Winter 2012 News
A Houseparent Child's Exeperience
By Braden Beyer
I moved to Leo 1½ years ago, when my parents became Alternate Houseparents at Gateway Woods. One of the benefits of living at Gateway Woods is living next to families with kids my age. I love having friends so close! I also really enjoy all the Gateway activities; like evenings of softball or basketball, afternoons of dodge ball and Frisbee football, endless work projects, plenty of board games, and times we just sit around and sing worship songs with a guitar.
Another blessing is that I am able to be right beside my parents as they work. I get to spend more time with them then before, especially with my Dad. I have the opportunity to help Dad with general maintenance, work on cars, build shelves and do different projects that I really enjoy. I am also thankful that I don’t have to go far to find people to reach out to. The residents are right in the middle of my life, although that has its strengths and weaknesses.
Breaking the Cycle
By Emily Wieland, Foster Care Case Worker
When I met Faye, she was in the eighth grade and had been in foster care for roughly a year. I learned that her mother was in jail and her father was uninvolved and uninterested. Faye was sent to live with her cousin when her mom was arrested on yet another drug charge. Being hurt and scared, she rebelled until she landed in juvenile detention and then into foster care through Gateway Woods.
As I looked through Faye’s paperwork and history, she appeared to be: disrespectful, argumentative, and unmotivated. Her grades were poor and she was often being removed from class for being rude to her teachers and peers. But as I spent more time around Faye I discovered she also had a softer side that would come out around people she liked or trusted. Faint smiles and even good conversation slowly became something I would see from time to time.
Opportunities in 2012
By Jeff Schumacher, Executive Director
It is wonderful to witness as God moves in the hearts of each of our Staff members who come to be a part of this ministry. This calling to serve “the least of these” is a huge part of our ability to be effective with a growing range and number of people and problems. Of one thing we are certain, the world is not healing itself. In fact, everywhere we look, we see problems. However, these are also great opportunities for the body of Christ to offer true help and healing to troubled children and families. That’s our mission!
As we look forward to 2012, our Adoption Program continues to seek expansion into Illinois. There are many Christian families searching for a Christ-centered agency to assist them in opening their home to a child, and we are eager to fill that need. We are also looking to acquire an esteemed international accreditation that will improve our ability to help families to adopt from countries such as China, Russia, India, and Central and South America.