This September, and throughout Spring, we are sharing a blog series, “Letters to the Church.” These are letters written from some of the Christian women I have had the privilege of getting to know throughout our foster care ministry. I’ve asked them to write letters to the Church, to share their stories, and say what they really wish so many more knew about standing for those who might otherwise have to stand alone.
Our second letter is from my friend Kristy. Brilliant teacher, communicator, and friend. She knows first-hand what it is to belong to a foster family, and has just recently started working with the Pyjama Foundation.
24th February 1947. Hadspan, Tasmania. A precious baby boy born to two loving parents and six older siblings, with 3 more children to arrive in the years to follow. That same boy, 4 years later, would find his hardworking, beautiful mother tragically passed away in the backyard of their family home. Unable to manage the grief and loss of his wife and the demands of 10 young children the boy’s father made the difficult decision to send a group of the siblings to live in Sydney where they would reside in institutionalised care for the remainder of their childhood years. The boy amongst those siblings. It is hard to bear the thought of grief, loss, trauma and heartache that surrounds this circumstance for father and children alike.
Some 17 years before that precious boy was a born, Miss Florence Dalwood was obedient to the dream God had placed in her heart to open a Christian Home for children in need. Lutanda Children’s Home was opened in Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains and the Home was run on the principle of faith in God’s supply. After Miss Dalwood’s passing in 1949, Lutanda moved into a large purpose-built orphanage in metropolitan Sydney which housed 50-60 children in separate buildings for boys and girls. God raised up faithful and loving Christian leaders and carers to meet the needs of the children living in the Home. Praise God for Miss Dalwood’s obedience and faith, that precious boy and his siblings had a Home to live in and Christian guardians to care for them.
That precious boy grew in years and stature. With a heart dedicated to the Lord and a young wife whose gifting and wisdom were beyond her years, the couple gave their lives wholeheartedly to the Lord and followed the road of Miss Dalwood’s obedience to serve as Houseparents at Lutanda Children’s Home. Some seasons of service requiring great challenge and sacrifice but always secured by the knowledge of God’s faithful presence and leading. Many children in need have passed through the loving-kindness and care of this man and his wife, the children’s lives impacted for eternity. Recently, that man was asked if he knew the exact number of children he and his wife had cared for and his response, marked with grace and wisdom, ‘it is not the question of how many, it is about the love of the one’.
That precious boy, whose grey hair is now a crown of splendour, is my Dad. I look forward to the day where I can truly express my love for Miss Dalwood and for her obedience to the call of the Lord on her life.
Brothers and sisters, it is about the love of the one. Let’s pray faith-filled prayers for the 46000 children currently living in out-of-home care in Australia. Our Heavenly Father knows each one by name. Let’s be obedient to follow the call of the Lord on our life. Let us, as the Church, not pull back or be overwhelmed by the need in this space but let us remember that what we do for the one, even though it appears insignificant, is made significant by God.
Love from Kristy x
If you would like more information about how your church can stand for the vulnerable children in your community, download our free guide on how to host a Stand Sunday this Spring.