Support!

sup·port
səˈpôrt/
verb
1. bear all or part of the weight of; hold up

For months we have prayed for the time when we could host our first CALL Support Group Meeting in Lonoke and Prairie Counties. Finally, this past Sunday, a group of families gathered together at Fellowship Bible Church in Cabot!

support group meeting collage: woman presenting, The CALL cake, 2 smiling women

​Obviously, a great time was had by all!

See that lovely cake in the photo? Well, it’s true. We genuinely love our families, and we hope they know it! It was so much fun to be able to give away a cd, books, party favors, and gift certificates and eat cake with all of them. They are a genuinely incredible group of people, and the fact that they’re fun is just a BONUS!

The CALL support meeting collage: The CALL banner, people talking, gift bags, counter with food and books, counter with books and cake

Being surrounded by those who have adopted, who have fostered for just a year, fostered for many years, and those who are in the certification process was an absolute pleasure. It was a joy watching families connect for the first time while others reconnected, As they shared within their small groups, there were moments of laughter, serious conversation, and honest sharing.

The day before this gathering, this was posted on a social media page:
What if every adoptive and foster family had everything they needed for their journey? What if they had all of the resources, preparation, education, support, encouragement, acceptance, insight, perspective and skills they needed? What if at no point in this journey were they ever alone, isolated, or misunderstood?
We believe this way of traveling the adoption and foster care journey is not a dream…we believe it can be a reality. This journey was not meant to be traveled alone.

“A reality”.

Yes! Our hope and prayer is for that to be true of the families we work with. May God continue to provide us with the means to support them and enable us to cultivate a community of support among each of them and their community.

Blessings come in all shapes and sizes and in a myriad of ways

This week, one came to us in a large cardboard box from the FedEx man! Do you ever order something and then the delivery truck drops by and you think to yourself “Oh, yeah, I did order that a few weeks ago…”?

Not this time.

We were eagerly awaiting this particular package…

As soon as the kids got it into the house, I opened it and began piecing it together. I stood back and admired it like some work of art by Monet or Degas. However, it was not a painting of any kind. It was a display board!!

The CALL display

New display for Lonoke and Prairie Counties

I realize this photo may not be that impressive to most, but it is impressive to us. Why?

For many months now, due to changes and unforeseen circumstances, The CALL in our area has had little to no activity.

No new homes being opened through The CALL.

No new volunteers being recruited.

No presence at community events.

However, all that time, one local church was still giving. Each month, diligently giving.

As we rebuild and restructure, we are eager to see more foster homes opened, to have a viable presence in the community again, and to essentially enable people to live out God’s call to serve orphans. All of that can happen a bit faster thanks to one church’s faithfulness. Our display board is a reminder of that. Yes, it simply came in a cardboard box, and it is certainly not a ‘work of art’ as some might say. However, it is a “display” of faithfulness and an encouragement to us! Display boards are not free. Finances are essential to our ministry. We are so thankful to have the ability to take this step forward and utilize this valuable new tool to share and spread awareness. Personally, I hope we wear that sucker out going here and there and everywhere sharing about God’s heart and this ministry!

May God bless those who give and multiply the gift for the good of foster children and for His glory!

Chris and Melissa Furnell, County Coordinators

Update your information

The CALL in Lonoke and Prairie Counties is going through a re-launch with new leadership and as part of the process we need to update our records.

Please help us by filling out this form, so that we have an accurate picture of our foster and adoptive families, friends and supporters. That will allow us to quickly get back to effectively recruiting, training and supporting families who foster or adopt from the foster care system in Lonoke and Prairie Counties.

(The CALL does not share information we collect with other organizations.)

The CALL in Lonoke and Prairie Counties

The CALL in Lonoke County began in 2008 with only 7 foster homes within the county. The “pioneers” who brought The CALL to this area have worked diligently to educate, equip, and encourage the Christian community to minister to children in foster care. Because of those who have faithfully served over the years to continue this ministry, many foster and adoptive families have given hope and left an enduring mark on the lives of these children. Our hope is to continue in their footsteps.

Currently, The CALL of Lonoke/Prairie County is in the process of rebuilding, reorganizing, and re-energizing. We are looking forward to re-establishing our leadership team and working to make sure that every child in care in our area has the foster or adoptive family they urgently need.

Presently, the number of children in foster care in our counties exceeds the number of foster homes we have available to care for them. Lonoke County currently has approximately 30 foster homes (17 of which are CALL homes). Prairie County does not have any available homes. There are approximately 24 adoptive homes in Lonoke County and 1 in Prairie County. Lonoke and Prairie combined currently have 88 children in foster care. We are grateful for the homes that are open in our area that are committed to giving love, encouragement, and hope to children. While more homes are needed, we also realize that not everyone will become a foster or adoptive parent. Therefore, we also look forward to making the Christian community aware of the many ways to minster to these children.

As we work To educate, equip, and encourage the Christian community to provide a future and a hope for children in foster care in Arkansas, it is our prayer that God will use His people “above and beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20) in the New Year!

New email address for Lonoke and Prairie Counties

You can now reach The CALL in Lonoke and Prairie Counties at lonokeprairie@thecallinarkansas.org. The old email addresses will go away shortly, so be sure to update your address books!

Lonoke-Prairie contact info

The CALL
PO Box 1282
Cabot, AR 72023

phone: 501-743-2074

email: lonokeprairie@thecallinarkansas.org

facebook: thecallinarkansaslonokeprairie

twitter: @thecallinLP

Brian & Niki Bolton, County Coordinators