Everyone is a statistic. It would be best if we were all “good” statistics, meaning law-abiding, God-fearing citizens contributing to their families and communities in positive ways. However, we all fall into the category of “bad” statistics at some point in our lives, and some people never leave that category. Why is that?
In this concluding segment of our visit with Kennedy Rios and Susie Boyle, we probe into that question. Kennedy is working hard to achieve the dreams she has found for her life, but that’s not always the case for people who have come through the challenges she and her siblings have faced. What has made the difference? Kennedy offers some observations from her experience that shed light on that question.
The music of Jimmie Black and Rut Banks powerfully illustrates the life lessons we hear from Kennedy, and from Barry Phillips and David Jones. They examine the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives in a midrash they call “Let the Wind Blow Gideon.”
Did you ever wonder how many children in your neighborhood might be in need of help? There are probably quite a few, signaling their needs in ways even they don’t understand. It takes some attention, compassion, and discernment to identify those signals, and then it takes courage, love, and patience, to offer help.
We heard about this in a previous Reunion Roadmap interview with Susie Boyle, Outreach Director with Fostering the Family in South Carolina. Now we have the blessing of hearing from the child Susie and her family helped. Kennedy Rios is all grown up now and pursuing a promising future in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. She’s got quite a story to tell of overcoming obstacles just to connect with the gifted, strong woman God made her to be. We get to hear some of that story in this two-part interview!
Kennedy’s story provides a powerful introduction to the discussion Barry Phillips and David Jones call “Pray.” If the prayers of our parents and grandparents have made a difference for good in our lives, what kind of difference are we making in the lives of our children and grandchildren? Will Spires and Teshuva help us process that question with their musical offerings.
What are the odds a child in the foster system will ever go to college? Susie Boyle gives that and many more answers to questions about the most vulnerable members of our communities, and about how to make a difference for good in their lives. That is what she does as the Director of Outreach and Partnerships for Fostering the Family, a Christian non-profit dedicated to igniting igniting churches and communities to support foster and adoptive families, and as a guardian ad litem for foster children in South Carolina. In this concluding part of our visit with Susie, she talks about ways everyone can get involved and change the trajectory of children who are in danger of perpetuating a cycle of poverty, abuse, and neglect.
Helping foster kids and their families takes much love and sacrifice. That’s biblical, of course, as Barry Phillips and David Jones discuss in their midrash on Romans 12:1-2, and asMelody Joy and Solomon Lopez explain in their music.
Do you know there are ways to help foster children without being a foster parent? This often comes as a surprise when people first hear about the foster system and begin asking how to get involved. Susie Boyle learned that when she and her family encountered children in need right next door in their neighborhood in Detroit. That’s what started her on a journey to make a difference for these vulnerable children and their communities. Now she is a guardian ad litem, serving as a volunteer advocate for foster children in South Carolina, and is the Director of Outreach and Partnerships for Fostering the Family, a Christian non-profit dedicated to igniting igniting churches and communities to support foster and adoptive families.
Teshuva and Rut Banks share their musical talents in this episode in songs that resonate with the needs of foster children. They may start out with every disadvantage, but there is still hope that they will finish well, as Barry Phillips and David Jones discuss in their midrash, appropriately titled, “Finish.”
The great thing about going to Winchester, Kentucky, is the opportunity to reconnect with good friends like Ken Rank. He asked me last week to record a conversation for United 2 Restore on the topic of “Teshuvah,” a Hebrew term often translated as repentance. It seems our Heavenly Father is calling people from all across the spectrum of His covenant body to enter into a season of prayer, repentance, and even fasting to seek reconciliation with Him and with each other. And why is that? Maybe because we need to do this to find the way through the global crises confronting us.