“Sometimes,” she confided with anxious eyes, “I feel like I don’t know how I can possibly serve. I don’t think I can do anything. I want to be a blessing to our church, I just don’t know how.” She let out a troubled sigh of discouragement. Do you ever feel this way? I know I have! You want to serve and yet...
“Sometimes,” she confided with anxious eyes, “I feel like I don’t know how I can possibly serve. I don’t think I can do anything. I want to be a blessing to our church, I just don’t know how.” She let out a troubled sigh of discouragement.
Do you ever feel this way? I know I have! You want to serve and yet don’t know if you are needed or how you can be a blessing.
Let me hasten to tell you, God brought you to us and you are needed!
You were meant to be a blessing and you have much to offer your brothers and sisters at MCC!
Consider Paul’s description of the church in 1 Corinthians 12:14-26
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body…..But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”
This is you and this is me, this is the church!
We are drawn together by the worship of Christ, knit into one body to work together, to grow, and to share the Gospel with others.
If one member suffers, then we all suffer.
You might wonder how you can help --- you may feel like you don’t have a lot of time, resources, or skills that the church can use. But consider this, there are many needs with in the body that never make it to the bulletin. These are needs that would not be appropriate to share with the entire congregation, but having those needs met are still vitally important.
- What if a person needs a ride to a doctor’s appointment? Can you drive?
- What if someone’s car breaks down and they need groceries? Perhaps you know how to repair the vehicle the car?
- What if you someone’s dryer breaks and they cannot afford a repairman? Perhaps you are handy and can fix stuff that breaks in a household!
- Suppose someone’s computer breaks and they don’t know where to, or cannot afford to, take it in? Yet you understand the mysterious complexities of a computer!
- Are you a young person who can help an older one who just got a computer learn how to use it?
You see, none of us are designed to do everything perfectly, instead we are meant to help one another, and in doing so, we strengthen and build relationships!
And you, yes YOU, are a vibrant provider AND partaker of this!
William & Dolores Jiron lead the Helps Ministry that is designed to help meet some of these needs. Would you prayerfully consider signing up?
You may only be called once a year, but it will be a call to service for the Lord’s glory!
Before writing this blog post, I asked 30 adoptive families how we can do better as a church with two simple questions: “How did the church hold you up and how did the church fail you?”
Before writing this blog post, I asked 30 adoptive families how we can do better as a church with two simple questions:
“How did the church hold you up and how did the church fail you?”
This is a summary of their answers and some ideas on how you can serve families in difficult situations.
Validation and acceptance for the journey:
Don’t just look at the outside and think you know what may be happening inside. Know that children from hard places have struggles that make them often appear sweet and charming in public, but behind closed doors it is another story altogether. Accept that the people you knew haven’t changed; but rather that they are struggling in ways you can’t even imagine.
Yes, even years into the adoption. There are no words to describe how completely and utterly worn-out parents become battling day in and day out, as they try to break through to love a child with an attachment disorder. Secondary trauma (the trauma the family faces because of the child’s struggles) can cause severe brain fog and pure exhaustion.
Please stay in contact:
Raising a child from a hard place, especially one with an attachment disorder, isolates a family. A child from a hard place will work to isolate a family, demanding it with behaviors. This need will continue even if a child is removed from the home. Either way, empathy for the journey is paramount.
Help with Childcare:
There are no words for what a drain parenting a child from a hard place can be, a child with an attachment disorder. Parents need a break every now and then.
In closing, this is such a complex subject that I could write for ages, and still not cover all the ways a family who has adopted a child from a hard place will need support. I hope this gives a glimpse into the ongoing needs of those in this hard ministry.
Sadly, the foster care system is FULL of children with attachment disorders. Our family’s experience is not an isolated event.
Perhaps you don’t know a family who is raising a child with an attachment disorder. But it’s likely that you know a family raising a child with ADHD, Autism, severe anxiety, or a developmental disorder; the same suggestions can be applied to any of these families.
As I look back on this experience, I hold fast to the fact that as believers, we are precious and dearly loved by our Lord as He patiently sanctifies us.
We all have difficult behaviors. As Christians, we must step into hard places; for those places are where the Lord meets us and grows us to be more like Him.
Surrendering to the hard things brings glory to God and is an act of worship.
We’ve done it MCC Families! Adoption is an integral part of our church culture. It is an amazing feat, and as I look across our sanctuary on Sunday mornings, I see family after family touched by adoption. It is beautiful…but sometimes it can also be very painful, sometimes it can even destroy a family...
We’ve done it MCC Families! Adoption is an integral part of our church culture. It is an amazing feat, and as I look across our sanctuary on Sunday mornings, I see family after family touched by adoption. It is beautiful…but sometimes it can also be very painful, sometimes it can even destroy a family.
As more and more families answer the call to adopt, they go in with hope and expectation to make a difference. Sadly though, there is a dark side of adoption that isn’t often discussed, and it regularly catches families completely unprepared.
There are adoptions that wreak havoc on families because of deep attachment problems that children have suffered. For children who didn’t have adequate care and love throughout their life, and for those who never knew the safety of a bond with their mother or father, biological or otherwise, bonding and being part of a family can be difficult, in some cases impossible.
For children who have survived trauma, abuse and neglect, moving into the foster care system too often sets them up for failure.
They fear that they will return to their abusive parents, and sometimes they are returned, only to be removed again and put back into care many times. Because of this devastating cycle, many of these children learn it isn’t safe to trust adults or caregivers, and they cope by creating maladaptive ways to handle their fear and anger. These behaviors make it difficult or impossible to bond, and extremely hard to parent, so these kids are often moved from one foster family to another and another. As the cycle continues, it deepens their intense fear of love and attachment and rewires their brain. It is devastating and destructive.
This was the situation for us, to the point that one of our adopted children can no longer live in our home. Chris continues to try to break through to this child, even as she refuses to be loved. She is incapable of loving in return, or living in a family setting safely. This reality is so far from our dreams for her life.
After this experience, it is my heart’s desire to share with you how incredibly important it is that we continue the chain of responsibility. As an aspect of being pro-life, we are pro-adoption.
Although not all are called to adopt, we should all be supportive of the families who are called to do so.
You might wonder what this looks like. As a church culture, we know what to do when someone has a baby, a death in the family, or a friend who is struggling with illness. We can look at the transition of adding an adopted child to our family in the same light.
By stepping into this gap, we show these brave families that they are important, this adopted child is important, and we are with them.
For families adopting children with severe behaviors, attachment disorders, or other mental health issues, this is crucial. It may even make the difference between those families thriving and failing. There are some real tangible ways that families may need support, especially those who adopt older children from hard places.
Join us for Part Three tomorrow as we share ideas on how you can step in to meet some of these needs with real, tangible ways to offer hope and support!
As we pulled into my friend’s driveway, my kids bailed out of the car with squeals of delight, eager to see friends. All except our newest child. She sat there with a dark angry look on her face. I took a deep breath, opened my car door, and slid out of my seat...
As we pulled into my friend’s driveway, my kids bailed out of the car with squeals of delight, eager to see friends. All except our newest child. She sat there with a dark angry look on her face. I took a deep breath, opened my car door, and slid out of my seat.
I ached to go inside, to study God’s Word with other women, to connect. I was so lonely and so weary. I gathered my books and called back to her “Hey, hop out of the car!” She turned toward me with the look I’d become all too familiar with, and it began again. She raged and threatened; her constant need to control me overwhelmed both of us. I quickly prayed (for the twentieth time that day) that the Lord would give me patience and wisdom.
She hurled every hurtful word she could think of at me, along with some rocks, and anything else in her reach. I never made it further than 5 feet from the car that day.
As I sat down on the gravel driveway fighting hard for this child who refused to be loved, I cried.
I knew I was beginning to break. That day I returned home lonelier than I’d been before we arrived.
Are you a family who has made the life-changing decision to adopt?
Was it harder, easier, or just what you expected? In this case, for our family, it was definitely harder. I know this is not always the case, and that God will bring beauty from ashes, but this season of our life was heart-breaking.
I hope that by sharing and providing some ideas on how you can walk alongside families, it will give you a new understanding, compassion and awareness for how you can serve.
Join us in this 3-part series as I describe what it was like to adopt a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder and share how you, as fellow believers, can serve other families dealing with similar situations.
Everywhere you look there are children, people, cars, dogs, trash blowing across the road, busses racing by....a constant sea of movement. There are buildings being constructed, people at work, something for sale, a noise that never ceases; always a rush. But what for? People work hard in hope that opportunity will come, but sadly enough, for many here in Sucre, it seems that it never does...
Everywhere you look there are children, people, cars, dogs, trash blowing across the road, busses racing by....a constant sea of movement. There are buildings being constructed, people at work, something for sale, a noise that never ceases; always a rush.
But what for? People work hard in hope that opportunity will come, but sadly enough, for many here in Sucre, it seems that it never does.
We met with Esperanza, a mother of three who works hard all day, every day, handwashing laundry and still just barely getting by. We assumed she was single by the way she spoke of her "son's father." But none of us had the heart to ask. She lived in the heart of the city but spoke as if she were all alone. The only family she mentioned were the "cousins" of her children, as she called them, from her "boys' father's family". To get to her humble dwelling we climbed over a concrete guardrail, at a random spot off a steep embankment from a busy road, down a shaky set of rusty steel and plywood stairs. It was a tiny, hidden community unto itself, no more than five ramshackle dwellings. You never would have known it was there. It left us wondering how the women of FH had ever found it?
There were children, dogs and hanging laundry amongst the rubbish and mess. Yet children’s eager faces greeted us, hoping for a sponsor`s letter or even better, a visit! All three children were FH sponsored children and seemed more optimistic than most.
But on Esperanza's sad face, there was loneliness and exhaustion, embarrassment that all she had to offer her guests was Salvetti soda, one of which she provided in a wooden bowl because she had no more cups.
Though we knew that our 20-minute visit, gift of school supplies and simple words could not erase that, before we left we covered Esperanza with our prayers. What else can you do when you feel impossibly inadequate?
God's grace covers what we cannot.
His love was a hopeful light in Esperanza's dim, damp, single room dwelling. She smiled as we left, asking us not to forget her. It was heart wrenching.
How could we possibly forget?
Just as her sad face and situation was a profound example of those need, Jesus is a profound example that we NOT FORGET those in need.
"And the King will answer them,`Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40
Just as Sucre felt like a city that would never sleep, I prayed that we would be a people that would never forget. That we would remember her as a member of the family of Christ and continue to lift her up in prayer.
It left me wondering, what will we do for the least of these? In a world that moves too fast, where distraction abounds and we race to keep up, how will you and I serve, how can we pray and be a people that never forgets?
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SAVE THE DATE: Vacation Bible School will be June 25-29th this year! Please note that the date is earlier than normal but it will be just as much fun! More details to come so stay tuned!
MCC has a new youth lead High-School Youth Group - The Hang Out! High School students will meet Sunday nights at 6pm beginning March 4th. Their vision is to create a positive place for church going teens and teens who wouldn’t normally come to church, to build relationships and encourage involvement in bible study lessons and group discussion. Contact Abbie Bryant for more information.
Missionaries Return from Bolivia
Check out the story, Missionaries Return from Bolivia that ran in the East Mountain Telegraph, April 6th, 2017.