Posts Tagged ‘Heart Gallery’

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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Heart Gallery at HCBC, Austin

Tonight, we’re at Hill Country Bible Church setting up for the public showing of The Heart Gallery of Central Texas. The gallery is part of a whole schedule of activities we have in store for November.

From their website, they describe themselves as the following:

“A project of the Adoption Coalition of Texas and CASA organizations across Central Texas, The Heart Gallery of Central Texas is both an art exhibit and community education effort. The Heart Gallery features professional portraits by renowned documentary and portrait photographers of children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted. The goal of The Heart Gallery of Central Texas is to elicit support for and interest in the lives of these children – and ultimately find each child and sibling group a “forever family.”  Many of the foster children featured in the gallery are older or special needs children, minorities, or members of a sibling group.  All are considered hard-to-place children. We plan to keep the Heart Gallery moving until all of the children are adopted!”

dsc_00051We’re excited because this is one of our first big outreach activities to encourage those in our church body to consider being part of the domestic foster and foster/adopt program.

If you attend HCBC NW, we encourage you to peruse the exhibit, which will be on the lower level near Roaster’s Coffee and directly above that area in the 2nd floor hallway. It will be on display starting Nov. 14 through Nov. 23.

If you have questions, e-mail us at fieldsofgrace@hcbc.com.

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So what have we been up to with Fields of Grace lately? Well, with November being National Adoption Month, we’ve got quite a few things planned. See below the full list.

Heart Gallery of Central Texas November 15-23
HCBCNW considers it a privilege to host this portrait gallery of Central Texas foster children. The Heart Gallery provides awareness of the need for adoptive families, and more importantly helps find permanent families for children. Please take time to view the gallery and pick up additional information.

Foster/Adoptive Community Fellowship November 15
Come celebrate the opening of the Heart Gallery with other foster and/or adoptive families. We will have a potluck dinner and fellowship and the gallery will be open throughout.

Foster Care Information Meetings November 19 and 23
There’s a critical shortage of loving, secure homes that will unconditionally commit to making a difference in the lives of these hurting children. We will be holding 2 identical meetings to provide information and answer questions for those interested in becoming Foster Parents. Training to come in January 2009.

Beth Guckenberger, Author of Reckless Faith November 22
Beth Guckenberger and her husband Todd established Back2Back Ministries to help orphans—the poorest, most defenseless members of a needy populace of Monterrey, Mexico. Come hear Beth share about how God used her experiences to grow her faith into a reckless faith—a willingness to trust even when you don’t understand. Pick up a copy of her book in the Resource Center. Also, take a look at some of her interviews here.

Tree of Lights November 30
For the second year, the HCBCNW Tree of Lights will include the wish lists of Central Texas Foster children. Please stop by and pick up a tag or two to provide a special gift for these children.

Adoption Loan Fund Beginning January 2009
We are announcing an Adoption Loan Fund program, beginning January 2009. While many believers are stepping out in faith and following God’s direction to care for orphans and expand their families through adoption, seemingly insurmountable financial obstacles along the way often discourage them. By establishing an adoption fund, we can minister to HCBCNW families by removing the financial barriers frequently faced by adoptive families.
Full details on all of these activities can be found at our website at http://www.hcbc.com/fieldsofgrace.

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