In this post, we share news about the Fusion Coalition joining forces with Project Belong. The update is from Jaoni Woods and her family (foster care and forever family). We believe this post will help you picture the importance of the mission of Project Belong and support mechanisms they provide the local church.
Fostercare Family to Fostercare Ministry
My husband and I stepped into foster care in 2013 having no idea what we were doing, just knowing that God was leading us there. My experience as a foster parent opened my eyes and heart to a whole world of hurting people that were right in my town, but who I’d never seen before.
It quickly became clear that so many others who had been in the church their whole lives had no idea what we were experiencing as a foster family, and had been blind to the whole system like I was.
Acquainted with Challenges
My family really struggled. We had long periods of time where we couldn’t go to church because of all the turmoil our kids were experiencing, and the stress that was taking a toll on our bodies. Because of the shroud of “privacy” that surrounds foster care, as well as unintentional shame, it’s hard for foster families to talk about what they are experiencing on a daily basis.
It is also challenging for others to hear, or even if they do hear, hard to comprehend. I mean, no one expects to hear, “My kid had a 3 hr emotional meltdown and kicked a hole in the wall last night after their family visit” when they ask “How are you this morning?” after church.
Practical Experiences to Community
As I started talking about our fostering experience, I was connecting with more people who wanted to learn about fostering and ways they could help families even if they weren’t able to foster. The deepest needs children in foster care have are relational- they need unconditional, lifelong love, and acceptance that the government can’t give them.
Since churches are full of families and individuals who have been called to love and care for the vulnerable in our communities, bringing churches together to learn and collaborate seemed like a natural move. A friend, John Moore, helped me organize a monthly meeting of Loudoun churches, which we called Fusion.
Strength in Fellowship
As I was having these conversations here in Loudoun in 2017, God was moving in other parts of Virginia with the same calling. One of the people I invited to my first church coalition meeting was Chris Seaton, who had just begun a similar process in Fairfax County with Project Belong. Chris and I continued talking and brainstorming together on a regular basis, and as time went on, God opened doors for Chris and me to combine efforts and expand our reach formally.
Our group of churches in Loudoun that have been collaborating for 3 yrs has joined with Project Belong to reach into Loudoun County more effectively as a formal non-profit this year, with more bandwidth, resources, and wonderful relationships. That is already allowing us to continue and expand our work to equip churches to come alongside children and families to meet needs the government can not. The need for healing, family, and the love of Jesus.
How You Can Help
As awareness stirs the greater Church, and the issue of the orphan and foster children will are embraced, we will see the love of God manifest. So, pray, ask your pastors or missions team leader, “how can we engage?” Do not be surprised at the doors which will open – then obey and walk in faith.
The 3 Part Mission of The Greater Glory Co. To encourage the sharing of testimonies, and release transforming power amongst the curious, the hungry, and thirsty – the world. Offer handcrafted wood Christian flags that celebrate and memorialize the transformed life, and…support the ministries that tend to the least among these, orphans and children aging out of foster care.