About a year and a half ago, Red Cedar Church (Rice Lake, Wisc.) was praying for God to reveal new areas for ministry in our community. God began calling us to partner with our county foster care system. We had no idea how powerfully God would begin using this relationship.
At the very first meeting with the county's representative, we learned our foster care system had three pressing needs that we could help with:
- raising awareness and helping recruit more foster families
- initial financial needs of equipping a home to be foster-ready
- creating a support system for foster families in the area
Red Cedar immediately began planning to meet each of these needs. We host Foster Parent Interest Night meetings throughout the year. We supply new foster families with all the necessary "start-up" items that are needed for their home to be ready to foster children—things like smoke detectors, fire ladders, and child safety kits.
God began calling us to partner with our county foster care system. We had no idea how powerfully God would begin using this relationship.
We hold several events including a Christmas Celebration where we create the opportunity for children and families to feel the love of our church community. On Foster Family Date Nights, the church provides free childcare with activities galore for the children, allowing parents a few hours to do whatever they want. Red Cedar also created a monthly support group when they get together to share stories, pray, and lean on each other in their unique walk.
Today, Red Cedar Church's bridge with the foster care system is a blessing to many, and word has gotten out. Our neighboring county's foster care system wished us to expand our ministry into that county also. Red Cedar is here to serve. What a joy to be able to share God’s redeeming love among these children and families!
This calling to be foster parents is hard, so having a strong support system, including our church, is essential. But when I see a kid overcome challenges and succeed in places that they may not have otherwise, it makes the difficult path worth it. It often feels like we are missionaries, but instead of traveling overseas, the mission field is brought into our personal, everyday space.
- Shannon Severud