~ Victory in Jesus ~
Equipping Christian Families for Foster Care or Adoption
Cheryl Sasai Ellicott
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Raise the (really) big tent and let the fun begin!
Welcome to the world of restless crowds of little people, elephant-sized food bills and, yes, even death-defying stunts! Stepping into the gap for orphans or fatherless children is a much-needed, noble feat (of gigantic proportions). It requires flexibility, courage and more than a handful of tricks. If you're also on a mission to represent the glorious King of Kings, you'll need an endless supply of humility, a discerning heart and a mighty champion--you cannot win this battle alone!
Join the author (and friends) in a biblical discussion of the most formidable concerns in ministry to the neediest of children, as she shares three decades of experience. Included are updates to stories from her previous adoption book, This Means War, and new stories by parents, ministers and custodial-grandparents.
You'll be encouraged in the Lord, biblically exhorted and (hopefully) equipped to have an eternal impact upon the least of these.
Number of Pages: 248
Publisher: Sweetwater Still
Publication Date: July 10, 2016
Availability: Available now for
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|Table of Contents||
(Words in BLUE are linked to an excerpt)
|My Story: LORD, PREPARE ME||13|
|Pieces of Me||21|
|Pockets of Faith||31|
|Waiting for a Healing||35|
|Sharing a Space||53|
|He'll Be Answering Soon||57|
|God Have Mercy||65|
|Whats Your Problem?||71|
|We are the Champions||81|
|For Better or Worse||91|
|God's Will for Your Marriage||99|
|Lost Boys and Girls||109|
|You and Your Big Heart||111|
|Invisible, Physical Wounds||125|
|Nature, Nurture and Nightmares||131|
|Whos Got My Back?||173|
|The Lord's Army?||175|
|He Was Full of Fun||191|
|SuperMom Meets Fetal Alcohol||195|
|The Hospice Survivor||203|
|Grandbaby's First Best Friend||217|
|Children of Goshen||225|
|From the Author:
"You are our God. Indeed, in you the orphan finds mercy."
(Hosea 14:4b ISV)When I began writing Victory in Jesus, I intended to write a simple update to my previous adoption book, This Means War. However, as I wrote and prayed for direction, I quickly realized this was a whole new book. Like my former writing, Victory in Jesus is also meant to educate, prepare and encourage Christians who are called to bring Gods mercy to the fatherless. But its also a follow-up and an alarm (see Ezekiel 33:7-9.) Ill explain that later.
Christians, to be victorious on this mission, youll need information and preparation. You deserve to hear from Christian parents who've gone before youand you need the whole story, not only the happy highlights. That's why Victory in Jesus: Equipping Christian Families for Foster Care or Adoption was written. If you're not yet a believer in Jesus, you're welcome to glean what you can. For a fuller understanding of this message, ask God to explain it. Most of what I write is only discerned with the Holy Spirit's assistance, when our spirit is in union with Christ.
For parents who are familiar with my previous writing, I have praise reports for you, along with some new warnings. The landscape has changed much since I first began caring for the world's neediest children. The challenges of raising abused and neglected children are now acknowledged and discussed more openly than they used to be. However, with this progress have come some negative trends; I'll address those as well, later on.
This book is a compilation of things I've learned and also stories shared with me by others who minister to fatherless children. Some of the information appears in my previous book; its vital to your well-being, so Ive included it again as a reminder and also for those who havent read it. Some of the stories in the section "War Stories" were first printed years ago; they now have updates for those who wondered what happened next. Other stories in the book are new, including my own: "Lord Prepare Me."
Since 1989, I worked with approximately fifty children in need. Shortly after our wedding, my husband and I became house parents through the Teen Challenge ministry. Thus we were Mom and Dad to about twenty-five teens or pre-teens in a shelter home. In subsequent years we were foster parents to an another twenty-five children in our own home. We already had three biological children, in addition to a daughter lost to cancer, before we adopted through the foster care system. We've also experienced the anguish of adoption-dissolution (not a simple disruption). In 2001 I founded a support group for foster and adoptive mothers; these women were a blessing to me and to each other. My husband also worked with disabled adults for over fifteen years; together we did in-home care for them as well. In the years since our children became adults, weve begun to reach out globally, supporting ministry to orphans and street children wherever the Lord leads and provides.
However, even parents (like us) who know were called to this, and who entered this arena with healthy support-systems, havein wonderful, idealistic zeal (with rose-colored glasses firmly in place)waltzed in over their heads and made lasting mistakes. Therefore, allow me to warn you of the greatest pitfalls ahead.
Yes, you're envisioning the joy of making a difference, loving an unloved child. And you should be! You believe it's more blessed to give than to receive. You're correct! You believe God's version of love never fails (correct again). You know you'll reap a harvest if you continue to do good and do not give up. God bless you; I love your heart. Really, I do! You inspire and encourage me. But may I remind you that there's an unseen battle to fight? I want you to persevere long enough to see the victory and the harvest. Your enemy is invisible, but he's very, very real. When you reach out to these children, their enemies become your enemies. Oh, certainly, your God is strongerHe's Almighty. But He's a jealous God! Were you aware of that? He tolerates no rivals in your heart or your home.
"You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love." (Rev 2:3-4)
If you learn only one thing from this book, let it be this: it's easy to get caught up in the work of a humanitarian and forget the Lover of your soul. But you were created to love Godwith all of your heart, mind, body and soul. And the only way to succeed is to remain as a branch connected to the vine [Jesus]. Good works cannot take the place of adoring your Savior. They arent an adequate substitute. Keep your relationship with God, through Jesus, as the most important thingthe only thing that mattersand He will pour out His spirit on the children... in His time.
"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV)
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Sweetwater Still Publishing is an outreach ministry of Calvary Outpost.