Do you ever have a luncheon or a conference to go to that you find yourself dragging your heels toward? Maybe you think nothing new will come of a seemingly ordinary opportunity, and I have been tempted to think the same way, especially in the busyness of life.
But what I have learned in a powerful way these past few years is that being where God wants you to be, whether that is a lunch or a conference, and being receptive to what God might have for you there can lead to incredible outcomes. Being spiritually sensitive to the people God is putting in your path can open doors and build friendships that quite literally change lives.
That is exactly what happened with a few of my friends who lead remarkable ministries. I met them at unexpected times, and in ways I couldn’t have imagined, our partnerships have expanded the Kingdom in unique ways.
Hope for prevention
I met Scott Platter a couple of years ago and immediately connected with him. He serves as the Executive Director of CarePortal. At the time I couldn’t have dreamed of the kind of collaboration 4KIDS and CarePortal could have. Launching CarePortal in 2020, in the midst of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, wasn’t exactly what I had in mind either, but none of this could stop God’s perfect plan. In the three years since our launch, over 100 churches and 900 individual responders have been trained to collectively impact over 5,800 lives through preventative care. Because of this, 4KIDS is positioned to be the convener of amazing organizations by training lead agencies, child protective investigators, ĒMA, Prevention Central, Hope Navigators from each circuit, and more. To think this all began through a connection, the power of unity and God-ordained meetings can propel unimaginable work.
Homes for Kids
Another unexpected, divine meeting was with Bob Bruder-Mattson, the President & CEO of FaithBridge Foster Care in Georgia. I met Bob years ago at a Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit he almost didn’t attend. After a great conversation, we agreed to a follow-up phone call, which turned into a monthly call, and now a day-to-day friendship. I often find myself texting Bob right before big 4KIDS events asking for prayer, and he does the same with me. What was unique about 4KIDS’ and FaithBridge’s collaboration is we each had different areas of strength where we could offer the other insight and support. FaithBridge had incredibly robust data and research to help target foster family recruitment efforts. We still use so much of their strategy, especially in our new regions. At 4KIDS we had a strong communications team that extended their expertise to help FaithBridge with essential fundraising. In addition, we were able to share our EPIC Therapeutic resources and virtual training to bless their families and spread this powerful trauma-informed approach. We never know what will spring out of a friendship with two collaborative hearts. God is using Bob and FaithBridge to impact lives through 4KIDS and beyond.
Healing for all
4KIDS’ EPIC Therapeutic Approach offers local, national, and even international impact opportunities through strategic partnerships and collaboration. Just this past summer the EPIC Clinical Team trained Parkridge Christian Academy and Atlantic Christian Academy teachers impacting over 140 teachers and in turn 1,400 students. EPIC Training is offered virtually to families across the country with partnerships like FaithBridge and is even offered internationally in South Africa, Romania, and Peru. HopeConnect is another digital resource created by 4KIDS that puts Everyday Moment activities right in the hands of parents. These activities strengthen a child’s identity in Christ while infusing the Hope of God’s Word into their lives. Eight unique organizations across the country are already sharing HopeConnect, with over 1,350 families impacted.
All of these pathways for impact were forged through collaboration. These partnerships often come at unexpected times or in unexpected forms. They also may experience bumps along the road, but we know God promises us in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” I pray that you would enter into each day looking for the people God has put in your path, open to the ways He can use you and those around you to make an eternal difference.
Kevin Enders is the President and CEO of 4KIDS. To learn more, visit 4kids.us
Read last month’s article by Kevin Enders at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/author/kevin-enders/