Faith Focus: We are family

Editor’s note: April is National Volunteer Month. All month, we’ll be featuring devotional thoughts from Buckner volunteers around Texas. If you’d like to browse our online database of current volunteer opportunities, click here.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” –Proverbs 22:6

When I was a child, I felt like an orphan trying to survive my parents’ divorce, even though I lived with them. I couldn’t process that painful situation. I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus therefore I became a very problematic person.

By the time I received Jesus Christ as my savior, I was broken. I was trying to survive in every situation with an orphan way of thinking. During my first years as a Christian, I went through recovery and found my strength in God.

Two years ago, I felt the Lord calling me to help children who were in difficult situations like I was. I knew I had to teach them his word and how to have a relationship with Jesus so they’d know they weren’t alone.

Around the same time, my pastor was encouraging church members to create a new ministry called “Outreach” based on Matthew 25:35-36: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”

That is how everything started. I talked to my pastor and elders. They supported the idea and we contacted Buckner to start serving. When we started sharing the idea with some friends at church, the response was incredible. Every time we come to Buckner, we bring a full team of loving volunteers who are willing and anxious to spread Jesus’ love to the beautiful children here at Buckner.

It has been a little bit more than a year since that first visit to Buckner. We have seen lots of improvement. It is so beautiful to see them raise their hands to worship Jesus. We declare over the kids what is says on Psalm 68:5-6, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families …”

They are our little brothers and sisters, and we are teaching them God’s word and helping them to create that love connection with their redeemer so they can love Jesus with all their hearts, souls and minds.

Mariela Arrieta is a member of Mundo de Fe church and leads the outreach ministry that has been serving with Buckner for more than a year. Mariela and her team of volunteers plan engaging ministry activities for foster children.

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