Recently I told you about Project Back to School: White Fields Community Church’s annual summertime outreach to kids in foster care in conduction with Weld County Health and Human Services.
This month-long project concluded today with some of us from the church delivering the backpacks to the case workers in Weld County. They will be delivered to these needy families in the coming days and weeks.
Staging and Inventory
Here’s a message from Travis Hergert, who oversees missions and outreach for White Fields:
This morning, Joe Cady, Pastor Nick and I had the great privilege of delivering the backpacks that you so graciously provided to 135 elementary, middle school and high school age foster children. As you all are well aware, each pack was filled with the needed school supplies for Weld County Schools.
It took two pickup trucks to haul all of the backpacks to Greeley! As we were unloading them at the facility, I was so moved when one of the Human Services workers commented that he is always amazed at how our church manages to provide this amount of backpacks and an incredible amount of gifts at Christmas. He said he wanted to know the secret of how a congregation is so engaged with their community! All of the Human Services case workers were incredibly appreciative and very excited to give each child their new backpack and supplies.
This goes beyond just backpacks, you truly showed the love of Christ in a tangible way!
…As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:15, ESV)
It was great to see how excited the case workers were about the backpacks, having personal knowledge of the kids and the details of their situations. Please be in prayer both for the kids, their caretakers and these case workers who care so much about them.
“Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)
One of the great outreaches we do here at White Fields church in Longmont is a home-grown initiative called Project Greatest Gift, which is our ministry at Christmastime to children in foster care.
Project Greatest Gift has been a tradition at White Fields since the beginning of our church, but in the past it was limited in the number of families we were able bless. After looking at ways to broaden its impact on the community and considering alternative programs such as Operation Christmas Child, we decided to attempt to bless the “orphans” of Northern Colorado. Since no orphanages existed in this area, God led us to reach out to local foster families. A couple in the church was heavily involved in the foster system and they offered to make contacts within that system to find families in need. Beginning in 2009, as a result of God’s provision and their efforts, we were able to begin blessing the foster families in Weld and Adams counties through the generous gifts of the congregation at White Fields. Over the years, we have continued to see God’s great provision for us so we are able to continue to share His abundance with others.
In past years, our church family has provided gifts for around 40 to 60 kids. This year we have had a great outpouring of generosity, and people from our congregation have signed up to provide gifts for 90 children in Adams and Weld counties!
For those of you unfamiliar with the purpose of foster care, it is safe homes, loving caregivers and other family members who take in and provide for children whose living situation is unsafe. Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, many children live in homes with parents addicted to drugs, who are neglectful or abusive, or who do not know how to care for children appropriately. So foster homes are critical to meet the needs of these children while birth parents work to recover and learn to parent. Sometimes, foster homes are also where children’s needs are met while they await a forever home through adoption. Children in foster care experience grief and loss. Even when their living situation was unsafe, children mourn its loss, as that is all they had ever known. Foster parents serve not only as loving caretakers, but often also as counselors as they help the children in their care through this grief and loss. We are so thankful that we can in some way bless these foster families too by helping provide gifts at Christmastime.
In addition to the blessing of Christmas gifts, please pray for these children that they would soon have a forever family, and more importantly, that they would come to know Jesus Christ as their savior, and God as their Heavenly Daddy.