odd, I’ve  found that quarantine is the best time for me to make this a permanent part of my life and I love it! I am so thankful God commands we rest for a day!

      2. Child Protection Policy: I see the importance of having a policy that is up to date, detailed, and extremely clear. This course helped provide insight and tools as to what to focus on when writing a policy such as this.

      3. Jesus: Regardless of how amazing our plans and programs are they’re nothing if we’re not sharing Jesus with who we serve and those who surround us daily. The gospel is the only thing that can heal the hearts of the children that we serve and so desperately want to help.

      • #66340
        Philip Douce
        Participante

        Amber, I really like what you share and want to put into practice. These seem like tangible solid things/goals. Sabbath, child protection policy and Jesus! May the Lord bless you on the journey!

    • #66300
      Katrina Brown
      Participante

      I thought that my goals for the end of this course would have been different, but the ones that seem very apparent to me are around soul-care and spirituality. As God has shown me throughout this course, my time with Him comes an outflow of all the other things. I am so incredibly thankful for that vital reorientation.

      Praying for families within my church community that are involved in our ministry.

      I am committing to creating space and time to just sit with Jesus.

      I am making the commitment to practice a weekly sabbath (whether it include solitude, walks, eating, etc.)

      • #66410
        Mandy Haffer de Ramírez
        Participante

        Couldn’t agree more: the last two weeks, Jesus has been speaking to me SO clearly about your last two points: the need to create space and time to simply be with Him, and to practice a weekly sabbath. We’re in this together!

    • #66307
      Ana María Sanchez
      Participante

      This course has exceeded my expectations. It´s been a time of not only learning but making commitments and decisions around every week´s content. These are some of my goals and commitments from now on:

      ^ One lesson I picked up as a common pattern in every single week of the course is don´t ever try to do this on your own strength. This quote from Smith Wigglesworth describes my desire of going through the day intentionally by the hand of God: «I don’t often spend more than half an hour in prayer at one time, but I never go more than half an hour without praying». I believe there are areas in our personal life that we can separate from our ministry, but I don´t think that’s the case of the spiritual part, because we reflect in ministry our personal life with Jesus; and since life in ministry is very demanding for me it’s so vital to expend not only devotional time with God but to expend intentionally the entire day with Him.

      ^ Create a culture of «OVC Essentials». What we learn was life-transforming for me, It has been such a rich experience and I don´t think is possible to just save so much knowledge and goodness in my pocket. I have been sharing and talking with my community about what I have been learning every single week, and I can see how beautiful it is to not only learn but share OVC Essentials knowledge and grow as a community even slowly creating a culture of it.

      ^ Include what we have learned as part of our policies as a ministry. It´s amazing that we have had the chance of learning and growing but it´s important to transmit it into the ministry as a reality and one of the ways of doing it is by making this knowledge part of our life as a ministry.

    • #66341
      Philip Douce
      Participante

      So much valuable information.

      I took this coarse as I was asked about it by our mission and had no idea. I have a zoom mtng set up to discuss and share what I think of the course and if we should offer or implement in our mission training is some way. Well, I will give this course a 2 thumbs up for anyone working with orphans or vulnerable children as well as anyone receiving or planning/organizing short term teams.

      On a personal note, our next job is to accompany, mentor, advise anyone in our mission working with this population. I feel like we have stumbled into a room full of a wealth of sound information, tools and resources.

      One of the next steps for me is to set aside time with my wife Debbie to go through what we have learned and pull out and organize how to implement:

      1. Personally – family and friends – put into practice / share

      2. Church – what and how do we want to engage with the church we are moving back to

      3. Putting together our resources and strategy as Global Vulnerable Youth Specialists with our mission

      I believe this course has many valuable topics, philosophy and resources to draw from.

      Thank you so much!

    • #66408
      Mandy Haffer de Ramírez
      Participante

      To be completely honest, my husband and I went through the course with the end goal to impact the world of OVC here in our current location of Honduras, where my husband is from. About ten days ago, I received a communication from my direct supervisor that there is a great need for leadership within our organization in a nearby country, and our family has been asked/invited to go. This is a huge decision, especially because our daughter is not (yet) adopted, nor do we even have full legal rights. If God leads us to accept this role, OVC would not be a central focus of the work, at least not for the first year or so, as it would be leadership of a large, already-existing community-based ministry and national staff team.

      This being said, here are a few action items for me:

      1. Continue loving our daughter deeply, no matter what, and working to normalize the idea of loving children you didn’t give birth to, whether in Honduras or in a potential different country of service.

      2. Long-term (potentially a few years down the road now), sharing the gospel message of incarnation and adoption with churches and believers, and opening their eyes to the great need for homes for families. Ideally in Honduras, but potentially in the location we may be headed to in the next 6-9 months.

      3. Advocacy, advocacy, advocacy. I love writing, and I think that through ministry newsletters and social media, I can continue sharing the passion and heart God has given me for this beautifully challenging population that is orphaned and vulnerable children. Even though just a couple initial OVC newsletters, I have seen people’s eyes opened and perspectives shifting.

      4. Implement practices of solitude and Sabbath in our home and marriage.

    • #66409
      Carlos Ramirez
      Participante

      This Course totally has been really helpful. I have learned a lot about vulnerable children, justice, churches and that there is a huge need to work with vulnerable children.

      Things and goals I would like to do:

      1. Learned more about vulnerable children and take more courses about it.        2. Try to figure out how foster care and vulnerable children works in our community how we can get involved and help others with what we have learned so they can know more about it.                                                                    3. Work with vulnerable children in our Ministry, to be an example for other families in the church so they can be part of our Ministry so they can see that there is a hunger to work with vulnerable children and that we cannot change everyone’s life but we can change one life of a children and that would be a huge impact for the community.                                                   4. That they can not be no vulnerable children anymore that every children will have a home and a family that they can be part of.

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