- This topic has 23 replies, 14 voices, and was last updated May 9, 2018 at 9:28 am by .
April 17, 2018 at 12:05 pm #32514Leah St. PierreCAFO 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?
How will you lead in your church, community, or family moving forward?
If you spent time working on a personal mission statement, we would love to read and celebrate it!
April 24, 2018 at 1:37 pm #32725openarmsParticipant
This course has been so impactful for me, and I’m grateful for an opportunity to take this week and think through the implications it will have on me as I move forward.
I’ll share the two action items/goals I wrote about in my final reflection. I was convicted by the idea of doing small things with faithfulness and grace, so I tried to scale back my tendency to make large promises that only lead to guilt when I fail to live into them. Instead, I deliberately chose small, attainable goals that feel refreshing and exciting to me. I’m looking forward to seeing how they play out in the weeks and months ahead!
1. Spending five minutes in prayer at my desk before I start my day. While I know the distractions of daily life (i.e. email, phone calls) and the tyranny of the urgent will press in, I want to start practicing the discipline of pausing and starting my day in prayer. I may need to set a calendar reminder to help me remember!
2. Reading one article or listening to one podcast/webinar/TED Talk each week that helps me continue to keep my finger on the pulse of OVC care, practice, and research. I want to practice seeking out my own sources and keeping my knowledge current. While it can be easy to think that my job is “enough” of a contribution (like a pastor who neglects personal time with God), the Lord clearly calls us to orient our entire lives around serving Him. Even though I’m not in school anymore, I want to be a lifelong learner and a faithful steward of the responsibilities He’s given me.
April 24, 2018 at 6:14 pm #32747meghan rivardParticipant
This course has been very beneficial for me as well. There were many things to take from the course. I loved when you mentioning listening to a podcast/webinar/ted talk a week. I love that idea, as no matter how busy you are or how long your to do list might be, there is nothing greater then spending sometime learning and educating about the Gospel and OVC care. To me, that would refocus your mind so you will be able to be more focused and get more completed at work or throughout your day.
April 26, 2018 at 7:57 am #32852Lis DoaneParticipant
Courtney, I loved the last section of your post about how God wants us to orient our entire life around serving, as well as your comment that you want to be a lifetime learner. That really resonated with me. On our Women’s Ministry Leadership Team, our motto was ”Saved to Serve”! We serve out of gratitude for what Christ has done for us. And being a lifetime learner is what I think God calls us to be. He wants us to grow to be more like Him. Spiritual maturity in both areas requires intentionality and work.
April 26, 2018 at 12:59 pm #32866Brittany DealyParticipant
I really love both of your action items! I want to have them be on my list! 🙂 I like that you will spend 5 min everyday at the beginning of the workday to pray and focus on the Lord before getting into the thick of it.
I also appreciate that you said that you are choosing to be part of the day-to-day ‘little things’ to be able to honor God in those moments, which is much easier to actually achieve than choosing large goals! – Thanks for sharing!
April 28, 2018 at 2:01 pm #32916Lindsey HughesParticipant
This course has been so impactful for me, as well! I, too, plan to begin my day in prayer. There’s something so powerful about carving out that time to be with the Lord, even as the distractions are pressing in. I love your idea to listen to a podcast, webinar, or TED talk about OVC care each week. What a great way to stay involved and up-to-date on what’s happening in that realm. I’d love to implement that as part of my routine going forward also.
April 24, 2018 at 6:18 pm #32748meghan rivardParticipant
I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. it has given me a new and fresh perspective on OVC care as well as the Gospel and Christianity.
I am hoping to use a lot of this material in my church’s adoption and orphan ministry. I hope it will help me revamp the ministry and get the congregation excited about OVC care. As we learned, not everyone is called to adoption, but everyone is called to help someway or another.
another goal I have is to spend some time daily, when I first wake up, in prayer. I hope this will help me focus my heart and my day correctly, which will lead me to have a more positive and productive day and do everything for the glory of Christ.
April 25, 2018 at 8:46 am #32789Lis DoaneParticipant
This class has broadened my perspective in many ways. We have an orphan care ministry at my church, which I am co-leading with another adoptive mom. We had been identifying ourselves primarily as an adoption/foster care ministry, but we kept finding ourselves limited by that title. This class has helped me to gain an understanding that our focus was much too narrow and our church needed to understand why. So the first set of goals in my action plan would surround educating the church on what an orphan is and the special vulnerability an orphan has; the biblical mandate to care for orphans and why the church is uniquely qualified to assist in this area; and what an orphan care ministry looks like and why the adoption/foster label is too narrow.
My second set of goal would be to provide practical and spiritual support for adoptive and foster families. Most of these things we are already doing but they would include: TBRI training; educational support groups; respite opportunities; family fellowship activities; and connected parenting bible studies. My third set of goals would be to provide a structure for family preservation support. This is an area our ministry is just starting to delve into. This area would include: collaboration with other ministries in our church, as well as community organizations, to establish “care communities” for families; educating our church on the “power of one caring adult” and a focus on adopting families, not just children; and creating a “ how to help” structure based on the three tier approach.
My fourth set of goals would surround building our church into a trauma informed church; a church that would integrate the concepts of TBRI throughout all its ministries, would require training on trauma for all its ministry leaders, and would provide this training for people in the community. My fifth set of goals would be to expand our work in foster and Safe Family care. I am not sure what this might look like at present. We would need to prayerfully do a needs and resource assessment before deciding on a focus area.
This is a rough “plan of action” that this class has helped me to put together and, by God’s perfect timing, I happen to be meeting with my ministry co-leader next week to discuss our vision for the ministry and where we are headed. We are also planning to attend the CAFO Summit in May and I am excited to discover what God has in store for us there!
April 25, 2018 at 11:15 am #32796openarmsParticipant
Wow, you have some awesome, ambitious goals! I love that this course has helped you rethink what you’re already involved in through church. So great that you have an orphan care ministry there already! It’ll be exciting to see what God does to grow that group through you.
I’ll be at CAFO this year as well…Maybe we’ll run into each other 🙂
April 25, 2018 at 12:03 pm #32798Courtney SchmidtParticipant
One of my co-workers from Bethany is resigning soon to start her own business of family educating and coaching for adoptive and foster families. She is an adoptive mom herself and she uses a lot from Karyn Purvis and others. She meets with parents in person and on Skype.
Here is her website:
You can also like her page on FB – it’s called Empowered Calling Coaching. Just another resource to tuck away. Hope it helps.
April 25, 2018 at 10:06 am #32790Alexis MartensParticipant
This course has continuously provided me with new insights that have reshaped previous thoughts. One of the most life-changing moments for me was reading Jedd Medefind’s statement of “worse than quitting is persisting in giving without love.” It isn’t that I have been doing things without love, however by not allowing myself rest, I hurt the work of God by not ultimately glorifying Him by my physical, mental, and spiritual help to others. As a result of this, I pray that I always am reminded of the beauty of Sabbath and the recentering of myself.
Another thing that I will be doing is reaching out to church members regarding any involvement in orphan care. A recent bible study program has started and I look to engage further with my church family and provide services for free such as babysitting.
April 25, 2018 at 10:32 am #32795Jessica RushParticipant
I love this quote! I want to write it and put it in my office as a reminder for the hard days. Thank you for sharing that!
April 25, 2018 at 4:31 pm #32829Natalie CormierParticipant
I just want to continue to echo how great this quote is, especially since so many of us are in such emotionally taxing work. Praise the Lord that he sustains us and all our strength comes from him, otherwise I don’t think that any of us could do this work for long.
April 30, 2018 at 8:33 pm #32966Kaari VasquezParticipant
What a great quote! Such an important reminder that we really cannot do anything worthwhile without Him. Praise God that He is so patient to teach us this.
April 25, 2018 at 10:30 am #32794Jessica RushParticipant
For me, the road from here is to be obedient to God’s prompting to work in foster care (which is something this course opened me up to) and to come up with ways to help my local church be involved in OVC care.
I have enjoyed this course and it has grown me in ways I didn’t expect! I have a deeper knowledge and understanding of the underlying issues in OVC care and I am grateful for that!
April 25, 2018 at 11:52 am #32797Courtney SchmidtParticipant
This course has really introduced me to orphan care. God has given me a heart for orphan care, but when we visited churches I’ve had a hard time finding ministries that provide opportunities to serve in this way. I would ask and think about how to help orphans and just didn’t know where to start. I’ve learned a lot about orphan care through this training and I’m now more connected to CAFO and other resources where I can find more information later.
I can identify 2 main goals that I’m pursuing because of this course:
1. Re-structuring my week to prioritize Sunday as a day of rest and fun. My husband and I have already been talking about this and thinking of how to make it happen. We plan to go to church then have a mixture of hanging out with people, maybe go hiking or to the zoo (or some other fun thing) together, or perhaps my husband stays home and reads a book (one of his favorite things to do for rest) and I go hang out with friends. Sometimes I may also stay home and listen to some podcasts on counseling since I’m working towards a masters in Biblical Counseling right now. So there will be flexibility and variety. It doesn’t have to seem like a dreary day of being alone every single Sunday, which I feel is the typical idea one might think of when they hear “sabbath”. The point is to relax, rest, and have fun. Plus my normal quiet times with God being in the Word and prayer will be a normal part of life too.
2. Use the knowledge I’ve learned about adoption (and the other topics) to help aid me in my role as a Pregnancy Counseling with Bethany Christian Services (an adoption agency). This knowledge can help me in advocating for my clients and I plan to advocate well.
Lastly, I’ve learned that I may be interested in stepping into this space more directly in a future job role. Right now I’m a Pregnancy Counseling, but if God moves me into a different role, I can really see myself working with children from traumatic backgrounds. This course has helped me to see that this is a passion of mine. It has shaped my vision to be more focused on counseling children from traumatic backgrounds. Right now I’m pursuing an MA in Biblical Counseling from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. I will be looking into ways to work with children in orphan care from a counseling standpoint. I will be thinking through additional education that could aid me in this. I will continue exploring podcasts, sermons, organizations, etc to learn more about working with children from traumatic backgrounds. So this course has really served as a launching pad in those ways. It’s been a blessing to be a part of this course. Thanks for your hard work in putting everything together.
April 26, 2018 at 8:41 am #32856Kaitlyn StuttsParticipant
I share many of the same motivations you do! I also have a heart for orphan care and am looking for ways to serve and get more involved. The point of having a true Sabbath really stuck out to me as well. It was refreshing to see it from a perspective of fun, rather than a boring obligation. It is actually a gift from God and should be utilized for us to live out our full potential. I believe the degree you are working towards will also be so valuable to helping people from all backgrounds. I understand the difficulty in working and attending school at the same time, so keep up the hard work!
April 25, 2018 at 4:28 pm #32828Natalie CormierParticipant
One of the ways that I have really grown in this course is in my heart for children and youth. When I felt called to go into Christian nonprofit work, I was confused on why World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, and Compassion International (3 of the largest Christian nonprofit organizations based in the US). I did not really have the heart to serve children and youth although I do enjoy mentoring youth. Going through this course, I think really made me think why do we care so much for children and the unique troubles that they go through. It really opened my heart and look forward to what the future is going to bring for me hopefully benefiting these populations.
April 26, 2018 at 8:31 am #32855Kaitlyn StuttsParticipant
This course has many resources and information that is so valuable to work in OVC care. From my experience in this course, I am committing to continuing to learn in the world of OVC and find practical applications of OVC care in my life. As a student, I am not yet working in the world of OVC care on a daily basis. I found it very encouraging throughout the course to see how practical and easy it can be to contribute to the world of OVC. I am committed to finding ways to use what resources and gifts I have available to me now to contribute to the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children. From this course, I am also committing to continuing to learn and find resources on OVC care. There were so many great articles, podcasts, and videos throughout the course and we have only scratched the surface of the available resources. I would like to continue to find resources and gain valuable information to grow my knowledge in the world of OVC care. As a social work student, many of the topics covered in this course will apply to one part of my career or another, so I am committing to continuing to learn and grow with the endless amount of resources.
April 26, 2018 at 1:07 pm #32869Brittany DealyParticipant
Are there 1 – 3 action items or goals you have at the end of this course?
1. I plan to start my day in prayer. Especially because I work for a ministry, this is something that I want to value more than I have been.
2. I plan to help my church friends that are adoptive parents, or foster parents. I really want them to see the value that God has on their lives because of the daily sacrifices they are making for their beautiful children, by helping to serve them and meet their needs… and potentially become a foster mom or adoptive mom myself one day.
3. I plan to start practicing Sabbath with my husband. Hoping that it expands into our community of believers. We may do it on Saturday, with our Jewish neighbors, but either way, would like to set 24 hours aside to give to the Lord and to rest and have fun!
Absolutely loved the past 10 weeks of class, podcasts and discussion. Thank you for your hard work, Leah. Your attention to detail on cultivating each different subject really shows how much you love all of this and have the passion to spread the wealth of knowledge! Thank you so much for your time!
April 28, 2018 at 1:55 pm #32915Lindsey HughesParticipant
Honestly, I’m not completely sure what the road looks like from her for my life, but I know it will involve OVC care in some capacity. One thing that I will definitely carry with me for the rest of my life is the fact that the call to care for orphans is for ALL followers of Christ, and all manners of orphan care matter and have an impact – no matter how seemingly big or small that may be. Right away, I’d love to get more involved in my local church’s orphan care ministry that rallies around foster children and families. Truthfully, as unnerving as it is to be in a season of life where I really don’t know what my next step it, I’m grateful for the reminder of my need for the Lord. I just want to be obedient to His call on my life, whatever that looks like.
Some practical things I plan to do are to begin each day in prayer; to, as I mentioned before, become more involved in my church’s OVC ministry; and to be intentional about keeping a sabbath as part of my weekly rhythm.
I’m so grateful for this course. I’ve learned so much about OVC care that I didn’t know before. Having the opportunity to hear from so many who are already heavily involved in that world has been priceless. I’ll carry this with me into whatever God has next for me and for the rest of my life.
April 30, 2018 at 8:41 pm #32967Kaari VasquezParticipant
I just cannot stop sharing about this course with others! It has been such a blessing to my family and provided so much insight into this area of ministry.
My family desires to begin fostering again and so in preparation, I hope to institute a day of rest into our schedule and prioritize quiet time with God so that we are not tempted to do this in our own strength.
In our current church, we hope to explore their interests in adoption and encourage a connection between the members and our orphanage.
Here is my attempt at a personal mission statement:)
My sole purpose is to share the gospel and glorify God through all that I do as a wife, mother, friend, etc. I desire to use my experience and training in working with children who have communication disorders as well as the nine years God gifted us with experience while doing foster care to best support and care for children and their families through foster care again. It is a deep privilege to be able to share the gospel while serving through foster care. It is also my hope that God can use our experiences from serving at an orphanage in Mexico for two years (the language, the culture, etc.) to specifically serve families who have Spanish as their primary language of communication.
May 1, 2018 at 9:31 am #32974Emily EvansParticipant
I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to be apart of this OVC Essentials course. God opened my eyes to so many new things, and i loved learning more in depth on these topics. 3 main things I am going to take with me are:
1. Sharing the Apex of Grace sermon with others who don’t know much about adoption. I loved all the points and verses he linked with it, and it really strengthened my desire to work in this field in some capacity.
2. The importance of spending non timed rest in the presence of the Lord daily. Renewing and refreshing our souls with our Savior is mandatory in reaching others that we are leading. We must take care of ourselves emotionally, mentally, physically, and most importantly spiritually to transform our souls, and help transform the souls of others. Being present in every situation makes the most of the moment, and the most impact.
3. Be available. In foster care and adoption, its so important to educate people on it, but also just be available to them for help. Spreading the word out about it is also crucial in helping the orphans.
May 9, 2018 at 9:28 am #33101Emma MacDougallParticipant
The commitments that I will make going forward will be continuing to grow in my passion for OVC care and continuing to learn more about it when I get the chance. I will also continue to talk about it with people to raise awareness and knowledge for others about OVC care. There are so many college students that I have talked with that think that they can’t do anything because of where they are in their life, but I really want to help people know that everyone can do something and encourage them to get involved and serve in some capacity.
One way that I can use all of the information I learned in this course when leading the orphan care ministry at my university. We have meetings every week to discuss how we want to fundraise for our ministry partners and to discuss different things about OVC care so I can lead the conversations with things that I learned from this course.
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