Glenn Koster takes a break along the scenic countryside.
By Carl Stagner
Abandoned and alone, Glenn Koster was adopted at age six. Due to neglect and abuse, he had to be adopted again at age ten. Sadly, this traumatic childhood did little to prepare him for the real world and, as such, Glenn found an outlet for his pain in alcohol and violence. The Lord turned his life around though, and in 1989, he forever left his alcohol and abuse in the past. Desiring to pay it forward, but not permitted to foster or adopt because of his record, Glenn has instead determined to raise awareness for foster care and adoption. As he walks across the continental United States, the Church of God minister and Leadership Focus participant is encountering not only a wide variety of people, but also his heavenly Father in a fresh and powerful way. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life
Tagged Adoption, awareness, cross-country, First Church of God, foster care, Glenn Koster, Hutchinson, journey, Kansas, KS, Leadership Focus, testimony, travel, trip, walk, walking
Ralph loves Ana and each of his adopted children.
By Carl Stagner
If you’ve been to many camp meetings across the country, chances are you’ve sat under the bold preaching or inspirational worship leading of pastor and evangelist Ralph Watts. The pastor emeritus of Columbus West Church of God in Columbus, Ohio, is used to sharing Bible stories and passages that point to Jesus Christ. But his own story points to Christ, too, one that is nothing short of remarkable. He and his wife Karen have fostered a total of thirty-five special needs children over the years, and have adopted fourteen. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Great Lakes
Tagged adopting, Adoption, children, Columbus, Columbus West Church of God, disability, foster care, fostering, handicap, Karen Watts, kids, mentally challenged, OH, Ohio, Ralph Watts, special needs, students, Timothy Clarke
By Carl Stagner
The church used to do it. Government stepped in, however, where the church left off. In the past fifty years—at least—churches became more and more inward-focused, sheltering themselves from a “contaminated” world. But it didn’t used to be that way. Orphanages were established by believers. God’s people were once the loudest champions for the poor and afflicted. Too often in recent years the church has run away from problems it once ran toward. Several Church of God families and their congregations have discovered one avenue consistently taking things in a different direction. They’ve partnered with Safe Families for Children to care for children from homes caught in the midst of crisis. A redemptive solution to the need for foster care, Safe Families is now being offered as an effective resource for the Church of God movement through Be Bold Academy. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Be Bold Academy
Tagged Adoption, Be Bold Academy, children, Emma Johnson, Eric Stayer, foster care, kids, Kristin Stayer, outreach, Park Place Church of God, resources, Safe Families for Children