Module Ten: The Road From Here

OVC Essentials Fall 2021 Module Ten: The Road From Here

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    • #76598
      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?

    • #76791
      Sarah Alfieri

      This course has been extremely insightful and beneficial for me as both a professional and as a person! A few key action items I have after completing this course are:

      1. The organization I work for is going to start the accrediation process with SOE (Standards of Excellence in Short Term Missions). During this course I was also involved in the workshop that SOE provide and it was incredibly impactful to learn from them, as well as this course, about research around short-term missions.

      2. I want to align my life with closer proximity to families serving in foster care and adoption. Althougth during this season of life my husband and I cannot have a child in our home, we can serve, support, and love families who are helping raise these children. I would love to find a few key families and invest in them- cooking/ buying meals, babysiting for free, getting groceries, etc.

      3. One thing I have greatly enjoyed throughout this course is hearing from experts in the field- both on the Zoom calls and in the content when we watched videos and listened to podcasts. I have always loved learning, reading, and researching- but I especially enjoy learning a topic through someone’s story and experience. A goal I have after this course is to listen or watch one expert share on a topic relating to OVC once a week. This has already become a habit because of this course, and I would like to continue the practice.

      There are countless ideas, commitments, and practices I want to implement after this course, but this one encompasses all the rest- to never stop learning. This field is ever-changing, new research emerges, new best practices arise, and new issues face children around the globe. I never want to become stagnant, close-minded, or stuck in a cycle of care that is outdated. I want to commit to asking questions, learning, researching, and connecting with people who are doing the same.


      Thank you, Leah- this course has been amazing!

      • #76950
        Dorathy Lachman


        I love your comment about never ceasing to learn – I find your comment about continuing to ask questions and to seek out research and to network with others inspiring and motivating!

    • #76949
      Dorathy Lachman

      I think my biggest takeaway from this course is the fundamental role of relationships in both trauma and healing.

      Being a detail-oriented person by nature, I have always had a deep appreciation of the small things and the cumulative impact of a series of small things.  Because of this course, I have a new lens through which I am able to view the small things of relationships.

      Whether it’s a relationship with a kid from my local CASA organization or a person working a drive through window, each and every relational touch point has significance and meaning.  I am deeply challenged to view those interactions differently and much more intentionally.  I also appreciate the deep need to continually keep my cup full so that I can be fully present and engage meaningfully.

      • #76951
        Sarah Alfieri

        Hey, Dorathy! Your comments about the “cumulative impact of a series of small things” really resonated with me. It can sometimes be hard to feel as though we are having an impact in the “mundane moments,” but this course has taught us quite the opposite. The small things, the habits, the intentional and repetitive love and care… they do add up and have a lasting impact on a person’s life. By stopping to smile or help someone, by asking meaningful and good questions, by listening, by loving, by showing up, we are changing lives. Thank you for this encouraging reminder!

      • #76953
        Meredith Smylie

        I love this commitment to intentionality, Dorathy! I also like how you highlighted the role of relationship in trauma and healing. It is such a crucial piece of the puzzle!

    • #76952
      Meredith Smylie

      1) I am already taking steps to build walls around my Sabbath time in a more intentional way. I know that despite the struggle and nag of the to-do list that rest is good and that it is better in the long-run.

      2) Through this course I learned more about the spectrum of care that surrounds orphans and children in foster care and the myriad ways to support and get involved. I think this expansive definition of orphan care is not well understood in the Christian community, which I think prevents people from getting involved in ways that they are able and willing, but unaware. I hope to share these new things I have learned with people in my social circles to help build orphan care into the fabric of my community even further!

      Moving forward I think I have more clarity on how to approach the work that I do without feeling the need to push myself toward burnout. I can do my part, and do it with excellence, and leave the rest to the Lord.


      I have also been thinking through the level of turnover in orphan care, and looking for ways to decrease it in my organization to relieve the burden on recruitment, as well as to promote stability and permanency in the children in our care!


      I also want to commit to continue learning, as the more I learn, the more I find that I still have a lot to learn.

      • #76969
        Christy Wiesner

        Meredith, I agree that this expansive definition of orphan care is not well understood in many Christian communities. It can be hard to know where to start with helping others learn about all we have covered in this class. I believe you’re right that starting in our own social circles where we can talk openly and have a voice is key. Each person we talk to and share with may be encouraged and challenged in thinking about OVC care. Big changes start with small decisions to share our learning with those around us and as each person becomes involved, movements can happen.

    • #76968
      Christy Wiesner

      There was so much I learned in this course that it hard to compact it all into this post! Honestly at times the flood of information can be overwhelming- which is why clear, applicable steps forward are key.

      1) Making sure I grow my roots down before I try to grow ‘up’ is foundational. Having worked intensively on the field there were several times I experienced burnout- and this year of home assignment is helping me to recover from some of that. I have been able to take intentional steps in growing down this year: Sabbath, more daily time committed to silence and solitude, prayer walks. Yet I know there are other pathways of depth I need to explore. One is Scripture memorization because it is so crucial yet an area I continually struggle with. Second is making sure I take the time to do counseling/healing from the continuing impacts of my past that arise. When I become aware of them, I need to dive in intentionally so that I can live and serve more wholly.

      2) While I am not in a place to foster or adopt, in my classroom I interact with kids facing different kinds of trauma in their households. I want to use the things we learned about trauma and attachment to more intentionally care for and interact with these students. I want to consider each school year not only how I can love the student well and teach them in ways that will help them thrive, but I also want to consider how I can support their families.

      3) Continuing learning is a major key to serving and loving well that has been reiterated many times throughout this course. I want to continue to learn from those who have gone before so that I can take their mistakes and successes to heart. Each week I plan to spend one hour either reviewing material from this course or listening to a podcast or other message related to OVC. Not only will this help me grow in knowledge, but it will help keep my heart soft and open to what God may have for me in this area of work.

      I think the biggest commitment for me going forward is to be aware of the vulnerable and hurting people in my circles of interaction. Whether kids, teenagers, adults, or elderly, there are always people within reach who need a listening ear, who need the gift of presence, who need a small act of love and encouragement. I want to be intentional about looking for these people and engaging with them in my daily life.

    • #76970
      Cherie Long

      I have enjoyed this course and have taken so much away. I’ve never been on a mission trip (with the exception of working with the South Western Indian’s Ministry), I’ve never adopted a child or work with foster children. However, there are many avenues of my life this information will be helpful. Within our organization, during the summer months and throughout the year  I spend time with our 33 children from Tanzania who are studying here in the US.  I’ve also been involved in children and youth ministry since 1989 and have ministered to children who came from hard places. I have a nephew who has adopted four children and I have minister friends who are interested in becoming  foster parents. I hope to provide support and encouragement to my nephew and his family as well  as my friends as they step into their role as foster parents. Thank you!

    • #76973
      Tiffany Edison

      I absolutely loved this course, and although I’m not super chatty on forums, I really gleaned a lot from listening to others and the discussions we’ve had, especially with the guest speakers!

      My action items:

      1) I really feel like I need to set better boundaries on my days of rest, especially my “Sabbath”.  I absolutely struggle when my house is a total wreck, so I feel like I’m literally cleaning it every. single. day. nonstop.  🙂  It’s probably not putting myself in the greatest of moods, especially come Sundays, but I’m going to starting figuring out ways that I can force myself (I will literally have to force myself, not even kidding!) to NOT do chores on Sunday!  I think that little babystep right there will help me establish healthier Sabbaths.

      2) I’ve been thinking of ways that I could play a deeper role in supporting families in foster care.  As an adoptive mom myself, I know how challenging it can be to bring a child from a hard place into your home.  Although I do not feel the call to be a foster parent, because I know my limits and I’m at peace with that, I do now feel the peace to be able to do something.  The story of the Kansas BBQ restaurant comes to my mind, and how they provide a free meal to families with new foster placements.  My next action step is going to be figuring out what I can do well to serve other families.

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