By the time Lisa Walker Gilbert was four, she had already lived in 15 foster homes. When she finally arrived at the home of the woman who would adopt her, it was clear the foster experience had left the four-year-old with severe abandonment issues, including being the size of an 18-month-old, being unwilling to take her jacket off under any circumstance and an inability to sleep anywhere but her home until she was 16 years old.
Today she is a social worker with a caseload that mainly consists of chronic runaways. It is gut-wrenching, emotionally draining work to place children into foster homes from which they will run away, have to be caught and then returned— only to have it happen over and over again until the child is 18.
Not long after she received Christ, she felt God was calling her to start a ministry. “I felt like God was telling me to take my experiences of being in the foster system, being a social worker and a Christian and combine them to change the lives of foster kids and parents.”
The Foster Youth Mentor ministry prepares people for becoming foster mentors. Lisa has seen all too frequently how desperate foster parents are for a stabilizing influence in the life of their foster child who suffers from years of having been moved from home to home. Studies have shown that foster kids who were mentored do better in the home and after they leave.
“We are looking for committed Christians who will come into the lives of these kids and show them consistent, unconditional love,” say Lisa. “The main thing we want to do is to prove to them the staying power of the love of Christ.”
For more information about the Foster Youth Mentor Ministry, click here »