Thank you thanks so much for inviting me to share in this ministry I share this ministry with you. Anybody who knows me even just the smudges knows that this is my passion it's. What I'm doing in my empty nester time so I'm sure that many of you can relate. So but thanks because I'm so excited because you guys have never heard about it and I get to share it for the 1st time with you which I am deeply passionate about this so thanks and a year from now you'll be sick of me I hope. So my husband and Scott my husband Scott and I have been members of all Baptist Church since 1905 and the last 3 years we've been at their church plant Hope Community St Mary's right here in Fort Wayne We've been married 34 years we have 2 married kiddos and 5 going on 6 grand kiddo so yes I had my 1st at age 13 just getting. I truly believe that everything in our story is written for a reason and that many things that we endure are simply God equipping us to do great things for His glory so let me give you a quick background on my story so you can understand how I got to where I am today I was raised in a situational poverty environment by a single mom where stress would occasionally result in abuse neglect my brother and I my dad wasn't present in our lives and basically the reason he gave was that he simply didn't know how we weren't raised in a Christian home but our grandparents and our other people in our life saw to it that we made it to church. And I came to know Christ as a small child honestly don't even remember a time that I didn't have Christ in my life I was that young I remember many times people reminding me to keep focusing on the hope of Jesus during all that rough ness in my life so I look back my childhood now and I see how much protection the Lord provided me through those hard times and I recall a handful of good people growing up that reminded me of the sea families volunteers today people that are taking kit I was and now through our organization those people remind me of the people that I had in my life and so my community was doing Safe Families before it existed so I know God put those people around me to protect me. These loving people remind me of 1st 316 where it says Let us not love with words but with actions today we're introducing you to say families as the leadership of St Joe is calling you to live out this kind of love in our community so what is safe family so you heard the video our community is full right here in Fort Wayne Indiana you know it right here in it full of hurting lonely parents who struggle to overcome poverty and more importantly to overcome selves social isolation and the need of the support of a loving community like you enjoy already here at this church. Is something that they need these parents most of them single moms when faced with a crisis or not able to provide a safe and caring home for their children which then increases the risk of abuse and neglect remember my story. Families in these situations be eventually have their kids removed from their homes and placed in foster care if they don't get out of that social isolation out of and get the help that they need. I love that without even asking today what your scripture reading was going to be when I wrote this last night James 127 the Bible addresses what we're supposed to be doing with vulnerable families doesn't it if you if you take a hole punch and punch out everything that is related to our call to care for the vulnerable there would be giant holes in our Bibles That's how much there is there so where it puts James Want to $27.00 specifically says Where says that religion that God our Father except as pure and faultless is this to look after the orphans and widows in their distress so say Families for Children is a national movement as you heard of the Body of Christ 108 sites this is just one of 108 in 40 states supporting and caring for vulnerable families by empowering and mobilizing the church the church used to take care of orphans and widows they took a back seat when the government stepped in and we're here to empower you again to take that front line and prevent child abuse neglect the orphans and James 27 James 127 are often in our community and communities all over the world there are often single moms who have no support who have parents that they can't rely on they've burned bridges they don't have anyone to turn to they're living in the very neighborhoods that surround this church and the orphans that need us they are our friends that need us and to take action and to share the hope of Christ with them. So a little history on what's been going on here in Fort Wayne on February 13th 2013 while I'm Baptist Church launched this local site of say families this is not a wall and thing though this is a hope that all the churches that the Gospel sharing church is in for Wayne will come together and partner together with the families to just keep kids safe so in 2013 that happened that began and at the same time God was priming me for a change in my business career I have an I.T. background I knew nothing about social service. If you have a computer problem I'm your gal but to tell me that I'm going to run. A ministry like this I just said wow but when I heard it on February 3rd just about 6 years ago. From that very Sunday God has led me full speed ahead into a world that I never ever thought I would go back to right right back into it and the past 6 years God has blessed my husband and I by allowing us to host children in our home as a volunteer he has equipped me for this ministry through family coaching and then 18 months ago I left the corporate world completely I left a 6 figure career and to make Penny's running this site in Fort Wayne it's a 6 county site we're barely doing Allen County Well at this point we have plants we have plans so over the last 6 years this is what happens this is what happened we have hosted 545 kids that's a lot 545 kids have stayed safe their parents have seen support they have seen the Gospel in our actions and some of these families have came to know Christ. Our average hosting unlike national they they tout 6 week average our average is 2 and a half weeks and I think it's because we just wrap our families around these families that need it and we can shorten it up as well our average of return to the return to the parents is 99 percent versus the 93 percent average so the kids are returned to their home 99 percent of the time so we have 38 churches now we started with one wall Baptist church we now have 3811 of those 38 churches are partners so they have made this a ministry of their church you are number 11 we have $52.00 host families 8 family coaches the family coach is the one that kind of runs things kind of the authority over the placement supporting the host family and supporting the parents and we have $100.00 words on hundreds of boards of almost a 1000 family friends and prayer partners we have 245 partners in the community that help us connect to the parents that need that need our support we have 3 paid positions we launched 6 years ago we were 100 percent volunteer 18 months ago we hired me and now since I've hired 2 more part time people and the greatest blessing of 2018 was that we were gifted the office space here right here on the bus line that was very important to us you know this all these churches that we are partnering with before Hope Community were north of Coliseum Boulevard and we need to be on the bus line because our parents need to come here to our to our intake office and be able to meet here privately were meeting in coffee shops and libraries and McDonald's play lands and just wherever we could get a quiet moment a quiet corner somewhere but now we have this gift of space that has just changed this site tremendously just and 3 short months. So now where we go in 2019 Our strategy is to focus on getting more churches involved that's why I'm up here today as well we have plans to bettering gauge our community partners so that we can connect with more parents and need we also in the process of establishing a local leadership council we have the Executive Board in Chicago but we need oversight here for 2 reasons we want to countability for the funds that were raising and we want to make sure that this site stays a gospel centered mission so that's that's my heart and that's why I'm on the mining this local leadership team so how can you get involved. In your bulletin there was an insert there with a brochure that explains our program our ministry to the vulnerable families there's a list of ways there there's host families people that are open up their home radical biblical hospitality opening up your hole to someone you don't even know you meet them today you bring them home tonight. These are people that just want to see kids be safe right you can look at it like privatized fostering with lots of support from the very moment you say yes family coaches they provide guidance to host families and accountability to our placing parents our prayer partners we could not do this without being bathed in prayer. And we need you we have a weekly newsletter that goes out weekly prayer letter that goes out to tell you specifically how we can prayer pray for us as well in your bulletin there's a prayer book mark on both sides please pray specifically through the scripture and how you can support us through prayer family friends those are people that currently support our host families by providing transportation to kiddos to school can you pick up a kid and take them to school that some people write something that you can easily do can you babysit for a host family so that they can say yes for a long period of time because they have the support they need. We need people to answer the phone we don't have any sobs anymore we have regulars but if someone sick I'm answering the phone I need you to help me answer the phone. There's a role for everyone if you have a special gifting my goal from the very moment that I said yes to be the leader. Was if you have a gift I will find a way for you to serve in our ministry so don't think it's not for me I said that for a long time it's not for me I don't want to be the director I said no way I'm not doing that I don't want to fundraise I don't want to do all those things the Lord has a quick me for this and he will quit you as well and so we have. Coming up on February 17th right after the service we're going to have an informational meeting so if God has sparked you like he did me on February 3rd 2013 I want you to come to this meeting and ask your questions tell me what your gifts are I'll give you more detail than you'll ever need actually. And will give you lunch and we have childcare so February 17th 3 Sundays from now and I I'd also like to introduce Jean Kugler who has agreed just this morning to be our ministry lead so she will be the contact person for your church or you can e-mail me directly with your questions while she's ramping up or does it with her and she'll ask me and will figure it out together and then lastly our next volunteer training maybe you were like me and you're like How can I do this and you're just ready to jump in our next volunteer training session is March 12th at 830 at wal Baptist church we'd love to have you come and just learn it's not a commitment neither of these 2 meetings are commitments come in here one figure out where your spot is with say families so lastly in celebration of National say family Sunday on February 10th I want to take I want our local leadership team to thank you in advance for being willing to just step out and serve both families and their your community your community our community. We want you to commit faithfully to living our love and serving these families.