What’s New? 5th Annual Walk for the Waiting

When planning for our 5th year of Walk for the Waiting we had several new ideas & wanted to make this year the best ever! Here are some of the new ways we are doing that:

1. Introducing our first ever 5K RACE!!! The 5k will start at 7:45, before the typical family fun walk. This way runners can finish their run & join the walkers on the field for our opening ceremony. Then they are welcome to walk with everyone as a cool-down during our family fun walk. As usual the family fun walk will be just under one mile so it isn’t too difficult for little kids. Registration for the walk & 5k are both FREE!!! We just encourage people to become sponsored walkers/runners and help raise money for our cause. And as usual by raising $250 they get a free t-shirt. (See our website for separate 5k registration & event information). We also encourage families to run or walk together! You can also have both walkers and runners on your team.

event-info

2. Thursday, May 4th is National Day of Prayer. Please join us from noon – 1 at War Memorial or on your own to pray for the Walk, weather, waiting kids in Arkansas and for God to stir & move hearts to action on behalf of the over 500 waiting kids who need forever families.

nat-day-of-prayer

3. Friday, May 5th is Pre-Registration Packet Pick up! Get your t-shirts & runners bibs early & turn in any off-line donations during designated times at War Memorial. This will help cut down on wait time during registration on Saturday morning. More details to come.

packet-pick-up

4.In celebration of our 5th year we are inviting many food trucks to park outside War Memorial Stadium for our 5th Year Food Truck Fellowship! We know after the walk & 5k your family will be hungry and looking for somewhere to eat lunch. So outside the stadium, near Gate 11 a variety of food trucks will be set up from 11am – 2pm for you to purchase lunch or snacks. So bring your card or cash, picnic blanket or lawn chair and hang out after the Walk with us! More details to come.food-trucks

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Katrina walks for Brady & Noah

One of the best things about Walk for the Waiting is getting to see and hear the many stories of what God is doing in foster care and adoption here in Arkansas.  I’m exited to share who Katrina walks for:

Katrina and family with Judge Hon. King

 

I walk for a little boy named Brady that is as tough as nails but has a heart that is more tender than he’s willing to let anyone know.  I also walk for a boy named Noah that finds joy in the simplest things and will instantly put a smile on about anyone’s face. 

I walk for the victims so they will have opportunities to become overcomers.  I walk for those that don’t believe in love anymore so they will have a chance to experience unconditional love.  I walk for those that know only the chains of abuse, neglect, addition, and poverty and that their legacy will be changed for their future generations.  I walk for those that don’t believe themselves worthy so that they  would see themselves as priceless.  I walk for redeemed and restored lives.   I walk because I am adopted.  Adopted by a Heavenly Father that extended His grace, paid the price, and gave me a new name. 

I walk because I’m CALLED.

As I tucked my son, Brady, in bed tonight, I asked him what he would tell people if they asked him why they should adopt.  He said, “so kids would know not everyone hates them.  So they would know someone loves them.  That a family loves them.”

I walk because of LOVE.

Thank you so much for sharing this, Katrina. And to Brady’s point – I wonder how many children are going to bed tonight believing that everyone hates them – likely many. May we do our part to change that.

You can sponsor Katrina here as she walks to end the wait! If you’d like to share why you’re walking, please send an email to eric@walkforthewaiting.org.

Please resister to become a Sponsored Walker today or donate at www.walkforthewaiting.org!

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!

 

 

 

 

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

Have Spirit?

5 dollar

HOW THE $5 FACE-OFF FUNDRAISING COMPETITION WORKS:
1. Sign up by sending an email to Nathan James at tnathanjames@gmail.com with a few things:

  • Your Name
  • Your High school
  • A mean/competitive face shot of you (“game face”)
  • A picture of you representing your school (athletic shots, activities, or just next to your school sign)

**see the example pictures here (http://alotakids.com/walk2013/?page_id=11)

2. You ask all your classmates/alumni to donate to your sponsored walker page and each $5 = 1 point

  • They just go to www.walkforthewaiting.org
  • Click “donate”, Click “donate to a walker”, then they type in your name
  • Select or type in the amount they want to donate.
  • Under “Donation settings” they type in your school & school mascot (example: CAC Mustangs)
  • Then fill in the billing information.

On April 13th the school with the most money raised will receive a special recognition at the Walk on April 26th.

Remember: This is all about raising awareness and funds for The Call, Project Zero, and Immerse Arkansas. Keep it fun and light. No matter what school wins, the Walk really wins!

Good luck and thanks again for Walking!

Kandace

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