Less than 12 hours to go!

Ready to go!
Ready to go!

The stage is set and ready for the Walk for the Waiting!  Remember, registration opens at 8:15 am at War Memorial Stadium and the fun will start at 9am.  We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

 

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Why Your Gift Matters

Today and tomorrow are the last 2 days to give to Walk for the Waiting to help kids in waiting for families through the work of The CALL, Immerse Arkansas and Project ZeroAs motivation and encouragement to remember WHY we are doing this, here are a few videos from The CALL, Immerse Arkansas and Project Zero that show what they do.  As you’re considering a donation OR your asking friends and family for donations, check out these videos that show how the money will be used.

The CALL Promo (http://vimeo.com/76536152)

Immerse Arkansas – Imagine Being 18 (http://youtu.be/3TsHwyTyn-A)

Project Zero – Who We Are (http://vimeo.com/52563164)

Immerse Arkansas – Lee’s Story (http://youtu.be/IZbdCBmwtpE)

Project Zero – A Broken Road to Hope (http://vimeo.com/78259503)

Again, on behalf of the Walk Team, thank you so much for raising money to help these organizations help youth in foster care!

Please help us reach our goal by donating here.

See you Saturday,
Eric

5 Things You Need to Know for Saturday

Are you ready to walk?!?

We are in the home stretch and just 3 days from the Walk for the Waiting!  To make for a smooth day, here are 5 key pieces of information you need to know:

1. Important Times

8:15am – Registration Opens
9:00am – Walk Pep Talk
9:15am – Start Walking!

Following the Walk, please stick around as we’ll recognize Top Walkers and enjoy ice cream and snacks on War Memorial Field!  Live music will be provided by Oasis Church.

2. Where to Go

The Walk will be held at War Memorial Stadium.  See below on where to enter, park and enter the stadium.




3. Registration & Donations

Please register in the north end zone when you come onto the field.  At registration, please turn in any collected donations with the completed pledge form.  You’ll also be able to make a donation if you like as well as receive a coupon for a free t-shirt if you’ve raised $250 or more!

4. Inclement Weather

We are expecting beautiful weather!  If something changes, please check your email or our blog for an updated plan. 

5. Praise God!

We look forward to celebrating all God is doing on behalf of the orphan as we walk!  May you be encouraged as The Church gathers in unity to serve these children in need!

If you have any questions or concerns, shoot me an email (eric@walkforthewaiting.org) and we’ll find an answer!

Walking with you,
Eric

5 Days AND Why Pat Walks

Just 5 days to go until we walk for children waiting for families!  A couple of quick notes:

  • Be on the lookout for an email with all the details you need for the Walk coming later this week. If you miss it, be sure to check back here for anything you missed!
  • T-shirt’s – Remember, everyone who raises $250 or more gets a free t-shirt!  Thank you for your efforts!

It’s a real honor to share this note from Pat Page on why she is walking.  Pat retired from her role as the Director of Division of Children and Family Services several years ago, but remains a strong force for caring for children in need.  You may recall that Pat was integral in the formation of The CALL (continues to serve on their board) and is a tremendous advocate for Project Zero and Immerse Arkansas (also helped start Immerse and serves on their board).  Here’s a snapshot of Pat from the original CALL video that you may recall:

Pat in the original CALL video.
Pat in the original CALL video.

Here’s why Pat walks:

God put these children and families on my heart many years ago — in 1971, when I was attending the University of Arkansas.
 
My family of origin had given me pretty much an Ozzie and Harriet childhood (younger folks may not know what that means) — full of good memories, love, faith and stability.  Not perfect.  But very blessed.  When I studied social work at the University of Arkansas, I knew what I wanted to do with my life — at least the work part of it — work to serve the children and families of Arkansas — especially those children who were abused and neglected.  And I worked in the child welfare system for 35 years.  During that time, I was also blessed by a strong marriage and a wonderful, loving, blended family.                                                                                                                                                                                               While working in child welfare, I knew many foster and adoptive parents who were Christians, and many Christian organizations who served children.  Still, it felt like these children were not on the hearts of many Christians.  God blessed me to see, as I was preparing to retire from that work, His Church begin to rise up in a mighty way and say, “God, we accept your mandate to serve these children.” 
 
It has been so exciting to see His Church on fire for these children. And He has continued to bless me by allowing me to work with and support The CALL, Immerse Arkansas and Project Zero — all organizations that work with churches to help them serve children waiting for homes, love and support.  I walk to thank God for all these blessings in my life and to support His Church as it rises up to serve these children.
 
Thank you for sharing Pat!  Again, Pat has carried out a tremendous amount of work on behalf of waiting children. If you’d like sponsor Pat as she walks, click here to go to her page.
Walking with you,
Eric

Why Jesus Walked

On this Good Friday, as we’ve shared stories about why Walkers are walking, I wanted to take a minute and consider why Jesus walked the earth. The Bible shares many reasons why Jesus came, but there’s one in particular we celebrate today – Jesus’ willing suffering and death.

Look at Jesus’ description of why he came in John 12 (NIV, emphasis added):

 23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

These are hard words, but if you’re involved in fostering or adopting in some way, I bet Jesus’ words resonate with you.  In your care for the orphan, have you ever wondered why you signed up in the first place?  Has it ever gotten so difficult that you’ve prayed “Father, save me from this hour?”

I’ve prayed that – more than once.  But that’s when I’ve forgotten Who called me to this.

Look at Jesus. Do you hear the anguish and the resolve in his voice as he says, “it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”  He rejects giving up, knowing that his sacrificial death was God’s plan for redemption.

That’s our model.  The willing acceptance to follow Jesus into pain and suffering as God opens the door for rebirth and restoration.

I know many families that have “fallen to the ground” much like a kernel of wheat.  They’ve given everything they have in hopes of new life for the children they’ve welcomed into their homes and lives.  Some have scars to show for it.  Some have scars to come.  Some have seen new life.  Some are still waiting.

But Church, isn’t that who we are?  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to look like? Isn’t that part of what we’re to ponder on Good Friday – our own path to suffering, even death?

I Peter 2:19b-21 (ESV, emphasis added) says this:

But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

Good Friday is a reminder of what Jesus did for us.  It’s also an invitation to follow in His steps in suffering, for to this we have been called.

For many of us that will be at the Walk, that call has to do with caring for the orphan in some way.

As we walk, and as we fall to the ground, may we be encouraged to remember that Jesus walked before us.

If you have a minute, will you reach out to someone that’s fostering or has adopted? Someone that’s mentoring?  Someone that provides respite to foster families? Someone that gives generously to provide for The CALL, Immerse Arkansas or Project Zero? Tell them how you’ve seen Jesus through their willing sacrifice.

As we walk, may we strive to follow in His steps.

Walking with you,

Eric

 

Why Leah Walks

Here’s a note from Leah, another Walker who shares with us why she is walking.  When I hear stories like these, it’s clear to me that God is moving in The Church here in Arkansas.  Who might God reach through you to make them aware of the need?

Here’s why Leah walks:

I am walking for the children who are anxiously awaiting a place to belong and a family to call their own. This event is so important to me because over the last six months or so, I have been on a journey where God has been opening my eyes and my heart to the plight of the children in the foster care system as well as for those who have been adopted out of the system.

For the first time in my life, the Arkansas foster care system has become very “real” to me.

Before this, I knew the foster care system existed (and I was glad for that fact), but I never gave it much thought beyond its existence because it had never affected my life in any way. I hate to admit that now, but it was definitely “out of sight, out of mind”.

However, since August of 2013, I have become acquainted with the system through several children who are/were in it. In the 7 & 8 year old class that I teach at my church on Tuesday nights, I have multiple children (about 6 in a class of 12-15 year-old’s) who are currently in foster homes or who were in the foster system but have found permanent families. These children are the actual faces and the real arms stretching out for hugs that, to me, represent all of the children who are currently waiting for homes in the foster care system. I am so blessed to have these children in my class, and I consider it a privilege to get to spend time with them and love on them each week.

It is because of them and all of the ones like them that I am so excited to walk!

Thank you for walking Leah!

What’s your story? Why are you walking?  If you haven’t already, will you send it to eric@walkforthewaiting.org to encourage others?

See you on the 26th!
Eric

What a powerful story, Robyn.  Thanks for sharing and thanks for championing the heart of God and the needs of waiting children.  We’re cheering for you!

Here’s Robyn’s story:

as a child
Robyn in her forever family.

I am walking because I believe in forever families. My family was created through adoption. My brother was adopted at 8 months old from South Korea after being abandoned. He was the beginning of my forever family.

I was put up for adoption at birth and was blessed with my forever family at 3 days old.

19 years later I met my biological family who have now become one with my adoptive family. Members from both my adoptive family and biological family came together for my college graduation ceremony. For the first time I had my fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles together at the same dinner table (pictured below). A group brought together by the hand of God alone.

Two families as one.
Two families as one.

At age 22 now, God has called me to speak for birth mothers and adoptees. My college studies and life’s work will be to point children and broken families back to Jesus.

I am walking for the children who have slipped under the cracks. I am walking for the kids that were forced into the system. I am walking for the children that have lost their hope, the spark in their eyes.

I am walking to combat the devil. I am walking to diminish his power. I am walking to be living proof of the love that exists that these children may not have ever experienced.

Robyn
Robyn today.

For the children who have so innocently been exposed to evil, I will walk. For the children who are alone, I will walk. For the children who are empty, I will walk in prayer so the Lord might fill them and bring them life. I am walking because Jesus LOVES his children. Jesus CHERISHES his children. Jesus FIGHTS for his children. As disciples of Christ, we owe it to our children, God’s children, to continue the fight and pursue them as He pursues us.

For the love of God, I will walk. And every day after, I will stand.

Robyn, we will stand with you!  If you’d like to sponsor Robyn, visit her page here.

What’s your story? Why are you walking? Email it to me at eric@walkforthewaiting.org and I’ll use it to encourage others as we walk together!

Walking with you,

Eric

Why Micah Walks

I am receiving some powerful stories of what has led people like you and me to become a Sponsored Walker for Walk for the Waiting, and I want to share Micah’s story with you this morning.

Might God use you to share the need for foster and adoptive families to someone like Micah?  Maybe even today?

Why Micah Walks:

I have always said I could never and probably would never foster because “I couldn’t handle the sweet child being returned after giving my heart to them and caring for them as my own.”

I watched my brother-in-law and sister-in-law go through the foster-to-adopt process and it was wonderful, but still not for me. Fast forward a couple years and I’m starting a new job in the postpartum and nursery unit. During this time period, the Lord has been leading up to some major heart transformations in me, and the needs of others are becoming an overwhelming and exciting burden for me.

So sitting there one night at work, I was rocking a sweet bundle of baby in the nursery and the Lord rocked me with the realization that there are so many little ones out there who are not loved. Through tears the next morning I told my husband WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THEM! In that moment the need to give babies a new opportunity at life and positive influence became my unshakable hope for our family’s future.

So I choose to walk because reading what James 1:27 says, there is no mistaking that we are to care for the orphans in their afflictions; no if’s, and’s or but’s. We want to bring our two kids up in a life that is nothing short of Christ-like love. I’m walking because this is my family’s first step toward fostering a child in need of love and stability. I cannot shake this new call in my life!

Thank you for sharing that Micah!  May God bless your steps!

What was “the moment” for you that made you want to make a difference?  Why are you walking? 

If you have a minute, please send me your story to continue to encourage others with!  And please Walkers, make sure you put your story on your Walker page so those sponsoring you can better understand why it is critical that we are all (walkers, sponsors, everyone) a part of this!

Walking with you,
Eric

Why are you walking?

Why are you walking?  What prompted your willingness to get registered and become a sponsored walker?  Here’s a note from Kelly White, a foster mom who is chairing these year’s Walk (Go Kelly & Matt!) on why she is walking:

We are walking for the children – those who feel trauma and loss, who long to know God’s love through a family.  Ultimately it is God’s deep concern for these kids that drives everything we do at the Walk.

But another reason I will be walking this year is to support the foster families.  As a fellow foster mom, I understand the day-in, day-out weariness – and joy – that comes with being a healing home.  And in the sea of support blogs for parents out there, there is often a vacuum of support for foster and adoptive parents.  But at the Walk, this isolation is cast off and families are bolsterwhitesed by the encouragement of the community rallying around the mission central to their lives, these precious children.

Last year, my family participated in the walk, and the message of support we received that day was awe-inspiring.  God truly ministered to me that day and the days leading up to the walk.  With every contribution we received, our hearts overflowed.

And this year, I am praying that our declaration of support for these children and the families God has brought to them will be even greater.  That our foster and adoptive families will be renewed.  That the effect of this renewal will be a reignited passion to spread the message about these children.  And that as God’s message is shared, one day we will see no waiting children.

I, too, was very inspired last year to be in one place, gathered with so many families who have answered the call to foster and adopt.  It filled my heart with awe for an amazing Father!

What’s your story?  Would you drop me a note (eric@walkforthewaiting.org) and let me know why you’re walking?  I know there are many inspiring stories out there and I’d love to encourage others with them!

Thanks for Walking and see you at War Memorial Stadium!
Eric

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