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A mom, a minivan, and a mission

I never knew how life-changing a minivan could be until that very first time we took a family road trip. For some reason, adding another little person to our family came with a whole lot of stuff, especially when traveling. We were fortunate to borrow a van as we embarked on our first trip as a family of four one Christmas several years ago and it was not long after that we decided to take the plunge and become a minivan family. The trunk space alone was reason enough to put aside all of our previous misconceptions of owning a “mom van” and never look back!

Fast forward to our life now and we could not be more grateful or proud of our minivan. It has held more precious cargo than I could count over the years. In it lives all the things we may certainly ever need for any situation. Tissues, wipes, books, all the snacks, multiple car seats, room for our teenage exchange student and her friends, endless seat configurations for whatever may need to be hauled around. Our van has not only been reliable transportation for us but it has also served as a literal vehicle for ministry and I am so proud and grateful for it!

I can never remember a time growing up when my mom’s minivan wasn’t full. Whether it was a random combination of kids, neighbors, an extra car seat just in case a young mom needed a break, my mom was always ready and prepared for any situation. I learned from the best! I was the oldest child in my family and many memories I have involve my mom’s minivan. I could always count on that van to be full of people ready to cheer for me at whatever I was participating in. Mom’s van was usually filled with groceries to feed our growing family or whoever else happened to be over at our house that day. It was the vehicle I learned to drive when it became time to get my license and I was probably not particularly proud of being seen around town in it!

That van was safe and familiar to me. I cannot help but think of how vans may feel different for children in our foster care system. A social worker in a minivan may signal time to pack up and move to a new placement along with all of a child’s belongings. Time in the van for a child in the foster care system may invoke feelings of sadness, confusion, and frustration with having to transition yet again. The lack of stability for a child in foster care can cause children to feel isolated and alone. Yet, we as Christians are called to fight for the orphan. James 1:27 says “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world”. While we are most certainly not all called to be foster parents or to adopt, how can we use what we have to make an imprint on a child searching for their forever family?

In my current season, I am challenged to use my minivan as a vehicle for ministry. I desire to fill the trunk with hot meals for families who just need a break from thinking about what to prepare for dinner one night. I hope to pack it full of supplies that can be used to support families welcoming a foster child into their home or ones who finally get the call that their adoption is ready to be completed and it’s time to pick up their child! I hope to be the first in the carpool line to scoop up whoever needs a ride home from school or practice. I think we are all equipped with ways to be a blessing to others in the name of Jesus. It does not have to be a grand or elaborate feat but saying yes to the Lord’s leading is great Kingdom work. I once heard a quote that has always resonated with me. Erma Bombeck said, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and I could say, “I used everything you gave me.”

And one day, I hope to fill every seat in my van, whether it be with more children to call our own, or my kids friends, or my friends kids. I will proudly tote around a van full of kids for God’s glory while blaring worship music and embarrassing them all with my singing! We are all called to use whatever we have to advance the Kingdom and that does not mean that each believer is asked to foster or adopt a child. However, let’s rally together and cheer on families who are called into this ministry.

Will you commit to lifting up children in foster care in prayer? Pray for the orphan crisis in your city, in our country, around the world. Pray for the biological parents of foster children that they may come to know Jesus through their journey. Pray for stability for these kids. Pray for the family doing the hard work of foster care. Pray for their hearts as they welcome children as their own and potentially have to say goodbye when it’s time for that child to transition. Pray for our government leaders to have the best interest of the child in mind and to receive discernment from the Lord when it comes to the child’s future. Pray for the family who will step in and say yes to adoption in order to provide an orphan with a forever family. Pray for the Lord to reveal how you can get involved.

Maybe you can be the hands and feet of Jesus by meeting a tangible need for a family in the midst of this journey. Can you provide respite care for a foster family for a weekend? All families need help sometimes and this would be a huge blessing to a family. Can you make a double batch of spaghetti and feed a family with a bunch of kids one night? Can you check on the mom who feels like she’s drowning in laundry and offer to come fold some while she rests for a bit? Can you speak truth to the child who is hurting and does not know how to express themselves in a time of such transition?

Maybe the Lord is tugging on your heart to consider becoming a foster family. I challenge you not to ignore that gentle nudge. Will it be difficult and pull on your heart strings? Most definitely but isn’t Kingdom work worth that? Can you provide love, support, joy, and the experience every child deserves in your home? Maybe God is calling you to say yes to this endeavor. Maybe He will surprise you and show you just how strong you are.

When we say yes to just one more child, then we are saying yes to potentially one less orphan. God will honor our yes and He will provide. He will surround you with people who will cheer for you and help meet your needs. Think about the impact you could have in the life of a child who has never heard about how much Jesus loves them. What if God is planning to use you to provide just what that child needs in order to become all He intended them to be? Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Ephesians 3:20. Do you have an extra seat in your van?

My name is Meghan Wallace and I am honored to forever be married to the love of my life, Tyler. Together we have two children who are growing up way too fast. Zeke will celebrate his 6th birthday next week and our daughter Lucy will soon be 3. I once asked for my parents to adopt a baby for Christmas and God felt it fit for our family to say yes! I was 19 when my brother Derek was adopted as a newborn baby from Las Vegas and he was my favorite thing to show off at college. Mom and dad said yes again to adoption when they were grandparents to my children and most people thought they were crazy to be starting all over again! But God knew we needed Christian in our family and after 3 long years of praying, filling out paperwork, flying back and forth to Africa and not ever knowing if he would really be able to come home, God made a way and he was lucky child number 7, the last missing piece to our family puzzle.

I will always be the first to say how proud I am of the family God has chosen for me. There’s like, a lot of us! And I would not change a thing. I count every one of my six siblings, their spouses, their babies, and my wonderful parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins as some of the greatest blessings in my life. We are there for each other and goodness do we show up as a group! It is my true heart’s desire to continue to fight for every child’s right to have a loving, supportive, and stable family. I pray that God will use the One More One Less Project in mighty ways to raise awareness about the orphan crisis in our city, country, and around the world. I pray that I can be a voice for the children who need someone to cheer for them, hug them, feed them, drive them. I am committed to saying yes to whatever the Lord has for me and our little family in terms of how to step up and step into the world of foster care and adoption. It is a true joy and honor to have been asked to serve on the board of the One More One Less Project and you can count on me and my minivan to be there every step of the way.

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