The Bruce’s Story
Ty and Rona Bruce first learned about Safe Families through their local church. Together they shared about why this ministry is so important to their family.
Ty – It was an opportunity to have our family serve together. Many times, it feels like we’re trying to stay afloat as a family and simply meet the needs of our own kids. The element of serving those outside of your family can easily be lost. Safe Families is a good way for our family to do ministry together in our home.
Rona – Foster care and adoption have always been in our hearts and minds. Safe Families seemed like something that we always wanted to do, and it appeared to have a strong community base.
The desire to support people in need led Ty and Rona to begin serving as a host family, showing hospitality to children while their parents got back on their feet.
The Bruce Family’s experience in this ministry has allowed them to see how their hospitality is such a vital gift in the lives of the children they have hosted.
Rona – Being a host family involves having someone’s life with you, and it is much more personal than simply donating money to a ministry. Hosting allows you to see the face and the life and the story of the people you are giving to. Having a person in your home and doing everyday life together makes the challenges that others go through more tangible.
I remember I thought serving through Safe Families should be a huge ministry, but after hosting all of these kids, I have realized that simply providing them with safety and offering space to play is so significant. The children hosted through Safe Families usually have many stress factors in their lives. We can just let them be kids and give them a rest from their regular life. Now I realize what a beautiful gift we are able to offer in giving them that freedom. Even if kids you host don’t specifically remember their time with you, something is imprinted on their heart and soul that they will remember for a long time to come.
Hospitality not only transforms the lives of children who are hosted. It also changes the lives of people who choose to practice it.
Ty and Rona shared about how their family has learned to love more sacrificially as well as hold their possessions more loosely after opening up their lives to serve as a host family.
Rona – It has been amazing to see my kids learn to make small sacrifices. I usually tell people that hosting has brought out the best in all of us. Every time the children we host have left, I have been able to tell my kids they were awesome and point out specific things I saw them do out of selflessness. My eyes are opened to see their sacrifices. I see things coming out in Ty when we are hosting kids, and I see things coming out in my kids while I’m hosting and have been overwhelmed with God’s goodness.
Ty – Gaining the perspective that the possessions and resources we have actually belong to God has been so important for our family.
Hospitality can feel mundane, but its eternal impact is powerful. By opening your home, you have many opportunities to share the Gospel both through words and actions while seeing God’s faithfulness even more clearly.
Rona – We have been able to tell the kids we have hosted about Jesus both through our lives and by reading the Bible together. There are things God can change in them through us. I have a list of the kids we’ve hosted and still pray for them weekly or as they come to mind.
Ty – Kids are watching you constantly, and you have to be aware that you’re representing Christ to them. Not everything has to be a big ministry moment but simply steps of faith that God has called us to do. We remind ourselves to simply be faithful each day to what the Lord calls us to.
Rona – Through the ministry of Safe Families, God has revealed some different things to me. I was in social work before I had kids and worked in the school system. I would hear many stories from kids in my office telling me things they shouldn’t have even known about! I remember wanting to take them home.
When we learned about Safe Families, God reminded me that I had always loved caring for kids in need before, and now I had another chance to put that desire into action. He was answering prayers that I had forgotten about, and His faithfulness came through!
Showing hospitality is rarely glamorous but instead a simple act of faith in obedience to God’s call to care for those in need.
Not only has the Bruce family been able to share their lives with the children they host, they have also witnessed God’s faithfulness to their family and seen the eternal impact of the Safe Families ministry. Hospitality blesses those in need, and it also brings great joy to the giver.
This story is courtesy of our Fort Wayne, Indiana chapter. Written by Navy Shrock.
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