18 Feb Blessings Through Biblical Community
When Dan and Amy Johnson married and started attending Grace Church about five years ago, they knew that they wanted to become members and get connected. At that time, however, they had no idea the impact that community would have on their marriage and their future plans.
After several years of marriage, they began to think about building their family. They soon were faced with infertility and dealt with the issue by meeting with several Grace couples who had experienced similar difficulties. These conversations gave Dan and Amy an outlet to vent their frustrations but also provided encouragement, hope, and direction as they decided how to move forward.
Around the time that Dan and Amy were navigating these issues, Grace Church was in the process of creating the OVC Foster & Adopt ministry. The Johnsons attended one of the first Foster Care informational meetings held at Grace Church and began the process of getting licensed to become foster parents. This was not an easy decision for them and they relied heavily on conversations with other couples and the prayers and support of their community group throughout the process. Dan recognized that they had margin (both financially and with their time) and that they should use that margin to impact others. Fostering seemed like the perfect way to do that.
After a challenging licensing process, the Johnsons benefitted greatly by Grace Church’s partnership with Miracle Hill and the assistance that Beth Drake (Miracle Hill licensing coordinator at Grace) was able to provide. As the Johnsons moved closer and closer to becoming parents, they spent much of their free time watching every series and class that Grace has done on parenting (Establishing Authority, Developing Responsibility, etc.) and soaking up the advice of friends who were already parents.
Once their licensing was completed, the Johnsons quickly received a call from DSS about two brothers who needed a home. Dan and Amy whole-heartedly opened their home and their lives to these boys and began the challenges of parenthood. The first few weeks weren’t without difficulty, but Dan and Amy once again relied heavily on their church community who provided prayer, meals, and encouragement. The Foster & Adopt Resource Center (located on Wade Hampton Blvd) was available to provide clothing, supplies, etc. for them, and the family was also able to take advantage of monthly date nights at the Pelham campus.
When it became apparent that this would be a longer-term placement, Grace also provided an additional community group to serve as a “wrap-around” group for the Johnsons. This group has been a huge blessing to the family. The group came and met with Dan and Amy to make sure that they could support them in the best way possible. Since that initial meeting, they have brought frozen meals, taken the boys out for fun activities, bought Christmas presents for the boys, donated clothes, prayed for the family, and sent encouraging notes to the Johnsons on a regular basis.
Dan and Amy have grown tremendously through the foster parenting experience and the boys have loved attending Grace Church and participating in all of the classes, camps, and activities that Camp Grace offers. They are asking great questions about the Gospel, baptism, and their need for a Savior. By displaying humility and being open to help, Dan and Amy have been able to provide their boys with a loving family while also showing them the hope, encouragement, and blessing that comes from being in authentic Biblical community.
It is through Biblical community that the Johnsons received the love, care, and support they needed to navigate through a challenging season. We encourage all members to be faithfully committed to a community group. If you are interested in joining a community group, click here to see the necessary steps and learn more about community groups at Grace Church.