The Good Samaritan Network

GSN builds safe, stable, and strong families. Do you know a family in need of a new start? Learn more.

CHOSEN TFC

Our foster families help kids recover from abuse and neglect. Have you been CHOSEN?

Safe Families

Christian hospitality keeps families together and kids out of the social service system. Will you help?

Learn To Do Right

By Bob Gerstmyer, Executive Director

Many of you recently received an email from us about Orphan Sunday, to be held on Sunday, November 6, 2011. I hope your church will consider this observance this year or perhaps next year. If we can help, give us a call. Isaiah 1:17 is the theme verse for this year's observance. Isaiah says, "Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."

For 91 years, Baptist Family has been defending the fatherless with your help. Our families and staff have a wonderful track record of giving children in distress a new start. We have a "wall of fame" at our offices with pictures of 17 children who have been adopted in the last two years. Behind each picture is a story. The stories are compelling and even miraculous. People come periodically to hear about these wonderful children. We would love to have you come, and you will have an opportunity to do so on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 12 noon. We will serve a light lunch and would love to have you. We would ask that you RSVP so we can plan for the right amount of food.

Won't you join us and celebrate the joy of adoption? Who understands better than those of us who have been adopted by our Heavenly Father? God bless, Bob

Needs Alert!

This week we have been in the process of placing three siblings (ages 4, 5, 6) in one of our approved Safe Families homes. The children's mother suffers from cancer and is not well enough to take care of them. They have been staying with a family friend who can no longer provide for them. I wish you could see these cute, well-behaved, and polite little kids. If you did, you would want to take them home with you. The family that is considering them has resolved all of the issues but one. They do not have a vehicle large enough to accommodate the children along with their six-year-old son. Because of their ages, all of the children would need to be in the back seat(s) in child safety seats and seatbelt restraints.

We want to keep the children together if at all possible. We need your help. We have sent out an alert to the Safe Family's church prayer chain this morning. Now we are asking you if you have a minivan or SUV in good working order that you would be willing to donate or lend for a few months -- let us know asap! Also, you will see that this need is listed under prayer requests. We will appreciate your prayers in this matter. There is some urgency to this appeal because the children will need to be enrolled in school quickly as classes are starting in about two weeks.

If multiple vehicles are donated, we have other families who are in need of transportation as well. This brings me to a related subject. Baptist Family is a regional and field partner of You Share, a nationwide virtual warehouse for folks who have goods and/or services they want to donate. You Share connects families with critical needs to people who can fulfill those needs. It is an opportunity for people to share their resources and develop relationships that will lead to better lives and better communities. You can go to www.youshare.org, register as a neighbor, and list the goods/services you wish to donate. We will be notified so we are aware of the donation. This is not for people who want to get rid of things right away. You would need to hold on to your items until you are contacted that there is a need for them. Check it out and help out families in crisis today.

How You Can Help To Make A Difference

Safe Families is recruiting volunteers for all levels of the program: host families, mentors, case coaches, resource for materials, etc. Over the last few months, we have received several calls about potential families who would benefit from what Safe Families has to offer.

We have approved 2 host families and have 4 families in the process of being approved. We are continuing to look for volunteers to get involved with this nationwide movement. We would also appreciate your help in spreading the word about this amazing ministry opportunity. Please call Melissa at 800-621-8834, extension 117 or click here to leave her a message.

Baptist Family & Children's Services has been "Breaking the Cycle" of child abuse, neglect, poverty, and domestic violence since 1920. Come and see for yourself how you can be a part of this wonderful ministry!

SUCCESSES!

Note: These stories are taken from our monthly "PrayerGram." If you would like to receive the Prayergram by email, please click here and leave us your address. All names have been changed to protect the identities of our kids and families.

Mrs. Glasner is one of our GSN clients and employed by a security company. In addition to working at all home Ravens games, she got to work at a Navy vs. Air Force game. Mrs. Glasner also just started taking GED classes and we are proud of her!

Todd has a real interest and opportunity to invest that interest through HVAC classes at Lincoln Tech. We are encouraged by his ability to choose a path that will lead to a fulfilling career.

Raymond just learned that he is going to be a father. He will be leaving soon to join the military. We are happy for him and also ask for prayer for his future and the future of his family.

We are so thankful to Redland Baptist Church for once again being so generous. They will fulfill the gift requests of our TFC youth for Christmas.

Last Saturday saw the start of our fall series of pre-service classes for new foster parents. It was a success, with nine participants in the class.

Prayers were answered! A violin was donated by Board member Carol Owens, from Delaware. The little girl who will use it resides in one of our transitional homes here in Maryland. (We are still looking for a bow.) And the some of the clothing needs that were expressed for three children in one of our Safe Families in Howard County were fulfilled by the Boyd family on the Eastern shore.

Prayer Requests

...for a foster child who exhibited unsafe behavior in the home and for his foster mom, who responded with care and compassion as they worked to get him re-hospitalized.

...for a brother and sister who were placed into care this week in one of our CHOSEN foster homes.

...for enough interest to be generated on the Eastern shore that we can begin a foster care pre-service training class there in November.

...for one of our foster parents who lost his step-mom last week.