It’s Wednesday night, and I’m enjoying a community meal at one of our partner churches. Midway through, I look up and see a large foster family - one that we have walked with and carried in our prayers for the past 3 years. My words cannot fully capture the extent of the warmth and welcome that each of the six children received upon entering that room. Three of the boys, who have recently been adopted from foster care, completed their second year at Royal Family Kids Camp this summer. They were greeted by at least 3 faithful volunteers from camp who they now consider their Royal Family. Their little toothless smiles lit up the room as they scanned and asked about other people that they had been missing. "Where's Mr. ____? He would be so happy to see me." My favorite part was their response when I asked them what made them come to church for dinner. They replied without hesitation, "We saw Papa and he invited us to dinner!"
At Royal Family Kids Camp, so much of the mission is the redemption of "Family." We have a surrogate Grandma and Grandpa/ Papa, who have served since our inception. These boys happened to run into what may just seem like a faithful volunteer who invited them to Wednesday Night Supper. It's easy to see this as a chance encounter, nothing more than a polite invitation. But when we know Jesus as the author, rewriting the story of child welfare, we have eyes to see this as nothing short of a divine appointment. This is healing accomplished through relationship.
Their matter-of-fact reply to my question brought such overwhelming joy to my heart. Tangible evidence that the Lord is in fact doing this mighty work of helping the most vulnerable children in our community see themselves as Chosen -welcomed and invited guests to the Family Supper. I wish it was appropriate to share with you the sacred and confidential things that we know about this family’s past so that you can appreciate the miracle of this transformation deep within their core. But I know for certain, faithful friends of Hope 1312 Collective, that one day we too will be invited to dinner by our heavenly Father. It will be a reunion like no other, and only then will we see and know it all in Full.
Until then, thank you for continuing to share our mission. This is just a glimpse of one story that God is multiplying across our community through our many programs.
- Ally Christianson