Our lives and schedules are full, and often our household budgets are tight, which can make the decision to open our home to families in crisis a difficult one, but our volunteer Host Families do exactly that. Without compensation, our volunteers choose to sacrifice in order to provide for the less fortunate and though it isn’t easy, the rewards are worth it.
Despite having three pre-teen, and teenage daughters of their own, and a schedule full of school, extracurricular activities, work, and church events, another family here in Southwest Florida recently felt called by the Lord to help those in need.
The host mother recently told us, “When my husband and I first heard about the need for families to host children (through foster care or FlourishNow Families) presented as part of the Every Child Initiative at Summit Church, we felt the Holy Spirit’s leading to consider this. We knew this would be a huge sacrifice for the whole family and that it really didn’t even make sense to consider in light of the crazy schedule we already manage,” but “the tugging at our hearts continued until we, as a family, finally made the decision to step forward in trust and obedience.”
She said that the family had no idea how the impact of hosting children would have on them, and that since joining the FlourishNow Families network, God “has since helped us to understand the eternal impact and gospel influence that comes with each of these hosting opportunities, which is even greater than the practical needs being met in the here and now.”
Their first hosting experience involved two girls ages 8 and 9, whose family had lost their home. The girls’ father is no longer in their lives and did not provide any financial support to his ex-wife or his children. Left with nowhere to go, the host family took in these two young girls and gave them a safe home.
Each night they began to pray with the children “for their family’s needs together, and thank God for all the blessings that He did and would provide.” The prayers also came to include, “for the hope and salvation found in Jesus.” This was a new routine for the girls, as they had not been exposed to prayer like this before. They showed immediate interest, and in short order, they were leading the prayers themselves.
During prayer time, the 8-year-old child in her sweet way thanked her “heabenly fodder” for her blessings by giving her and her sister a safe place to call home and food to eat each day.
After involvement in vacation Bible school, and memorization of scripture, the two girls accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.
These girls now not only have the support system of an entire church, and their host family, but they also have a growing faith in God, and the assurance of eternal life – all because one family decided to open their home.