Bethany Christian Services: a partnership is changing lives

By February 27, 2014

United States (MNN) — When a partnership is created between two entities that long to serve God, the results can be amazing. When that partnership exists between Bethany Christian Services and a business started by two sisters with hearts for adoption, the result is seven fully funded adoptions in a matter of months.

Bethany Christian Services has partnered with Initials, Inc. for support for their NOW campaign. (Photo by Bethany)

Bethany Christian Services has partnered with Initials, Inc. for support for their NOW campaign. (Photo by Bethany)

Pete Knibbe of Bethany explains how the partnership with Initials, Inc. began: “Britney Vickery and Ivy Hall from Initials, Inc. have a unique history where their grandmother was placed for adoption out of foster care. They had a heart to [make] a difference in this world and this particular area.”

The sisters researched various organizations until they came across Bethany’s NOW (no child without) campaign. With their grandmother’s story in their background, they were touched by Bethany’s goal to get every child into a loving family.

They decided to come alongside Bethany and give proceeds from one of their highest selling items through their iCare foundation. View information on that item here.

Initials, Inc. wanted to give back some of the blessings that God had bestowed upon their company and Knibbe explains exactly how successful they have been:  “They were, in a short period of time, already able to fund seven adoptions where seven children are now in permanent families because of the financial investment that they’ve made.”

Along with the success of adoptions, Bethany has seen a 30% increase in foster care inquiries. This could spell more families being trained for foster care and adoption.

“Because of their generosity and desire to get the word out there and help more children, they also made a substantial product donation,” Knibbe says.

This product was a simple backpack, and they provided them to thousands of children. Backpacks are important because of the rate that foster kids transfer from home to home.

“At the core of it,” Knibbe says, “it’s about demonstrating dignity and worth. Sadly to say, a lot of kids end up coming into foster care with a garbage bag that has their items in it. The message that that sends to kids in terms of their worth and value, you can imagine, is very poor: their things are disposable in a sense, and they’re disposable.”

Knibbe continues to explain the positive impact something as simple as a backpack is. “It just gives them a strong message of ‘you’re valued, you’re worth more than [what] you can imagine, and [that] there are people out there that care about you.'”

According to Knibbe, when children become aware that a business is going out of their way to provide for them, “It just sends a great message to kids that there is a whole community of people of faith out there that care about them.”

For them to realize the kindness of Christian sacrifice is the first step to letting them see the love of Jesus. Knibbe says, “The most clear message that the kids are able to receive in terms of who Jesus is, is through their foster parents and adoptive parents. The families that Bethany works with are families that come to us through the church, and those families are motivated to provide a home environment–whether it’s a temporary home through foster care, or a permanent home through adoption–because of the love of Jesus and because of how we’re part of God’s family.”

Another way that Bethany sees the Gospel working is through the healthy use of business. Initials, Inc. is an example of a business seeking to live out their calling by being good stewards with their corporate profits.

Knibbe says, “We believe that the demonstration of the Gospel is happening through not only why we’re doing what we’re doing, but how we’re doing it, and demonstrating to these children that the love of Jesus is real, by the commitments and investment and way that we’re working with them in their lives.”

For those that are called into foster care or adoption, this partnership is about raising awareness and reinforcing their call. There is an endless need to replace the state as a child’s parent.

“As followers of Christ, we want to give those children a family, and we want to demonstrate the love of Jesus to them by being their foster parent, their adoptive parent,” Knibbe says.

There are tremendous ways to get involved even if it is not your calling to foster or adopt. You can assist in financial support. You can pray for Bethany and other organizations doing Kingdom work. You could provide respite for a foster family care provider. If you own a business and are looking for a place to use your money for good, consider taking a similar approach to Initials, Inc.

Knibbe is certainly able to see the blessings that God has given to Bethany. He says, “I just feel very grateful to God that he led these two women who have been incredibly blessed to want to partner with us. What a profound difference has been made in such a short period of time.”

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