Please read the Agape Villages July Newsletter, “The Love Letter,” to learn more about all of the people and programs that are changing the lives of foster children each day!
We had our 8th annual picnic for our families and youth in June this year. We had our typical play activities, games, music, food and added a photo booth, face painting and a henna tattoo booth. We welcomed back Reptile Ron and his interesting creatures. His traveling reptile show was exciting and educational for everyone. We appreciate all the families, staff, GK Music, the volunteers, and everyone who participated in making the picnic a magical day for all.
Our picnic is the perfect opportunity for our kids and non-minor dependents (those over 18 years of age in care) to have some good old fashioned fun. It is also a time for our foster parents to visit with other foster parents and make new friends.
Third John is a small book. In fact, it is the shortest book in the New Testament. As I was reading through this small book recently I read the apostle John’s comments concerning those who were working and supporting the work in the early church. In verse eight, John wrote, “Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.” John reminds Gaius of the responsibility that Christians have in helping the work in the kingdom. He says it is something “we ought” to do. This verse speaks of an obligation to the kingdom’s work.
Another interesting observation from that verse is that when we support the work of the kingdom, we become “fellow workers” with others who are working. This same word is used thirteen times in the New Testament. An interesting use of the word is found in 1 Thessalonians 3:2 which reads, “and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s co-worker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith.” The word is used here to describe Timothy as a “co- worker” of God. When Timothy was a worker in the kingdom, not only was he a “fellow worker” with Paul, but he was “God’s co-worker.”
As I consider 3 John 8, and 1 Thessalonians 3:2, I am reminded of why it is such a blessing to support Agape Villages. When we support a work in the kingdom such as this, we are: 1) fellow workers with other Christians, and 2) co-workers with God! What an amazing thought that I can be a co-worker with God. What an honor it surely is for each of us to be able to say that we are working alongside God in His kingdom, for His glory. Amen!
In the book of John, chapter 20, verses 18- 24, we read where Jesus appeared to the apostles after his crucifixion. One can only imagine the excitement the apostles felt. However, Thomas was not present.
One might think that Thomas would be filled with joy at the news at what the other apostles saw. However, he did NOT believe them. He said, “unless I see in his hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (verse 25)
One week later, when Jesus appeared, He invited Thomas to “Reach here with your finger and see my hands.” Thomas was convinced and proclaimed Jesus as HIS LORD AND HIS GOD.
Part of what this story reveals is that having a personal experience can be helpful in understanding the reality of a situation. This can relate to the work we do at Agape Villages. We can ask, “What is it that would help more people to understand the importance of the work we do and join with us?” We would probably all agree that we become more passionate when something is personal.
This is probably one reason why Jesus gave us what we call the “Golden Rule.” He said in Matthew 7:12, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” This makes things personal, doesn’t it?
Applying this to the children and families we serve at Agape, consider if you were one of them. What if you were a child who was in need of a home? How would you want others to help you?
We so appreciate all of you who believe in what we are doing in caring for the children that cannot care for themselves. Your prayers, your volunteering, your financial support makes our job here at Agape Villages possible. WE NEED ALL OF YOU serving side-by-side for the GOOD that can be accomplished. May God be glorified!
Agape Villages has some core values we follow to make our job of helping foster kids as effective as possible. We think it’s important we share them.
Striving for excellence in all we do, upholding the highest standards.
Extending kindness and grace in excess of what may be expected.
To whom much has been given, much is expected.
Protecting the community’s trust through integrity and management of resources.
Child & Family Focused
Every child deserves a loving, stable family where their best interests are preeminent.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Sincere love and compassion for the vulnerable children and youth among us.
Doing what we can, where we can to serve others and alleviate suffering and need.
I recently watched a “Bonanza“ rerun about two young boys who had been abandoned by their parents. The younger brother did not speak because of the heartbreak he had been through. The older brother (about 10) was very protective of his younger brother and tried to take the place of his missing parents. A young couple wanted to adopt them, but finding the younger brother unable to talk, decided to only adopt the older brother. When the boys learned of their possible separation, they ran away. A lonely old gentleman who had lost his wife, befriended the boys and gave them unconditional love. His example convinced the young couple to adopt both boys and give them a caring home.
There is no such thing as a throwaway kid. Every child deserves a chance to reach his potential in life. Agape Villages is there to provide these children with a happy, normal life. What can you do to help? Please consider donating time in volunteer service with Agape, prayers for the success of the mission of Agape, or a financial gift to assist in this good work. You’ll feel like you hit a bonanza! I know!