Reading in Luke this morning about how Jesus responds when he’s criticized for eating with sinners, I was reminded that He responded with the story of the Shepherd searching for the lost sheep!
For a long time I’ve wanted to be a pastor in some capacity, but the more I get to meet “us,” day-to-day community members and encourage being the hands and feet of the Redeemer, the less I care about who has what title in a given community. What a joy to together labor, to co-labor together, in the love of the Redeemer for one another and the lost sheep of this world. As we pour out our lives in the service and disciple-making opportunities God presents us with, a well of joy appears in our spirits. We increase in joy and genuine engagement with the Gospel of Jesus in ways we never imagined possible.
I met with Jerry Johnson from Koinonia Family Services via phone yesterday. His cell phone 209-988-8348 is the best way to touch base with him regarding Safe Families. He is the direct contact for referring families in crisis, where a child could use a temporary home while his or her parent(s) get their feet under them and give it a go again with caring for their child/children whom they love. Jerry challenges the parent/parents to let him know they love their child/children. If they do, and genuinely state this, then he begins laboring to line them up with a Safe Family. Learn how you can become a Safe Family for these children in crisis, being the hands and feet of Christ to connect them and their parents to the love of the Redeemer!
I’ll write more about a vision Jerry has for the Central Valley here in California. When we see enough families in Merced, CA raising their hands to be Safe Families, Jerry can begin a campaign to raise awareness here, allowing our town to be highlighted as a town where MERCY is truly shown to families in crisis, in need of help. Once that is done, the Safe Families effort can go full swing, and guess what?! The foster care system will be less and less necessary! We have over 700 children in foster care in our county today. This number can be reduced, and one of the fastest ways to do this and most effective is for us to help these children and their parents before things need to go to CPS/HSA.
Learning a lot and excited to pass it along, friends!