The Macedonia Project* is a mission challenge for ELCA churches of the Northern Texas–Northern Louisiana mission area to identify mission opportunities and work together to carry them out. Several North Texas churches, hosted and led by Rejoice Lutheran Church in Frisco, recently collaborated to serve Foster In Texas (FIT) families in North Texas.
The church groups first gathered for a dinner and worship service the night before the big workday, where they met two Foster In Texas families and learned more about why these amazing foster parents do what they do. Rebekah Poling, LSS regional development director, was also there representing LSS-FIT and as a participant in the weekend’s eventful activities.
Meet the Parents
The Ratcliff family of Little Elm shared their passion for giving kids a second chance and inspired everyone in the room with their stories of perseverance and lives changed. The family currently fosters three children and has adopted five. The Ratcliffs have more than 10 years of fostering experience—with more than 140 kids cared for in their home.
The Noe family of McKinney has fostered three girls with LSS-FIT over three years, and plan to adopt their current foster daughter this summer. They shared about the many challenges that come with opening your home to foster children. And also the beautiful and meaningful reward of giving the children—especially the older ones—happy memories, like their first birthday party and their first Christmas celebration.
Prior to the weekend, volunteers from the churches collected the items foster children need most when they are first removed from their biological homes and placed with a FIT family. Fifty bags were stuffed with sheets, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, razors, floss, soap, tweezers, nail clippers, deodorant, journals, stuffed animals and toys. Handmade cards were placed in each bag, and they are now ready and waiting for the children who arrive into care in coming months.
Volunteers also made 20 beautiful wreaths for our North Texas foster families, and 20 fleece blankets for the children. In addition, “off-to-college” care packages were assembled for youth soon “aging out” of foster care.
On Saturday, four work crews set out to four different FIT homes for an “Extreme Makeover-Macedonia Edition,” taking on some extensive work projects for the families. Rooms were painted, yard work was completed, shelves and dressers were repaired, and baseboards freshened, among the many other tasks they wrapped up. It took a lot of hard work, organization, and generous hearts—giving back to the deserving foster families who give so much of themselves, nurturing and loving LSS-FIT foster children.
*The Macedonia Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8: 1-7