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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

What’s In A Name?

Fields of Grace. That’s the name we gave our ministry three years ago. What does it have to do with adoption and orphan care, really? Sometimes I wonder if people even know the significance of the name.

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As you read the Bible, you can’t help but notice three groups of people that come up again and again. God continually draws our attention to the orphans, the widows, and aliens (strangers). “What these people have in common is their desperate need of provision and protection. They are the weak, the under-privileged, and the needy among us.”  (Fields of  the Fatherless, C. Thomas Moore)  More than 60 times, scripture draws our attention to the need for caring for these individuals and include His promises to them–a father to the fatherless, their defender, promise to ensure justice, to bless them. Many passages in both the Old and New Testaments confirm God’s commitment to these special groups.

I don’t know about you, but this makes me stop and wonder.  What am I doing for any or all of these, the least of these?

“The Bible reveals that God commanded His people, the church, to set aside a portion of their fields, their provisions, for the sole purpose of providing for these groups. The line that designated this special area was called the ‘ancient boundary.’ It created a field, figuratively and literally, in which the fatherless, orphan, or widow could find the provision necessary to survive.”  (Fields of the Fatherless. C. Thomas Davis)  There was nothing they had to do to earn this provision, hence, the Fields of Grace.

Deuteronomy 24:19-21 records God’s directives:
When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

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And so I wonder, what am I doing for “the least of these?” What are you doing for “the least of these?” What is our church doing for “the least of these?”

What is your field of grace? Do you have enough margin in your life or your budget that you can “let it lie”, you don’t have to go back and glean it afterward and pick up every last bit for yourself?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, if you’ve had moments alone with God where He has revealed things to you about His call to care for “the least of these,” — the orphan, the widows, the aliens.” It doesn’t mean every one of us has to adopt children into our homes or become licensed foster families. While it does mean that for some, or others it calls us to enable those who are called to do those things to support them, financially, with meals, with respite.

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We’re Glad You’re Here.

We at Fields of Grace (FoG) feel like there is so much to communicate regarding orphan care, foster care and adoption beyond the event announcements we typically send via email distribution. We would love to begin a dialog with you and hear what you have to say. We will be posting thoughts, quotes, links, videos, blogs to other HCBCnw adopting families, prayer requests, adoption support, controversial subjects and on and on. In addition you can follow the GO trips that are specifically focused on orphan care. As you can see already, the Monterrey FoG team has already posted this week. We would love to hear your responses to our posts.

Please place us in your “bookmarks” or “favorites”, Google reader, etc. and check with us regularly. You may have already noticed that we have migrated over posts from our past GO trips. Make yourself comfortable here. Look around at past posts, links, etc. But most importantly, figure out a way to check in regularly.

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Three years ago we launched Fields of Grace — An Orphan and Adoption ministry to help the church understand God’s call to care for the fatherless and give them real, practical opportunities to live that out in Austin and around the world.

In that time, we’ve traveled the world, including seven times to serve the children of Monterrey, Mexico, and one time to East Asia to love on the children living in an orphanage there.

We’ve also hosted the Heart Gallery during National Adoption month and have hosted three Austin-wide adoption seminars working closely with our friends at Grace Covenant Church, Matt and Julie Kouri and their ministry, Bridges of Grace. Over the years we’ve made new friends with couples from Austin Stone, First Evangelical Free Church of Austin and many other churches.

We’ve built relationships with local foster care and adoption agencies to care for those in our community who are in the foster care system to train the members of Hill Country Bible Church to be licensed foster care families. We’ve also just launched our first post-adoption support group that will meet once a month and address the unique issues adoptive families face.

Our ministry has grown within the Hill Country Association of Churches as well. Alan and Dawn Rust of Hill Country Bible Church Pflugerville and Mick and Tracey Hooper of Hill Country Bible Church Northpoint have also launched orphan and adoption care ministries. It’s exciting to see the leadership of these churches make caring for the fatherless a core element of how they reach Austin with the life-changing reality of Jesus Christ. We’re now meeting on a regular basis to share best practices and learn from each other.

We recently traveled to Dallas with both couples to attend the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit held at Irving Bible Church and its Tapestry Ministry. We learned a lot of new things, had some great fellowship and came back re-charged to bring the message of the gospel for orphans to our churches.

It is from that conference that we finally made the decision to launch this blog. You see, to this date, I’ve been blogging about many of the things that we’ve been doing on my personal blog. So it wasn’t difficult to migrate that content here but now will include all sorts of content related to our ministry. But this blog isn’t about me or my wife, Anita. You’ll here from us but you’ll also hear from other Fields of Grace leaders including John and Rhonda Steczkowski, Lee and Heather Ballard and others.

We’ll blog from our Global Outreach trips (we actually have a group leaving this Friday, June 26, to work with Back2Back Ministries in Monterrey and you’ll be reading about that trip from Lee and Heather Ballard with first-hand obervations of how God is using us to be His hands and feet there.) In fact, Lee and team were introduced and prayed for today at church. Lee talked about how each of us is called to live out James 1:27 and what that looks like in Monterrey as we work with local children’s home and the local churches there.

We’ll also be writing about happenings within Hill Country Bible Church and how you can get plugged in with other families that have been touched by adoption. We’re on the verge of launching our Adoption Financial Assistance program soon and we’ll tell you that about that program here.

So, thank you for coming to visit us and how God is at work to care for the fatherless. As Dennis Rainey said during the Summit V conference in Dallas, “Aslan is on move. God is at work caring for the fatherless.” We are privileged to be called by God to be part of the work he’s doing to be a Father to the fatherless in Austin and around the world.

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