Category Archives: Welcome Child Orphan Care Ministry

A Champion For Children

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Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” How well do we take care of our children that are so precious to Jesus? Our lives are frequently on overload. We may want to, but seldom stop to recognize a child who is hurting. Sometimes, it is just a matter of not knowing how to help.

At Timberline Church, we strive to honor Jesus’ love of children and to hold all children in great esteem, especially the orphan. That desire led to the formation of our Welcome Child Ministry first as a support group for existing foster and adoptive parents that soon began to encourage others to consider doing the same. As the ministry grew, Welcome Child is now actively building bridges with people in the community who work with foster and adoptive kids and at-risk youth and families.

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Just one example of this community involvement is our backpack drive where we annually donate hundreds of backpacks to foster and adoptive kids going back to school. Timberline Church also sets aside a weekend each year to focus on Orphan Care, both locally and around the world by having a special message to the congregation and inviting agencies and organizations to be here to speak with people who are interested in getting involved in some way. Prayer has also always been primary in this ministry.

We are happy to announce that Welcome Child’s new volunteer director, Kristy DeAnda, will be carrying on this amazing ministry as a champion for children. She was initially the overseeing pastor when the ministry began and had a front-row seat to meet those who adopted kids into their families. As Kristy says, “Their passion for bringing Christ’s hope to some of most vulnerable in our midst, through adoption and foster care, kind of rubbed off on me, you could say. My husband and I became foster parents for Larimer County for a teen boy, and later decided to adopt older children from the foster system. I now work for a non-profit called Adopt Colorado Kids whose mission is to end the foster care crisis by advocating the needs for foster and adoptive families for Colorado Kids. I have been praying for awhile about where I could volunteer and serve at Timberline and when I was asked to consider leading Welcome Child, it was an answer to that prayer!”

We asked Kristy how more people can get involved. She said, “We understand that not everyone is in a position to become a foster or adoptive family, but there are manifold ways that someone could get involved ministering to kids and families, locally and around the world, through Welcome Child and other ministries at Timberline such as Royal Family Kids Camp.”

Nelson Mandela once said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Thank you Kristy and Welcome Child for being true champions for children.

If you would like to find out more or get involved in the Welcome Child ministry, contact the Timberline Missions department at 970-482-4387 extension 141 or email lovereaches@timberlinechurch.org.

(Many thanks to our newest Storyteller Angela Smith for her work on this story.)

Special Community Event with Guest Speaker Josh Shipp

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On Sunday, November 6th at 6 p.m. in the South Auditorium, Timberline Church will be hosting a community-wide event with guest speaker Josh Shipp and worship with Ascent Project. Mark your calendar now and plan to be inspired by Josh’s message that “every kid is ONE caring adult away from being a success story.”

Josh had a challenging childhood and bounced around in many different foster homes, until he had a handful of caring adults reach out to him. He now strives to pass this knowledge on and be that caring adult for kids like him. Today he is an author, global youth empowerment expert, and acclaimed speaker. A former at-risk foster kid turned youth advocate, he is renowned for his documentary TV series (A&E), that followed his ground-breaking work with teens. He is the author of the national bestseller “The Teen’s Guide to World Domination“, and was listed on Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 list.

Check out this glimpse into his powerful message. After all, the difference between a statistic and a success story, just might be you.

Orphan Care Weekend – Meet Guest Speaker Mandy Litzke

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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.

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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.

Let’s Run For Orphans – September 10

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Attention all Runners, walkers, mini-runners & those who are interested in helping local and international orphan ministries!

Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 10:

 Run for Orphans at Lake Windsor.

Kids 1-mile Run  — 8 am

5K Run/Walk  — 8:30 am

Awards  — 9:30 am

Race Day Expo  — 9 am

This fundraiser will support organizations such as:

  • Nightlight Christian Adoptions
  • Project 1.27: Fostering and Adopting in Faith
  • Royal Family Kids
  • Birthline of Loveland: a pregnancy support center
  • Arms of Love, International
  • The Matthews House
  • & more

Join us after you complete the race for the Race Day Expo—a collection of booths and activities highlighting orphan organizations, children’s activities and race sponsors.

For more information, including online registration information, go to: http://www.RunForOrphansRace.net

The price will increase 8/26, so sign up soon!

If you or your company would like to become Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze sponsors, find more information here: http://www.runfororphansrace.net/links-and-downloads.php

Hope to see you there!

Back to School and Still on Mission

Backpack of my own

Foster and adopted kids often have nothing to call their own. This school year, you can make a difference by giving these kids “A Backpack of My Own” at Timberline Church.

Each year, we join with Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Families of Larimer County & Weld County Children’s Services to provide filled school backpacks for families and students involved in those organizations.

What can you do?

Buy a backpack for an Elementary, Middle- or High School student, then fill it with the school supplies on the list found here: http://www.timberlinechurch.org/img/site_specific/uploads/Backpack_Flyer_16.pdf

Can’t fill it all by yourself? Join together with neighbors, friends or small groups until it is full.

By when? Easy church drop-off dates will be during weekend services August 6 & 7 and August 13 & 14. If you can’t make those times, feel free to drop off backpacks at Timberline during regular office hours.

For more information, please contact: Kari Stewart at kstewart@timberlinechurch.org, Kristy DeAnda at kristy@adoptcoloradokids.org, or Michele Sanner at mlsanner@gmail.com

Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it for Me. –Matthew 25:40

Learn More about Finally Home Foundation Over Breakfast

Finally Home logoEquipping communities to rally around the heroes who are foster and adoptive families.

Finally Home Foundation is a post-placement support agency focused on supporting the WHOLE family through their Family Strengthening Events. They have three family strengthening events a year. This is a time where parents can be encouraged in their relationships, while gaining specialized tools for parenting and introduced to other parents in a similar journey. While the parents are engaged in practical, research based curriculum, their kids participate in children and youth programs (Super Hero Academy and Teen Titans). There they build friendships and learn how to find their “inPOWers” of strong character traits like kindness, integrity, and honesty.

Finally Home children program

This year’s Annual Breakfast’s theme is the WHOLE story, because at Finally Home, they walk with foster/adoptive and kinship families through multiple parts of their story. They believe the WHOLE story is important and that one chapter does not define a family’s story. As families are choosing to love every day, Finally Home wants to encourage and support those families in every chapter.

While the Annual Breakfast is a fundraiser, it is also a time for people in the community to hear the vision of Finally Home Foundation while enjoying a complimentary breakfast. This year’s event will be held Thursday, November 19 from 7:00 to 8:30 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel in Fort Collins. For more information, contact alexa@finallyhomefoundation.net or click on this link http://goo.gl/forms/pe2oAbHPHq to register, sponsor a table, or make a donation.

Here are what two attendees have had to say about their past experiences with Finally Home events:

“Finally Home offers support, sometimes when you don’t even know you need it. I always leave a workshop feeling energized and excited to implement what I have learned. I know my family has greatly benefitted from our connection with Finally Home.”

“How can I thank you for these wonderful events. I look forward every year to our 2 yearly sessions as a longed-for break, resources, and breath. I’m so blessed each time! Thanks so much for everything, the setting, the teachings, the sharing, the children’s care and program, the super lunch, the prayer of the team for us, and the energizing witnesses.”

Orphan Care Weekend 2015

Orphan Care Logo

This coming weekend, November 7 and 8, is the 8th Annual Orphan Care Weekend. The theme this year is “This is My Story” and the featured speaker is Jay Mooney, the Executive Director of COMPACT Family Services (Hillcrest Children’s Home).

Over the last five years, Timberline Church has sent teams to serve at Hillcrest Children’s Home in Hot Springs, Arkansas. (You can read more about sending horses or our past trips in 2013, 2014, and 2015 on the blog.) There will be two teams going in the summer of 2016. One team will be led by nine70 and the other will be a family focused missions trip.

In addition to learning more about the heart and vision behind caring for orphans and children in foster care from our speaker, Kristin Orphan and the Finally Home band will be leading worship. Before and after the services, there will be representatives from various ministries at tables in the mall. Stop by and learn more about these opportunities to get involved and make a difference in the life of a child:

  • Royal Family KIDS Camp
  • Finally Home Foundation
  • AAC Adoption
  • Welcome Child
  • Shilom Children’s Home (El Salvador)
  • Slammin’ Famine
  • Blessed Blankets
  • A Friend 4U
  • Project 1.27

For more information about orphan care ministries at Timberline Church, contact Kari at  kstewart@timberlinechurch.org.