During Orphan Care Weekend on November 5th and 6th, come expecting to have your heart touched and accept the challenge to do your part to help care for hurting children in our community and around the world. Because “Everyone Can Do Something.” In addition to two fabulous speakers who have experienced the foster care system personally, there will be guest worship teams and a multitude of tables in the mall filled with practical information to connect you to ministries that make a difference in the lives of foster and adoptive families.
Mandy Litzke will be speaking during the regular weekend services. Her story did not have a happy beginning. After experiencing neglect and abuse before witnessing her mother’s death at the hands of her step-father, she knows firsthand how far God will go to transform bitterness and pain with His grace, hope, and healing. Mandy is the first to tell you she is still on the road to healing and believes everyone is in the process of forever healing from something. However, after seeing what God has done in her own life, she desired to be the voice and tangible vessel of grace for other children in need.
Her husband Dave knew Mandy’s heart and shared in this desire, so they set out to add to their family of two “home-grown” children through adoption. God quickly showed them that He is always writing a better story than they could ever ask or imagine. The Litzkes now see themselves as soldiers, fighting in the trenches for the army of God as He seeks to “Set the lonely in families” and heals and transforms the lives of vulnerable children.
Mandy and Dave are currently the parents of 17 children, including 15 “heart-grown” or adopted blessings. They have adopted internationally from eight different countries and eight of their children have special needs ranging from Down Syndrome or Autism to heart defects or Hydrocephaly. Their children range in age from 24 down to eight months.
As you can imagine, life stays busy around their home in Ohio and their 20-foot-long table. Between faith events like church and youth group, school, and extra-curricular sports including Special Olympics, Mandy wears her “soccer mom” hat with pride. As she says: “Our family motto is Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him although we can testify, they are also frightening, fierce, frustrating and down right TOUGH at times. We considered the cost a long time ago and we concluded…It’s worth the fight and we get to do this. We cannot imagine life any differently.”
Faith in God and a personal relationship with Him is the first and foremost priority in their family. They aren’t a picture perfect family. (Who is?) As Mandy says, “We are simply purposeful. We strive to point our children to Christ every day and exemplify Him through every turn and corner, even when we fail as parents. We seek to disciple as we discipline and learn together.”
Don’t miss this year’s Orphan Care Weekend and our main speaker, Mandy Litzke.