God is faithful when we step out in obedience.
My husband and I have been certified foster parents since 2016. God
began stirring my heart for the need for foster families in November of 2018.
My husband, Nathan, was about to start a new job, and life was a little
uncertain. These are often the times that God truly begins to shift things
because that is when it takes the most faith to step out and do His work.
From the moment I told Nathan what was on my heart, he was on board and
standing behind me in this very unclear vision that I had at the moment. He
did not hesitate or question the things that I was feeling. I wasn’t really sure
where this was going or what God was actually calling me to do, but I knew
that something was shifting.
After I took a leap of faith and made a phone call to speak the desires of
my heart, He really began revealing to me that the Tangipahoa/Washington
Parish area is in desperate need of foster families, and that led me to some
very sad numbers. In November of 2018 there were 179 certified homes in
those two parishes. 83 of those are child specific which means only 96 are
open homes. 66 of those 96 are at/over capacity. The 30 remaining homes
are all in Tangipahoa Parish and only have availability for 1 child, but most of those 30 already have a high need child so they often say no to another child. That means that ALL 39 foster homes in Washington Parish are at capacity. These numbers made my heart break and I knew that this was a need that I could not ignore.
Weeks went by, and God repeatedly confirmed the things that I felt in my soul. People we don’t even know began to speak into this vision and provide the confirmation that I really needed. God strategically placed people in my path to ensure that I would not let the tremendous amount of fear I felt in my mind stop me from pursuing this huge thing He had placed in my heart.
God has shown me that these kids need someone that focuses on Washington and Tangipahoa Parishes. A voice and a face to be in constant contact to help recruit new foster families and get local church support for these rural areas that are often forgotten. Someone that is willing to stand with current foster families and support them when they have a placement. Someone that is willing to be a voice for these kids. Someone that is willing to help plant a seed in someone’s heart that they ARE capable of opening their heart and home for one of these children. Someone that is willing to work to change the stigma that foster children often have on them by no fault of their own.
I am that someone.
Ellen and Nathan Burford