Orphans No More - Podcast
Episode 208 - Faith or Fear?

Episode 208 - Faith or Fear?

February 24, 2020

What would happen if we made decisions based on whether our choice would glorify God instead of fear of the unknown? God doesn’t call us to do things that we can easily accomplish on our own. He calls us to tasks that we can do only by His strength—that’s how He gets the glory.

Jennifer Cameron is an adoptive mom who stepped out in faith and adopted two little girls from China. Adopting her first daughter, Olivia, seemed a crazy idea since Jennifer was not married and worked in full time ministry. Olivia was not yet available for adoption, but Jennifer knew in her heart the little girl was family.

One year later Olivia began asking about a sister. Jennifer had no plans to adopt again, but felt led to peruse the waiting children on LifeLine.org. Four year old Cally, also from China, captured her heart. But the girl’s medical diagnosis scared her—hydrocephaly and a brain bleed.

Jennifer did not feel equipped to handle a child with neurological disabilities. Yet, God assured her He called her to Cally and would equip her for the assignment. Jennifer again stepped out in faith and adopted Cally a year later.

You can hear our full conversation with Jennifer Cameron on our Orphans No More podcast HERE. Listen in and find out how God equipped Jennifer, how she parents two children with special needs as a single mom, and how she serves others through her ministry, Into the Field.

Find and follow the Orphans No More podcast on your favorite podcast platform or on our website HERE.

Episode 207 - Honestly Adoption

Episode 207 - Honestly Adoption

February 17, 2020

Support is vital for parents on the foster care and adoption journey. Mike and Kristen Berry know what it’s like to be in the trenches. They are parents of 8 children through adoption and have fostered over twenty kids.

The Berry’s founded Confessions of an Adoptive Parent, and offer a treasure trove of resources for foster and adoptive parents. In addition to their blog and online Oasis Community, Mike and Kristen host the Honestly Adoption podcast where they offer weekly support for struggling parents.

Mike and Kristen have authored many books to guide parents as they navigate the unique challenges of parenting children with trauma histories. Kristen just released her newest book, Keep the Doors Open - Lessons Learned From a Year of Foster Parenting. Their latest book, co-authored by both Mike and Kristen, Honestly Adoption - Answers to 101 Questions About Adoption and Foster Care is a must have resource.

Mike and Kristen Berry are the featured guests on our Orphans No More podcast dated 2/17/2020. Listen to our conversation with the Berry's HERE. If you are a foster or adoptive parent, or are considering becoming one this episode is for you.

 
Episode 206 - Home Run for Foster Care!

Episode 206 - Home Run for Foster Care!

February 10, 2020

What do major league baseball, prom dresses, and foster care have in common? Prom Series!

Prom Series, an event birthed in the heart of Tori Murphy, is a day where teen girls in foster care are pampered and outfitted for their prom. Tori, wife of Colorado Rockies player, Daniel Murphy, rolled out Prom Series last year at Coors Field in Denver. She and other players’ wives organized the event.

The women brought together 35 girls in foster care. Each girl chose a brand new prom dress, accessories, and got their hair and make up done. And of course, they watched a Rockies game. The day offered more than fun and frills. Relationships developed. Now several of the wives are mentors and big sisters for the girls.

Tori’s mission—to help the girls feel beautiful, valued, and loved. Her vision is to launch Prom Series events in other Major League Baseball stadiums across the country.

You can listen to our conversation with Tori Murphy on our Orphans No More podcast HERE. Watch a video clip of the very first Prom Series HERE. Contact Tori Murphy at tori5528@outlook.com and find her on Instagram @themurphyhouse20.

Episode 205 - A Hope and a Future with Greg Belcher

Episode 205 - A Hope and a Future with Greg Belcher

February 4, 2020

What happens to a six year old boy after his mother commits suicide and he’s left in the care of an abusive step-father? He enters foster care where he suffers further trauma in 30+ placements. By age 18 he lives in a homeless shelter. It appears as if he has no hope. But his story doesn’t end there.

In that homeless shelter, Greg Belcher gave his life to Christ. While years of trauma didn’t disappear overnight, Greg now had a hope and a future. With a heart for vulnerable children and the gift of administration, he set out to serve God.

His journey took him from Florida, to Bible School, and eventually landing him in Albany, New York. In NY, Greg entered a season where he sought deeper healing. He found that healing and an even deeper relationship with God as he worked through the New Life Program at the Capital City Rescue Mission. In the program, Greg dealt with his trauma under the guidance of certified counselors and pastors.

Today, Greg is Director of Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greater Albany. He shares his story of redemption, healing, and purpose on this week’s Orphans No More podcast. Find the episode HERE.

Greg Blecher can be contacted at CEFALBANY@gmail.com or by calling 518-818-8137. To learn more about Child Evangelism Fellowship find them on Facebook and Instagram @CEF Greater Albany.

Episode 204 - Love In Action

Episode 204 - Love In Action

January 28, 2020

As believers we are commanded to demonstrate love. To put love into action. 1 John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Our mission at Justice For Orphans is to inspire, educate, and equip the Church to care for vulnerable children and families. Every state, county, town, and community is home to the vulnerable. They are the single moms, grandparents raising grandchildren, foster children, families suffering from the opioid crisis, and others struggling to get by.

In Albany County (New York) over 3,300 calls came into Child Protective Services in 2018 alone. Every call represents a family in crisis. Every call didn’t end with children being removed from their homes, but each call indicates at least one vulnerable child. How can the Church help these brothers and sisters in need? Now in the Capital Region, there is an easy answer to this question—CarePortal.

CarePortal is a technology tool JFO offers to equip churches so they can minister to these families in need. Since we established CarePortal in Schenectady County in November 2018 and in Albany in October 2019, nearly 600 local kids have been served.

County caseworkers identify needs involving vulnerable children. Items such as beds, cribs, bedding, furniture, clothing, and groceries are requested through the CarePortal. The caseworker enters the request and it’s emailed out to participating churches. Churches receive the request and determine if they want to help. If they do, a response goes back to the caseworker. From there the worker connects the church to the family in crisis. The church delivers the requested items to the family, a connection is made, ministry happens, and lives are changed.

This is Matthew 25 ministry in action. In verses 35-37 Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” In verse 40 He said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

CarePortal opens the door to Matthew 25 ministry. We are inviting you to step through that door and minister to local children and families in crisis in YOUR community. To learn how you and your church can be involved in CarePortal here in the Capital Region of upstate NY, or wherever you live, check out our latest Orphans No More podcast. You will be inspired to put love into action. Find the episode HERE. Learn more about CarePortal and enroll your church HERE.

Let’s be doers of the Word and put God’s love into action.

Episode 203 -  It’s Personal!

Episode 203 - It’s Personal!

January 20, 2020

 

Orphan ministry leaders are often drawn to adoption and foster care work because of personal experience. For podcast guest, Ty Bryant, it is very personal. Ty was adopted as an infant.

Ty grew up in a Christian home. He became a pastor. He met his wife, Kristen, while they were both on staff at a church in Georgia. After three biological kids, they became certified foster parents. Now Ty and Kristen are parens to 4 siblings adopted through foster care.

Along the way, Ty’s heart for children in crisis grew. Today, he’s the Vice President of Promise 686—a GA based nonprofit on a mission to mobilize church communities nationwide to care for vulnerable children. Ty also serves as State Director for CarePortal in GA. To date over 80 churches in the state have served nearly 1,800 children through CarePortal.

Ty’s personal adoption story, his family’s foster and adoption journey, and his ministry’s work to impact kids in crisis together create a picture of what the Church can look like when we say yes. Yes to kids. And yes to God who desires to set the lonely in families (Psalm 68.6).

Episode 202 - Put Your “Yes” On the Table

Episode 202 - Put Your “Yes” On the Table

January 13, 2020

What makes a family with three biological children adopt six times? A heart to obey God.

 

Twenty-five years ago, Kari Stewart and her husband, Jeff, said yes to the Lord and adopted a little girl from China. Not long after, they adopted a little girl from Korea. Along the way God gave them a heart for hard to place African-American children. Their third yes led them to a Haitian-Jamaican little boy from Florida.

 

When their son expressed a desire for a sibling who looked like him, the Stewart’s took that as a sign to adopt again. This time God led them to an African-American little girl in TN. Shortly after her adoption, Kari and her husband learned Haiti, a country near and dear to their hearts, opened to larger family adoption. They put their yes on the table again and adopted a little boy from Haiti.

 

The Stewart’s had adopted five children—three internationally and two domestically. But God was not finished yet. Kari began to hear the Lord whisper to her heart about adopting a child with Down Syndrome. This time she resisted telling Him she simply could not do it. God in turn told her she was right. She couldn’t. Be He could. The Stewart’s adopted a little girl with Down Syndrome from Hong Kong six months later.

 

Kari Stewart shares her family’s adoption journey, and what she learned along the way, on this week’s episode of our Orphans No More podcast. Find the podcast HERE. You can also contact Kari with questions at karalot9@gmail.com. Click Adoption or Foster Care for more information on those topics right on our website.

 
Episode 201 - Ready, Set, Goal!

Episode 201 - Ready, Set, Goal!

January 7, 2020

Successful people set goals, make plans, have a vision, prioritize, and get things done. Here at Justice For Orphans we want to be successful. We want you to be successful too. We have a 2020 vision for JFO. What’s your 2020 vision?

Start off the new year with this week’s Orphans No More podcast. Our host and JFO Executive Director, Sandra Flach, and Assistant Director, Kathi Sewak, share about getting ready for the new year by prayerfully setting goals and planning for success..

Listen in as Kathi and Sandra discuss helpful tools such as calendar planners, wall planners, and vision boards. Be inspired as they share from personal experience about goal setting and time management. Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) says Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law is happy. You might not “perish” without creating a vision board, but you will be more productive and more successful when you set goals.

Find the Ready, Set, Goal episode of Orphans No More HERE.

Episode 200 - Stephanie Fast: She Is Mine

Episode 200 - Stephanie Fast: She Is Mine

December 31, 2019

Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever…

Psalm 138:7-8 is the life verse for this week’s Orphans No More podcast guest—Stephanie Fast. Stephanie was a Korean War orphan. While her story is horrific, her survival is miraculous. As a bi-racial child in 1960’s Korea, Stephanie was abandoned, rejected, and abused. She spent several years of her childhood existing on the streets and in the hills of South Korea. Near death several times, a God she didn’t know willed her to live.

 

Today, Stephanie is a wife, mom, grandmother to 19 children, an international speaker, and author of the book, She is Mine: A War Orphan’s Incredible Journey of Survival. She speaks and mentors others who suffer childhood trauma so they can experience the healing power of God too.

Find our interview with Stephanie Fast here. Learn more about Stephanie’s ministry and order her book at StephanieFast.org.

Episode 199 - Advent: Choose Love

Episode 199 - Advent: Choose Love

December 23, 2019

John 3:16 tells us God so loved the world he gave…God loved and God gave. No greater gift has ever been given. Jesus is the greatest gift of all. Within this Gift is wrapped the hope, peace, joy, and love we’ve been talking about in our 4 part podcast series for Advent.

Because of God’s love for us, He gave Jesus. Now with the love of Jesus he wants us to love others. Love involves action.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

1 John 3:16-18

As God’s children we must be about the family business - the family business is LOVE. How will you lavish God’s love on someone this season? For some inspiration and encouragement check out this week’s Orphans No More podcast as we finish our Advent series with the topic of Love. Find the episode here.

We at Justice For Orphans pray as you step into 2020 you will take the time to sit in God’s presence where you will experience joy, peace, hope, and love. Then take that joy, peace, hope, and love and pour it out on a weary world in need of the greatest gift ever given—Jesus.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!