Prescott cabin provides safe space for families

By Robin Talley* | Feb 2, 2022

Southern Baptist churches in Yavapai County and across the state responded financially and with physical labor to help remodel a cabin for use by ABCS Arms of Love Foster Care and Parent Aide ministry.

For more than 60 years, Arizona Baptist Children’s Services & Family Ministries (ABCS) has partnered with Arizona Southern Baptists to share the love of Christ while meeting the physical needs of families in crisis. In 2021, Yavapai County Southern Baptists collaborated with ABCS and their Arms of Love Foster Care and Parent Aide ministry to continue that partnership in a big way.

Growing needs

When a family enters the foster care system, the court mandates supervised visits as a condition of the reuniting process. ABCS parent aides supervise these visits. The demand for a place for supervised visits grew even greater in 2020 as many of the public venues available for these types of meetings were closed due to health and safety concerns.

“One of the biggest hindrances to family reunification is the lack of a place to hold supervised visits,” said Hillary Horn, Arms of Love Foster Care licensing specialist.

Arms of Love Foster Care also provides parenting education and other community education classes. What they needed was a large, safe, secure place to offer training to families in the area.

Additionally, the Yavapai Foster Care Closet for all families licensed with any agency in the area needed to be reestablished. Last-minute foster care placements often need supplies such as diapers, clothes and car seats quickly.

“We wanted the resource closet to be available to the greater foster community in Yavapai County,” said Michelle Clements, ABCS vice president of development and communications.

Working together

For the past several years, ABCS has partnered with First Southern Baptist Church of Prescott Valley (FSBCPV) by renting part of their cabin to provide foster care and parent aide families in the area with support. When the need for more space was presented, the church decided that ABCS should use the entire cabin space.

Southern Baptist churches in the area and across the state responded generously to ABCS’s call for help with the cash and in-kind donations to transform the cabin. Raising nearly $40,000, the remodeled cabin was ready for use in November 2021.

“We are so grateful to the Prescott and Prescott Valley communities and our partnership with First Southern Baptist Church of Prescott Valley in remodeling the cabin,” said Lauren Belcher, ABCS northern region program administrator. “This is a beautiful space where families will be able to connect and spend quality time together in a home-like setting, instead of an office. Our hope is that we can minister to hurting children and families in the community and share with them the love and grace of Christ.”

Sharing the love of Christ

“We have hope and assurance of faith through the actions that Christ took. In the same way, the actions of ABCS and the Yavapai County Southern Baptists are bringing hope to children and families by living out Christ’s character as they meet the needs of the foster community,” said Jackie Boyd, member of ABCS Board of Trustees and assistant pastor at First Southern Baptist Church of Chino Valley.

Having a safe and comfortable setting like the Prescott cabin that meets the specific needs of Yavapai County families is a practical way to share hope and care with hurting children and their families.

“We are not in a foreign country, but the foster care environment is a huge mission field. The opportunities we are given to share the love of Christ through words and actions with caseworkers, state workers, parents and children are significant,” Clements said.

Next Steps

  • PRAY: Pray for Christians within the foster care environment to be salt and light and share the love of Christ. Pray about becoming a foster parent or parent aide.
  • GIVE: Donate to the Foster Care Closet in Yavapai County or one in your area.
  • GO: Consider volunteering with ABCS. To find a location near you, use the form at abcs.org/volunteer-application/.
  • SHARE: Do you have a building or property that you could share? Safe, comfortable, home-like locations for supervised visits for families and children are needed in all areas of Arizona.

*Name changed for security

Robin Talley*, longtime Arizona Southern Baptist, is a Last Frontier missionary with the International Mission Board.

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