Blog  /  Advancing Grace, Foster/Adopt, Grace, Parenting  /  God’s Grace Sets Foster Families Free

Advancing Grace, Family Matters, Grace Based Parenting

 

Family Matters encourages foster families to do the tough but rewarding job of caring for God’s forgotten children.

 

Family Matters has a vision to see families transformed by God’s grace into instruments of restoration and reformation.  That’s exactly what has happened to Peter and Julie Bartolini. Although they consider themselves “extraordinarily average people” – what God’s grace has done to their lives and through their lives is far from average.

 

The Bartolinis believe that because God has shown his amazing grace to them, they can’t help but show that same grace to others. When asked how they decided to become foster parents nearly 10 years and 26 placements ago, Peter shared, “We held out our hands and said, ‘God, we’re available to serve you.  Please use us.’” He went on to say, “The answer became so clear.  To be these kids’ mom and dad as long as God needs us to be.”

 

Although Peter and Julie sometimes feel wrung-out, they marvel at the joy they experience in caring for these needy children.  Julie put it this way, “For some reason, it’s never been hard for me to love a child that wasn’t born to me.  I truly believe these are my kids.  God is able to draw me to them and connect our hearts.  That can only be Christ’s love.”

 

When asked why they chose foster parenting, they point to Family Matters.  The Family Matters messages about Living a Front Lines Faith and Engaging your own Family in Ministry were catalysts.  Through a deeper understanding of God’s power and grace, the Bartolinis learned to overcome fear, engage with culture, and serve sacrificially.

Bartolini-Family-Photo-4

For Julie, who came to faith in her mid-twenties, Family Matters was a clear voice in her early faith life. “Although I was raised in a loving home, the message of God’s transforming grace was a new concept.  When we’re not in touch with our sin and inadequacy, we don’t know how much we need God.  I love the big picture that Family Matters points me to.”

 

“It was Family Matters’ grace message that convicted us to live out a faith as radical as what you read about in Scripture.”  Together Peter and Julie believe one of the best ways to help their own kids develop a genuine faith is to serve others on a regular basis.  Fostering allows the Bartolinis to serve others every day.

 

One of Peter’s favorite verses comes from Galatians 5:1, which reads, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”  This couple’s passionate desire to see families set free by the power of God’s grace is ultimately what motivates them.

 

Peter currently serves as a member of the Family Matters Board and National Speaker Team.  When asked why he does this, Peter shared it’s because Family Matters has concisely captured a comprehensive Biblical relationship plan that more people need to hear.

 

Fostering is at times a great inconvenience but this family decided long ago to willingly and joyfully inconvenience themselves for the Kingdom of God.  They did so in response to Christ’s willingness to inconvenience Himself for us.  With service now part of their family DNA, God’s grace continues to transform their lives, and they can’t help but share the good news with the world around them.

 


Ministering to foster parents is one of the many things we do at Family Matters. Won’t you please join us in sharing with these families the freedom found in Christ and his love for them?

Your tax-deductible gift will enable us to reach foster families with the liberating message of God’s grace.  Together we can help foster parents meet the many needs of these precious children.

 

Because Every Family Matters,

 

Dr. Tim Kimmel

Michelle Broek is the Director of Advancement for Family Matters. She spends much of her time figuring out ways to advance the message of Grace. We have the privilege at Family Matters to see God change countless lives and then see those very people go on to become passionate ambassadors for the message of Grace. In the “Advancing Grace” series, Michelle shares some of her favorite stories of people turned ambassadors for a life-changing message.

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