Today's post was written by Brook Hills member Susan Nolin. Susan is wife to Denver and mom to Kathleen, Sara, and Heather. She and Denver have fostered, adopted, and serve on the WRAP ministry leadership team as Relief Coordinators.

I am a WRAPer! Do I recite poetry to a beat and call it singing a song? Heavens no, my kids would faint if I did that … in public. WRAP is a foster care support ministry at Brook Hills. It originated in concept about 5 years ago as a way to answer the call to care for those caring for the fatherless. This ministry started with a small group of us brainstorming ways we could help foster families. Over the years, we have come to realize that our original process had become more reactive instead of proactive. We depended on foster families asking for help. If you know any of our church’s foster families, you will know that asking for help is not in their DNA. So we needed to organize, prepare, and have a support system in place that covered their needs before they asked. This is why WRAP was implemented. WRAP provides the much needed intentional support to our families who are fostering kids.

WRAP is an acronym for:

W – Wrestle in Prayer. WRAPers are prayer warriors who have a heart for the hurting and who know who can help with that hurt. I mean they have a red phone hot line that rings directly to Heaven! They take the needs of these families and intentionally intercede on their behalf. They respect the stories of the families and foster kids and are able to talk to the Lord about those needs, but not their neighbors and friends.

Supplies needed to serve as a “W”: Bible, knee pads, and a “confidential stamp” on their lips.

R – Relief Care. WRAPers are babysitters on steroids. These men and women love love love kids. They play ball, throw a Frisbee, burp and rock babies, teach teens to cook brownies, kiss boo boos, car pool…. they give TIME. In doing this, they give a much needed break to the foster families. It can give foster parents alone time for a date night or alone time with their biological kids to remind these kiddos how fantastic they are, or alone time with just the foster kids to show them some unconditional love, or just alone time to stare out the window in a quite house for an hour.

Supplies needed to serve as an “R”: Bible, a smile, 1 day of required training to know how to deal with the hurting child and meet state requirements, and about an hour or two every once in a while to play with kids.

A - Acts of Service. WRAPers are the hands and feet of Jesus. Have you ever cooked a meal for a neighbor, helped a kid with homework, carpooled some kids to baseball practice, or picked up a gallon of milk or dry cleaning for a friend? If so, you are very qualified to be an “A.” You know how to serve. These “A” folks can rally up volunteers and have lasagna, bread, salad, and a pecan pie on someone’s door step in a blink of an eye.

Supplies needed to serve as an “A”: Bible, hospitality, flash cards with the multiplication tables, and a supply of disposable dishes. Optional: 1 day of required training as listed above - if you want to transport kids to appointments or practice.

P – Promises of God. Hallelujah! Did you read that? “PROMISES OF GOD!” He has commanded us to care for the fatherless; therefore, He has this thing rigged – right?!? BUT, when foster families are on the battlefield 24/7 fighting for these kids daily in their own house, it can be overwhelming. When loving little people who don’t necessarily know how to love them back, foster families can sink into a low place. Trusting that God is in control when they return a child (who has been in their home a day, a month, or years) back to their birth family - they might rejoice that the birth family has met their goals and grieve the loss of the child they have cared for, both at the same time. We as a church family are here to remind those foster families that what they are doing is so worth it! They need to hear from us, to be encouraged by us, to be reminded what our heavenly Father has to say. A WRAPer can send a card, make a phone call, or send an email – just to remind these families that they are not forgotten and are loved by us and by their Heavenly Father.

Supplies needed to serve as a “P” – Bible, a stash of stationary, unlimited minutes, and a rewards card at Hallmark.

I am a WRAPer – and you can be one too!

Our first Substitute Caregiver Training that is mentioned above will be Saturday, October 25, 8:30am-noon in Modulars 1, 14, 15, 16, & 17 at Brook Hills.
Click here for more information and to register.

If you would like to find out more about WRAP, please contact one of the following WRAP Team members:
Team Leader – Jeannette Thompson
W & P Coordinator – Kathy Bley
R Coordinator – Susan Nolin
A Coordinator – Caroline Campbell