Last month, GraceWorks’ newsletter told you about the Smiths, whose hearts were so touched by the plight of three siblings that they added them to their biological family of six.
Finding their financial situation stretched more than they expected, they sought help from GraceWorks. They were given food and vouchers to choose clothing from the GraceWorks Thrift Store.
We have since received word from Mr. Smith (not the family’s real name), and we thought you might like to read his view of the family’s situation and the gratitude they have toward GraceWorks’ donors for enabling them to continue to follow God’s call to help others.
It all started when Mr. Smith heard about the need for foster parents.
“My wife and I thought, ‘What a unique opportunity to give back to a child who has not been afforded the blessings our children have.’
“In early 2018 we learned about PLACE classes at Brentwood Baptist Church and we signed up. The week of our second class I got a call from a friend, asking if we would be able to take in [three children] whose parents were battling a methamphetamine addiction. We would need to watch them for 30 days, so the parents could go to rehab. I called my wife and we agreed that it was what God wanted us to do.”
A couple of months later, the children’s parents refused to go to rehab and went back to using drugs. They agreed the Smiths’ home was the best place for the children.
“The financial reality of what we signed up for began to sink in with two of the children in diapers and one on formula.” The two younger ones have deficiencies from drug exposure and require both physical and cognitive medical care.
“These three children are so precious, and our family has fallen in love with them. They were not placed in our home through DCS and because we are not family, all the resources usually available to help financially are not available to us. This hasn’t deterred our desire to keep [them] together with us.
“We have and will continue to trust God to provide. I will not lie, He has used this to greatly test our faith. I don’t receive a large salary, and it began to get extremely difficult to afford even the basic necessities.
“A lifelong family friend found out that we were in need and spoke with Vicki Howell at Brentwood Baptist who generously facilitated giving us a gift card from the church. She also recommended we reach out to GraceWorks to see if we would qualify for assistance.
“Valencia Breckenridge, CEO of this ministry, graciously opened her hands and hearts to us. On August 29, I brought the children to GraceWorks, where we were approved for assistance. Going through this process of shopping for clothes and food was not only humbling, but it was truly a miracle from the Lord and a work of His grace exactly when we needed it! We left that day with some clothes and an amazing amount of groceries to feed all of us!
“It’s been almost a month and such an immense weight has been lifted. We were juggling life needs and sacrificing some things just to buy the basics. … It has been a true blessing to be ministered to now because of these foster children.
“This month I have literally felt like Moses must have when Aaron and Hur held his hands up in battle. Last month, I told myself, ‘I will not be defeated by the monumental task of caring for these [children].’ But honestly, I felt like I was well on my way to defeat.
“The doors of GraceWorks opened and what they did for us is beyond what I could have imagined. Not only the ministry of food and clothing, but most importantly their prayers, have been the Aaron and Hur that God has used to hold our hands up this month.
“Again, I want to thank Brentwood Baptist and those involved in GraceWorks. I appreciate those who are volunteering and serving there but also all those involved in donating to the ministry that is blessing so many!”