If you met her at a grocery store, you would never know. You would never know that she is a widow, that she has adopted children out of desperate situations, and fostered still dozens more. She is joyful, strong, and her blue eyes flash with a courage that is rare in our world. She is a single mom, not because she set out to be one, but because she became one with the loss of her husband. She is a single mom because she saw the needs of the children whose parents had cast them aside or were unable to care for them. She is a single mom because she had the courage to do for others what many will not. But when I interviewed her for the Growing Together campaign and asked this woman about her greatest personal assets in facing the struggles that single-parenting, -adopting, and -fostering brings, she said this,
“God putting the right people in our lives at the right time.”
In other words:
You and I are her biggest assets, whether we (or she) knows it yet or not.
A few days after our conversation, I spoke over the phone with another single mom. She was busy, waiting for an appointment to begin. Our conversation was a bit rushed at first, but before we’d gotten past the first question (Can you tell me a little about yourself and your story?) she was saying, “Sometimes, I just need someone to do boy things with my son.” A few minutes later, she was saying, “I need to have that older woman who can teach the younger women. You don’t realize how much you need that until you don’t have anyone.”
Sure she mentioned juggling finances and time and schedules. She even said she needed eight arms! She mentioned the struggles of homeschooling as a single mom. But more than anything, she emphasized the need for godly people in their lives. People who can encourage, be just a phone call away, even if it’s just so she can talk things through.
And so my friends, once again—YOU and I placed in her life by God are her biggest assets.
As I talked with both of these ladies, the greatest need they face is also the greatest need we face at FTN—the need for people to walk with them. People who will follow God’s command to step out of their comfort zone, out of sleeve-brushing distance, and right smack into the middle of their lives—no matter how messy.
They mentioned the need for mentors, for someone to help with yard work and house repairs and car maintenance, for men to do boy stuff with the fatherless and women to do girl stuff with the motherless. They mentioned the need for those who can give solid, Biblical financial guidance, people who would be willing to help with back to school shopping (Not the paying for it, the logistics of getting it all done!), the need for babysitters, tutors, and even for just a note of encouragement.
Often we look at the needs of the fatherless, of the millions of orphans, of the hundreds of thousands of children in foster care and we think, “What is the answer? What will make a difference?” The answer is simple.
It is God living His love, picturing His redemptive plan through you and through me.
Perhaps you don’t feel you have much.
God used a little boy’s lunch to feed a multitude!
Perhaps you don’t feel qualified.
If you survived childhood, you must have some wisdom to impart!
Perhaps you don’t know what talents you have to offer.
God will show you! He is the giver of talents after all.
If you have followed our blog, emails, or Facebook group for long, you know there is a need. If you have followed Scripture very long, you know we are responsible to meet it. Change is possible, and it may require sacrifice on our parts; but in considering the earthly sacrifice let us not forget the eternal reward. We have shared many things over the last two months, ways that you can minister to the fatherless and even ways that you can help us minister to the fatherless if you are unable to get involved personally. We have more to come over the next two weeks, but the question is this, you’ve seen the need, you’ve seen that it’s our responsibility, we’ve shown that change is possible, and we’ve seen that we—each one of us—are the biggest assets to this ministry…
Are you ready to step out in faith and obedience?
This week’s challenge, once again, is a simple one. But it’s a great place to start obeying God in this area of worship and ministry. In the Old Testament, God set up several feasts when the people were to gather together and celebrate what God had done for them. At those feasts, God required the people to invite the widow, the fatherless, the stranger, and the Levites that were within their gates. These guests who had little or nothing to give in return were to enjoy the feast with those who had plenty. So my challenge for you this week is this,
What can you do to bless a fatherless family, a foster family, or a family of non-parental guardians raising minor relatives?
It doesn’t have to be big. It might just be a note of encouragement or a small gift to commemorate a memory you share with them, or it might be something more. Maybe it will be a feast. Let the Lord lead you, but whatever you do, don’t be afraid. God always gives us the grace, courage, and resources to obey Him.
May the Lord make you a channel of blessings.