Monday, September 8, 2008


People F.E.S.T. was good. We went both days. My husband volunteered at the Good News Jail ministry booth on Sunday afternoon, while my son and I enjoyed sampling all the goodies—kettle corn, corn dogs and multiple flavors of shaved ice! There was a nice kid zone and my son enjoyed playing in all the inflatable astro jumps. My sister and her kids joined us on Sunday afternoon and I think the kids enjoyed the Christian bands.

The gentleman from Uganda who spearheaded the festival shared with my husband and I that a pastor had advised him not to use the name of Jesus Christ, nor give an altar call as this would put people off! Now, this was billed as an ashamedly Christian evangelistic event—from their posters, to their website, to their press releases, to the radio commercials. And a pastor would discourage the mention of the name of Christ???? And America is sending out missionaries to other countries??? Thankfully, the main organizer and the bands did not heed this advice—they relied on God’s Word. The main organizer clearly proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ on Saturday and Sunday and relied on the Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts of the hearers. Joseph Rojas, front man and songwriter for Seventh Day Slumber also gave a moving testimony of his transformation from a former criminal and drug addict to a redeemed husband and father. Praise God for the people who came forward to make a public confession in a public park during the altar call—and in California, no less!

On the adoption front, during the festival, we meet a couple who adopted 2 boys. I love hearing how God directs people to their children. The couple had started the adoption process through the foster system and had also informed friends and family of their adoption plans. They ended up doing private adoptions for both boys as people led them to two mothers who were making adoption plans for their unborn children. They also have an infant bio son and all three boys are gorgeous. We also got to speak to two wonderful ladies at a “Birthright” booth, which is a Pregnancy Ministry that seeks to counsel women to choose life for their unborn babies when faced with an unplanned pregnancy as well as offering counseling to women going through psychological trauma of abortion. One of the volunteers at the booth said one of the main reasons people choose abortion is because they cannot bear the thought of giving up their baby for adoption. So it is easier to allow your unborn baby to be cut up into pieces during an abortion or have a doctor partially deliver the baby, crack open the skull and suck out the brain before delivering the fully formed baby. If the baby survives the abortion, the baby is left in a sink to die. This is the better choice? Anyhoo, the lady advised she would keep us in mind if she met someone who was making a choice for life for their unborn baby and wanted to make an adoption plan.

Our local Child Welfare Agency also had a booth at the festival. I never saw a solitary soul go to their booth and the two social workers manning the booth were not making any effort to talk to anyone. I almost went to volunteer there!!! Come on people!!! Children in my County and State are in crises, they need good foster and adoptive parents and the outreach social workers are not making any effort? I think the social workers are so apathetic and they all seem so jaded. I have yet to meet a social worker who works with the Child Welfare Agency who seems to have any passion for the children they are charged with protecting. I think the two social workers only wanted to put in their overtime and then go back to the office and complain that people are not willing to step up to the plate to foster or adopt children from the foster care system. Boy, am I starting to sound like an activist!!! I am convinced that the system is not doing enough to ensure that the hurting children who have had to be removed from abusive or neglected homes go into loving homes. Instead, they are herded into group homes where nobody cares. It does not help that just this week in my county, a 15 year old girl died from abuse and tortue at the hands of her foster parent--her paternal aunt. The autopsy revealed that she had been burned with hot irons and whipped with belts and electrical cords over a long period of time. Her twin brother also suffered from long-term abuse and he is in protective custody. The children had not attended school since September 2007 and after the fact, people now report seeing black eyes and signs of physical abuse, but no-one did anything! The Child Welfare Agency was supposed to be making regular visits to the home, but the last visit made was in September 2007! If only they would have done their jobs, maybe this child would be alive today and her brother would not have to deal with lifelong issues from the torture he has had to endure and losing his sister in such a horrendous way.

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase (1st Corinthians 3: 6-7, KJV).

1 comment:

Michelle Riggs said...

The People fest sounds wonderful. I would have loved to be here too.

Thanks for praying or Abby!