Greetings Safe Families and Friends!
Welcome to our inaugural Safe Families for Children of Iowa City and Cedar Rapids monthly newsletter. This newsletter will be used to recognize the great work that you are doing as the Church in Iowa’s Corridor. Additionally, it will be used to provide ministry updates and upcoming events. My hope is that this newsletter gives you a greater sense of the impact that Safe Families is having in the Corridor with families in crisis, volunteers, churches, and the community at large. Additionally, my hope is that this newsletter will be one more way that we can engage the community and build momentum for the ministry. Thank you for your commitment to providing biblical hospitality and hope for those in need. You are a tremendous blessing! -Brett
News & Events
1) This past legislative session two state legislators filed legislation (#HF2096 & #SF2071) in the House and Senate. The legislation was received favorably, however there were some proposed amendments to the legislation. As a result, the legislation has been tabled until next session. If you are interested in learning more about the legislation or supporting it please contact me.
2) Upcoming Training: Saturday, April 23rd from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm at Cedar Hills Community Church in Cedar Rapids. Save the date!
3) Drop Inn Iowa City, located in the Iowa City Market Place (formerly known as Sycamore Mall) will be opening soon. Drop Inn is a ministry of HighPoint City Church. Part of its proceeds will help fund Safe Families for Children in the Corridor. They will begin receiving donations March 14th. Please call 319.351.5576 to make arrangements to drop off your donations. Check out their Facebook page to find out more information. https://www.facebook.com/dropinnic/?ref=hl
4) We have done 18 hostings since the beginning of the year. That’s almost as many as our total from last year!
5) Our next Volunteer Leadership Team Meeting will be Tuesday, March 29th from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at Grace Community Church in North Liberty.
The Hosting Spotlight is an opportunity to hear from Host Families about their experience as a host family. In this Spotlight, Ajay and Lindsey Eshcol share their experience hosting Aiden. In July 2015, Kayla requested a host family for her son Aiden. Aiden was initially placed with Stephanie and Isaac Stoll. They hosted Aiden until the end of October when they moved to the Des Moines area. The Eshcols then hosted Aiden until last week when he was reunited with his mother. This is their story.
Q-What have been the biggest joys and challenges during this hosting?
A-There are so many joys in hosting this sweet boy. He fills our house with joy and laughter. There is so much goodness in knowing we are spending our lives on behalf of others. And it is gratifying to be walking in obedience. The challenges have involved learning how to trust God’s timing with the uncertain duration of the hosting.
Q-How has your church helped you during this hosting?
A-Our church and community have been incredibly helpful and supportive. They have blessed us with prayer, donations of formula, diapers, and clothes as well as childcare for our children during Aiden’s visits with mom.
Q-Why do you think it’s important for others to join Safe Families?
A-Kayla (Aiden’s mother) has articulated how grateful she is to know Safe Families is taking care of her son. She is amazed that anyone would freely choose to love and provide for her son without monetary compensation. Throughout her experience with Safe Families, she has been very open to hearing God’s promises for her and her son. There have been many opportunities to share about God’s sacrificial love for all of us.
Safe Families’ Coach, Sheila Raim, had the great idea to use a part of the newsletter for praises, prayer requests, goals, and other related topics. As a result, we are calling this section Sheila’s Corner. If you have praises, prayer requests, goals, etc. that you would like to share, please email them to me so that we can share them in future newsletters. Thanks!
- A client recently accepted Christ.
- The evidence of God orchestrating particular relationships between host families, family friends, and clients.
- Progress and signs of improving health and development in the lives of traumatized children.
- Part of Drop Inn Iowa City’s proceeds will help fund Safe Families.
- New Church partnerships and volunteers.
- Continued church and volunteer recruitment.
- Clients would be able to find affordable housing, childcare, and employment.
- Emotional healing for traumatized young women and their children.
- Men to mentor clients who are fathers.
- Safe Families would continue to be funded via grants and private donations so that we could hire a new staff person.
- Safe Families in Des Moines, as well as other areas of Iowa, would continue to grow.
- Office space.
- Christian transitional housing for single mothers as a possible ministry of Safe Families.
- Offer parenting and financial management classes.
- Create a single mothers’ support group.