Dear Women of Compassion,
Let’s face it, ladies like to go to lunch! And, we all know it’s not just about the food. Think of all the marriage and parenting advice that can be dished out over a long lunch with a good friend. And if you gather a large mix of like-minded women at the table to discuss something God has put on their hearts, you have the makings of a real power lunch. That’s why working with Women of Compassion is one of the biggest blessings of my life — I think the ministry of helping hurting and abandoned children has stolen all of our hearts. For me, although I had heard about the Children’s Home for years at church, visiting the Lakeland campus is what God used to speak to my heart about getting involved. So, invite some friends to do lunch and tour your local campus. God may have big plans for how they can get involved!
I’ll see you for lunch — and the WOC God Sized Dreams forum with bestselling author Holley Gerth as our speaker on February 7. The food will be good, the fellowship even better, and, best of all, we will have the chance to make a difference in the lives of children in need.Toni Azinger
Women of Compassion Council
This month I’m sharing an inspirational story about how people in Bradenton decided to follow their hearts and dream big to save children in crisis.
BIG Hearts and BIG Dreams
|Bobbie and Floyd Price standing in front of one of the newly constructed Foster Family Homes in Bradenton.|
The dream started in the heart of one woman. She went on a mission trip and came home wanting to help abandoned children in her own community. After she shared her heart with her friends, those friends told their friends about the need to help children in crisis. Eventually, a group of Christians in the Bradenton and Sarasota area formed Guardian Angels of Southwest Florida.
The group knew they wanted to help children in need. But, they weren’t exactly sure how they were going to accomplish their dream. “We found that all we had to do was have the heart for it,” said Bobbie Price, a Woman of Compassion and president of the Guardian Angels.
God worked out the details. He brought about a partnership between the Florida Baptist Children’s Home and Guardian Angels to provide a new foster care program called “Foster Family Homes.” Under this plan, Guardian Angels raises the money needed to buy the land and build the homes. FBCH facilitates the operation of the program.
Allowing large sibling groups the stability and security of staying together
Each house in the Foster Family Homes ministry can serve up to five children and parents must be willing to take children of any age from infancy to age 17, allowing them to serve more children and keep siblings together. This aspect of the program is unlike traditional foster care programs that are often able to place only one or two children in a home and allow parents to specify what ages of children they are willing to take.
Equipping those called to care for children
Just like regular foster parents, parents in the Foster Family Homes ministry pay for utilities and basic necessities for the children. Unlike regular foster parents, though, Foster Family Homes parents do not have to pay rent and many supplies are provided through donations and community support. This is an impactful and practical way to equip parents who feel Christ’s calling to care for children but may lack the resources to do so.
What can I do?
When people hear about the new homes, they ask how to get involved. A church group took a tour of one of the new homes. Seeing a bare kitchen, one lady asked, “What can I do?” Bobbie suggested donating a crock pot.
The lady came back with $5,000 saying that during her visit, she felt like she was on holy ground. “We have seen that kind of thing over and over,” said Bobbie. “God continues to provide. Its a joy to be a part of it, and God gets all the glory. Its God’s place.”
Be willing to take a first step.The big picture can be hard to see. Start by taking one baby step at a time. Perhaps the first step is inviting a friend to lunch and telling her about what God has put on your heart. Ladies, let’s look for how God wants us to make a difference in the lives and eternities of children in our own communities and around the world.
SAVE THE DATE
Friday, February 7, 2014
Bestselling writer, life coach and speaker, Holley Gerth will be one of our
special guests featured at our annual WOC event.