This post is dedicated to Safe Families of Children of Central Indiana and to the amazing women I’ve been privileged enough to work with and to learn from: Krista Davis, Diane Palma, Lisa Lance and Tracey Mitchell-Strong. Read a previous post I wrote about SF here.
Tonight I went to my last Safe Families event before I move away to a new city and (hopefully) find a new job. It was the annual fundraiser, but it was as much a celebration as it was a fundraiser. We talked and laughed and ate. We made introductions and made small talk. We recounted stories.
When I went in tonight, I thought I knew what Safe Families was all about.
After all, I was on staff!!
But as Dr. Anderson (the founder) and Krista spoke about Safe Families and the impact it is having around the nation (and spreading to other countries), I was humbled. I realized anew that God’s hand was all over this movement. I viewed this ministry through human eyes. I thought about the logistics and problem solving. I thought about the statistics. I got caught up in what I could do to help. What I forgot is that Jesus is above and beyond all that. And that Jesus is the very best that I have to offer anyone.
Safe Families began a mere seven years ago. Yet it already has branches in over 60 cities and even has a branch opening in the U.K. Safe Families of Central Indiana (where I worked) began just over three years ago, but it is already growing by leaps and bounds. As more people and more organizations hear about us, we get more referrals and more host families.
The idea of Christians opening up their homes, caring for the child of a stranger and being “inconvenienced” with no monetary gain seemed preposterous in the beginning. After all, who gives without expecting anything in return?? The answer to that should be: The Church! That is what we are called to do! Dr. Anderson even spoke about how he presented this idea in Chicago (the first city to have Safe Families) and was told that it was “the best idea [that individual] had ever heard in his career”. But he was also told that it would never work because Christians wouldn’t actually do this. That individual was proved wrong when Safe Families flourished in Chicago and spread to other cities. It seemed silly in the beginning, but it’s working. As people begin to catch this vision, it is spreading to more and more churches.
One of the things I love about Safe Families is that it is a lifestyle. It is not you driving to a homeless shelter and putting in your three hours of volunteer work and then driving back to your suburban life. You are opening your home and your family to these children. They are living life alongside you. Isn’t this the way it was supposed to be??
Safe Families is so much bigger than me or anyone else on staff. It is God who is opening doors and growing this ministry exponentially, but us. I am so thankful for the incredible people I worked with (those on staff, the volunteers and the Safe Families themselves) who reminded me of that fact so often.
I could write so much more, but it is late here. Time for bed!
**Please pray about how YOU could be involved with Safe Families. I am happy to answer any questions, but I’d love it if you would check out the links below to find out more about Safe Families. 🙂
Safe Families Website (look for the video clips of Katie Couric reporting on SF)
Safe Families Locations
Safe Families for Children of Central Indiana blog
Safe Families for Children of Central Indiana twitter