Saturday, December 4, 2010
The first SF placement is coming to an end today. Both boys are back with mom. I checked in last night and they are doing great. Homelessness had led this mom to reach out for help. She loves her kids and there was NO REASON for her to lose her boys to the foster care system. She just needed support.
This is what I learned about how SF works: the local church HAS to step in! And in this case, they did. A pastor from a small church provided a duplex to this mom; working together (church and SF), the duplex has fresh paint and new carpet through out the entire place. Because the boys were in safe homes, mom was able to work on rent assistance. She is moving in today!
Then, a good friend of mine called last week and asked if there was anything she could do to help. Of course, I said yes! Shout out to Sarah Enwald - who stepped up big time! She organized her small group and called in favors from her friends and family. Right now, she is heading to the duplex with 4 beds, pots, pans, linens, pillows, comforters, strollers....the list is unbelievable! This mom will have EVERYTHING she needs for a new start.
What I learned from this first experience is how the church is willing to do something - they want to help! Sometimes when you hear statistics like 147 million orphans, the number causes Christians to freeze - what can I possibly do? Or when you hear that millions of children are going to bed hungry tonight, Christians say - how can I get food to a child? And the result is that many times Christians simply do nothing. They go back to their warm homes and look in their relatively full pantry, sigh and say "There's nothing to eat," and then order some pizzas. Conveniently, they forget about those huge numbers.
Safe Families puts a name a face and real story to those numbers. And when I ask a pastor or a friend to help this one mom and her children, the response was, "Of course I can help this one mom!". And I look at my mega-church of thousands and thousands of people and I think - we could help hundreds and hundreds of "this one mom and her kids"!!
In the middle of this story, the government of Wisconsin decided to give me a slap on the wrist for doing this. So many legal woes and for a while I was seriously afraid that I might end up in jail. I could feel the gray hair growing in - ha! That state of Wisconsin is saying that I don't have the right or the expertise to make decisions like this - putting two boys into safe homes and then coordinating care for the mom. I have wrestled with my thoughts all week about how I am finding loopholes in the law and squeezing through them praying God will protect me and the families involved. When does being a Christian and following God allow one to bend the law? Someone has told me I am just pointing out to Wisconsin how ridiculous their law is in this particular instance and that I am going to force them to change it.
I keep forging on - talking with all the politicians I can possibly get in touch with, begging them to change the laws as soon as they get to Madison in January so the church can start being the church. I also keep praying that God would continue showing me His will for Safe Families in Wisconsin.
Posted by Traci Weldie at 6:21 AM