It’s that time of year again when one can get in shape by running or walking with others while making a difference for others. Run For Orphans 2015 will be held May 9th at The Ranch – Larimer County Fairgrounds and includes both a 1 mile run for kids and a 5K run/walk for all ages (strollers and wheelchairs are encouraged).
The Run For Orphans, hosted by the Northern Colorado Christian Alliance For Orphans, exists to bring organizations and churches together to advocate for the needs of orphans in our community and around the world. Each organization represented will be raising funds for their specific project or need and a list of the partnering organizations can be found at www.RunForOrphansRace.net with links to each if one wishes to make a donation. After the race, there will be a Race Day Expo including a collection of booths and activities highlighting orphan organizations, children’s activities, and race sponsors.
Prizes will be given to the top three male and three female finishers in eight different age groups. Register online or get more information at www.RunForOrphansRace.net.
As part of the Orphan Care Spotlight weekend, Timberline Church was blessed to hear from Wayne Tesch, co-founder of Royal Family Kids, as he challenged the church to come alongside abused, neglected, and abandoned children with a message of hope.
The Royal Family Kids ministry purpose is to mobilize the church community to confront child abuse and to create life-changing moments for children of abuse. Their vision is that every foster child, aged 6 to 12, will experience a life-changing club, camp, and mentor. (By the way, Royal Family Kids Camp is coming to Northern Colorado in the summer of 2016!)
Want to find out more about what a Royal Family Kids Camp is like? You are invited to see the “CAMP” movie on Friday, November 14, 2014 in the South Auditorium of Timberline Church. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. and the cost is FREE (popcorn included).
This year’s annual Orphan Care Weekend will be held on November 8 and 9, 2014. In addition to special speaker Wayne Tesch, co-founder of Royal Family Kids, there will be several tables in the mall highlighting local ministries and opportunities for the 93 percent to get involved caring for orphans both nearby and abroad.
In addition to leading worship during the services, the Kristin Orphan Band will be holding a benefit concert at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 8, in the South Auditorium. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $5 each for ages eight and up. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Realities For Children emergency fund. Realities For Children unites local businesses and organizations to create a safety net and provide for the unmet needs of children in Larimer County who have been abused, neglected, or are at-risk.
How can you care for orphans? Come this weekend and discover how you can make a difference in a child’s life.
Blessed Blankets is a group of volunteers at Timberline Church who create and distribute handmade prayer blankets to orphans. Conceived in 2009, their mission is to “blanket orphans of all ages in the love of God.” They call their creations prayer blankets because they encourage the blanketeer (blanket maker) to pray over themselves, the blanket, and the blanket recipient as they work on the blanket and when it is finished the group prays over the blankets again. Their prayer is that the recipients would receive a supernatural message from God with the blanket that He loves them, they are His children, and that His Presence surrounds them.
Most of the ladies in the group prefer to work on their projects at home and drop them off at Guest Services in labeled bags at their convenience. A small group meets regularly on the 2nd Tuesday night of the month to enjoy the fellowship as they work on their projects together. The blankets come in all sizes from baby quilts to lap robes and larger and can be knit, crocheted, sewn, tied, or quilted. They are distributed as the donations come in.
The group started out sending the blankets to an orphanage in Haiti but more recently have supplied blankets to Larimer County children entering Foster Care. (Often, these children are taken from their parents with only the clothes on their backs so the blankets are an extra blessing.) Blankets also go to the Hub that serves homeless teens, many of which are single mothers and may be living in cars or on the street.
How can you get involved?
- Become a blanketeer. You can make whatever pattern you like. However, for tied fleece blankets, they have developed an instruction sheet to keep the blankets from falling apart. Willing blanketeers with financial difficulties or those needing materials can contact the group leader and happily access the supply of donated goods.
- Donate washable yarn, fleece, flannel, washable fabrics, or thread for others to use.
- Plan to stop by the table in the Mall during Orphan Care Weekend November 8 and 9 and get more information.
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” ~ Matthew 25: 35-36
Jesus encouraged his followers to do something to help those facing the tough issues of poverty, homelessness, illness, and incarceration. When a crisis strikes, many of us rely on relatives and friends for support. For some families, however, poverty and social isolation mean that they have no support when they need it most.
The Matthews House HOST Program provides a temporary home for children, youth, and families who are in a crisis situation, through volunteer HOST families. It offers families an opportunity to open their hearts and homes to children and youth in crisis in our community while filling the gap to care for those in need.
The HOST program screens, trains, and supports HOST families through the entire process. Volunteers have the opportunity to host children and families of various ages from early childhood and school age to young or transitioning teens including pregnant or parenting teens to even families seeking emergency housing. While retaining custody of their children, parents facing a temporary crisis can arrange for their children to stay with a trustworthy family while they address the issues that led to their specific situation. Other avenues of support include meals, supplies, and financial gifts.
For more information on the HOST Program or how to become a volunteer HOST family, please contact Tiffany Cherry at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or watch a video at https://vimeo.com/74256664 to meet a HOST family and the young man who lives with them.
On Saturday, May 11, 2013, over 500 runners and walkers (including plenty of kids and strollers) lined up at the starting line to make a difference for orphans locally and globally.
The third annual Run/Walk For Orphans, sponsored by the Northern Colorado Christian Alliance for Orphans, raised money for participating partners and their projects including the orphan ministries of area churches including Timberline Church, local adoption agencies, and several independent orphan ministries in Northern Colorado. The money will go toward specific projects and needs including raising awareness, education for orphans overseas, financial support for missionaries working with orphans in other countries, friendship support for women facing unplanned pregnancies, financial assistance for adopting families, and provide monthly training for foster and adoptive families.
While post-race awards celebrated the achievements of the top male and female finishers in each age category, everyone who participated deserves a pat on the back for helping such an important cause. Thanks also to the many sponsors (see www.runfororphansrace.org/sponsors) who made this year’s event possible.
In 2010, Timberline Church’s Orphan Care Weekend dared us to simply do something. In 2011, the challenge was to go near and see what orphan ministry is like. The message over the past weekend was to take our mission further and actually walk beside the orphan and widow and those who serve them.
During the weekend services, several videos highlighted various aspects of orphan care ministry including the Baby House in Guatemala in addition to a photo collage of Colorado children waiting for adoption. Pastor Dary Northrup’s message reminded us that Jesus came to serve (Mark 10:45) and that God cares about the orphan (James 1:27) therefore we must also care and serve. Numerous tables in the mall provided the opportunity to engage with orphan ministry organizations and a special offering was taken to support orphan care ministry. Kristin Orphan and the Finally Home Band provided special music including a concert Sunday night at Timberline Windsor. Youth and Children’s Ministries also got involved as they partnered with Kids Against Hunger to pack 30,000 meals to send to Syrian Refugees in Jordan.
This year’s Orphan Care Weekend coincided with the launch of Safe Families For Children in Northern Colorado. Safe Families For Children is a national movement that offers hope and support to families in critical situations with the goal of reuniting stronger families. Trained host families open their homes to children who are voluntarily placed there by parents for an average of 35 days.
Who needs Safe Families For Children? Consider a single mother who needs multiple surgeries over the next year … and has no one to care for her young daughter or transport her to school during the mother’s treatment. Without a support system, this mother’s only option is to sign her child over to the state with no guarantee she’ll regain custody once her health crisis is over. However, with Safe Families For Children, this child has a place to stay while her mother is in the hospital and ongoing support during her recovery. If you are interested in being a short-term Host Family or want more information, contact Katy Schmidt.
Safe Families For Children is just one of the many aspects of orphan care ministry at Timberline Church. If you can swing a hammer, consider volunteering with Building Hope. If you enjoy crafts, consider making blankets (contact Vicky Flint) or dresses (contact Mary Brinkman). If you have a heart to mentor women in crisis pregnancies, find out more about the Birthmothers ministry from Lorraine Meyer. If you have a burden for orphans in other countries, sponsor a child in Haiti, donate supplies for Katia’s House, give toward The Baby House in Guatemala, or go on a missions trip to serve them. If the Lord is tugging on your heart to consider fostering or adopting or if you want to know more about how you can support local foster and adoptive families, contact Kari Stewart.
What are you doing to walk beside the orphan?