Family Table Year End Update 2023

Hello Family Table Champions!

It’s been a quiet winter around here, but there are a lot of great things happening, as well as some potential transitions. Thank you for all you do to make this ministry possible. Children in the foster care system are being loved and cared for, social workers and child welfare professionals are being supported, and we continue to work with local churches looking to do the same!

What We Do: The Family Table connects and collaborates with the very people who have the greatest power to reverse the foster care crisis : child welfare agencies, churches, and families.

How We Do It:  We educate the local church about the foster care crisis, equip new and existing foster families, and empower child welfare agencies and local community partners. 

  • We educate the local church, because when they understand the biblical mandate to care for widows and orphans, they will lead the way in change.
  • We equip new and existing foster families, because when they have the tools, resources, and training, they need they are more likely to continue opening up their homes to children in need and less likely to quit.
  • We empower child welfare agencies and other local organizations, because when trust is built between everyone in a community, those who have the resources can get them to the families who need them the most.

The Family Behind The Table
Our family continues to champion the needs of children in the foster care system by personally investing our time, talents, and treasure. We have provided much needed respite (temporary) care for foster families. It is difficult for families who have opened their home to kids in need to find licensed help from other foster parents, so it is a joy to continue to have children in our home, expanding their circles of safe adults.
Amy had another opportunity recently to help host baby showers for single teenage mothers. At a recent Christmas event, there were a dozen teen moms, some first time parents, some with multiple kids. It is heartbreaking to see a 13 year old prepare for motherhood, but it is a joy to let them know they are not alone. This event provided needed essentials, strollers, and other furniture for teen moms! We are thankful for our partners at We Foster LA for their work!

It has been fun to support other foster care organization in our area by providing babysitting and support for their events as well. The kids and I have had several opportunities to babysit kids for support groups while the parents have a chance to connect and pray with each other.

Helping the Helpers

I continue to work with local child protection services  (DCFS), speaking to groups of case workers and others, offering help to local agencies and getting them connected to other community organizations. This year alone, we were able to onboard four more churches to provide visitation centers for bio parents to have a safe and comfortable place to visit with their children. Churches with building space really are the best venue for these visits, as loving and caring volunteers from the church are able to welcome parents and children. This is one of the biggest requests we get from government partners, and it has been really fulfilling to help make these connections.

As a foster parent, I know how a little encouragement goes a long way, and it is a joy to continue to speak to support groups of foster parents, letting them know that their work is seen and appreciated. In addition to my coaching and speaking at churches, I enjoy being able to work one on one and with small groups of foster families, listening to their stories, knowing the burdens they are carrying.

Mobilizing the Church

I love working with local churches, helping them clarify how to best engage their congregations to care for children in their community. Most churches adopt a shotgun like approach to local mission and service projects – haphazardly saying yes to every good thing they can be involved in, without strategy or gauging long term effectiveness. Through our 3D coaching program, we help churches Discover where God is at work, Develop a foster care ministry, and Deploy their church to practically care for their neighborhood. This year, we were able to connect social workers with more churches to help provide Christmas gifts to families they are working with. My experience is that churches are very generous and want to come alongside those in need, but may not know how to help. This is where we help them! Each  of the 25 tags you see on the tree below represents an actual child with their Christmas wish list that we have the privilege of supporting!

Potential Transitions

We are currently looking into what is involved in becoming a Foster Family Agency (FFA). These are the licensing agencies that recruit and support other foster parents as they care for children. I am unsure about the feasibility of that move for us right now, but it would allow us to take an even greater role in creating a great experience for both first time and long term foster families. Please pray for wisdom as we look into next steps.

As always, we need support for the daily operating expenses that allow us to continue the work of educating churches, equipping foster families and empowering child welfare agencies. Year end donations help make up a good portion of our annual expenses, and are tax deductible. If you, or someone you know, would like to give to these efforts, here is our donation link:

I can’t thank you enough for your continued support and encouragement. You truly make this work possible, and were are so thankful for you all. If you would like to follow up about any of these or other stories, please reach out. You know I love sharing about everything that is happening!

With love and thanks,

~Pastor Mike, Amy and the whole family!