The following post is an interview with one of our Board Members Keri who is setting off on a new adventure with her family. It has been amazing to watch God open the eyes and the hearts of this family and we want to share about their journey with you.
1) Tell me about your family. I am the oldest of five, born and raised in Wisconsin. Growing up, we went to Catholic Church a few times a year, and I remember being jealous of friends who went more often. However, as I got older I was disappointed in what I saw from organized religion and didn’t have any interest in participating. I met my husband in college and after graduating, we moved to Florida for a few years. While we were there, we were invited to visit a church, and the pastor was preaching about Jesus’ love. I accepted Jesus as my savior and He began to change my life.
2) How did you find yourself first engaging with foster care or adoption/vulnerable kids? My first encounter with adoption was when I was a teenager and my cousin was adopted. I was struck by the idea that there are children that need a home, and since then knew that I wanted to grow a family through adoption. While we were dating, I told my husband and after getting married, we pursued international adoption, but changed to domestic adoption. We were placed with our son when he was four years old, and our daughter when she was 16 months. After a few years, we felt called to foster care and our foster son lived with us for a year. Ultimately, he was adopted into another family, but we feel God used us and grew us and our children during that season.
3) What role do you serve in with OH27 and how did you get involved with us? I serve as the secretary on the Board of Directors. I first met Charonne and Kevin through a foster care/adoption life group at church, as we were preparing to enter the world of foster care. Charonne was supportive and encouraging during our time in foster care, and she and OH27 do so much for the foster care community. I am honored to be a part of an organization that provides hope and help to a vulnerable population.
4) Tell me about your heart for Guatemala and this new ministry opportunity for your family. God broke my heart for the people of Guatemala on my first mission trip there, about four years ago. We stayed with missionaries who, at the time, focused on building concrete block houses for people who previously had lived in cornstalk or lamina sided houses. Seeing their overwhelming gratitude for basic shelter and witnessing their faithfulness to God throughout their difficult situations changed me deeply. Since then, we have gotten involved with other missionary organizations, including the Buena Vista Sports Academy (BVSA), which uses soccer to preach the gospel to young boys and build up a generation that will love God and end the cycles of alcoholism and abuse. My husband has recently accepted the role of CFO for BVSA, and we will be moving to Guatemala with our children to serve for six months starting in January.
5) Do you see a connection with your heart for foster care and adoption and this new opportunity?Yes – as we were beginning our journey in foster care, God reminded me several times that Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you James 1:27 (NLT). I even shared this verse on a mission trip with the BVSA boys while we were in the process of getting licensed for foster care. While most of the BVSA boys do have parents, very few have examples of loving, caring parents that haven’t been corrupted by the cycles of alcoholism and abuse. BVSA shows these young boys love, feeds them, cares for them, and raises them up; which were also our reasons for doing foster care/adoption.
6) Are you aware how many OH27 Board Members have gone into overseas missions work. Why do you think that is? I was not aware until after I agreed to be on the Board! But it does not surprise me at all. I believe that as we allow God to move in our lives, He will lead us toward fulfilling the Great Commission. However, not everyone is called to overseas mission work – disciples need to be made and people need to hear the gospel here as well. I am always inspired and challenged by the service and work of the OH27 team for His kingdom.
7) What are you most looking forward to about your time oversees and what will you miss most from home? I’m looking forward to doing life with the BVSA boys. Often times, our trips our filled with various activities and time flies by. It will be nice to slow down and get to know and encourage the boys on a deeper level. We’re also praying that God shows us how He wants to use our family after this season in Guatemala ends. I’ll miss family/friends, our puppy, and a lot of comforts we take for granted, such as hot/clean tap water. And Target.