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We are so thrilled to introduce the first half of our Winter 2022 TFI Advocate Training Cohort. We were overwhelmed with how lovely these individuals are, and we are so excited for you to be able to get to know them better. Would you pray with us for the launch of their ministries?

Bethany Riley, Sarpy County, NE:
Bethany lives in Sarpy County, Nebraska with her wonderful husband, Benji. Together they have their one-year-old son, Weston, and are foster parents to many who come and go along the way.
When asked, “Why do you want to be a TFI Advocate?” she shared:
“Christ calls us to be involved in the lives of the marginalized, the broken, and especially the children who have no place to call home – and there are so many ways that we, as Christians, could be doing that – but a lot of people just don’t know where to even begin. As a foster parent, I get so many questions as people are genuinely curious but I often don’t have anywhere or anything to lead them to, besides becoming a foster parent, donating items to shelters, or becoming a respite caregiver. I know that we all have God-given gifts, and I wish there was someplace I could point people to so that they could utilize those gifts for the fostering world. When people are able to relieve the pressure off of social workers, agency workers, agencies, foster parents, and the countless other people who are directly involved by using their own personal calling and gifts, Christ is physically shown and represented. What a great picture this paints.”
Please pray that the agency in our community feels supported and that they have people who want to lift them up in their time of need.
Jessie Barnes, Dubuque, IA:
Jessie is a proud wife to her husband, Justin. Together they have two amazing kiddos, Maddox who is 9 years old, and Ava who is 6 years old. They live in Dubuque, Iowa, where Justin recently took over ownership of the local Chick-fil-A.
When asked, “Why do you want to be a TFI Advocate?” she shared:
“Several years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to TFI, I learned what an advocate was and have been faithfully listening to the podcast since (and if I’m being honest, a little envious, feeling like I was on the outside looking in). It was a few weeks ago that I started feeling God tug on my heart to possibly pursue the advocacy route. Then I listened to the podcast with Leah Johnson and her story resonated with me a such a big way. She has similar passions and desires, and though her life didn’t play out as she had thought it would, it didn’t hold her back from allowing her passions to still serve the community through an advocacy role. Since then, there have been multiple moments where I feel like God is leading me along in this direction. I’m simply trying to be faithful, and take the next step!”
My prayer would be for the church body to rally and get on board with the mission of TFI here in the Dubuque area. It’s been a little slow moving for now and I’m excited for the day when the church is ready and waiting for ways they can jump in.
Cheri Triplett, Jacksonville, IL:
Cheri is wife to Jason and mom to Joshua, Emma, Hunter, Jakob, and Evelyn. With one adult-child launched, 3 teens in high school, and a kindergartener there is never a dull moment! Cheri is a pastor’s wife and women’s ministry leader in their small local church and is also the executive director of the pregnancy resource center. When she is not serving in one of those capacities you can find her on the sidelines of a football field, basketball court, or track cheering on every member of the team! Cheri and her family reside in Rushville, IL. 
When asked, “Why do you want to be a TFI Advocate?” she shared:
“I love the mission of helping people everywhere experience Jesus together. I work as Executive Director of our local pregnancy center and work part-time as a nurse at our county jail. I see firsthand the experience of bio families whose children are in care. I know Jesus is the answer and TFI does an amazing job living out that mission.”
Please pray for our local agency to find an office soon. They are currently forced to work remotely when the office they occupied had major structural issues that caused an immediate evacuation. Their job is already difficult and this just adds another layer of hard.
Natalie Lewis, Twin Falls, ID:
Natalie and her husband, Kyle, moved from Louisville KY to Twin Falls ID within the last year to join up with and support a local church plant. They have 3 kids- Reese, Declan, and Addie.
When asked, “Why do you want to be a TFI Advocate?” she shared:
“My family and I recently moved to Twin Falls Idaho from Louisville KY to help support a church plant. While we are just a baby church here in Idaho, we long for foster care to be implanted in the beginning DNA of our new church, TFCC (Twin Falls Community Church). Before moving from KY we became foster care certified and during the process, my and my husband’s burden and passion grew immensely for all involved in foster care. We were met with many hurdles along the way in the midst of what was a new pandemic, but learning how to press on in what felt like a system that wasn’t really rooting for us to become certified, only increased our heart to become foster parents more. In the end, shortly after becoming certified, we believed the Lord was leading us to Twin Falls to support our friends in their endeavor to church plant. So we only had a short time to be respite care for foster families before our move, but it gave us an itch to jump into the foster care community here in Twin Falls. We have become aware of the major need here in Idaho for foster care support and for a healthy local church to become involved as well. There is such a need and so little awareness. I don’t honestly know what becoming a TFI advocate would fully include, but I really desire to be a voice in our community and church body for foster families- for the kids, the bio parents, foster parents, the workers, etc. And I would love to be any part of sparking a flame within our year-old church that sees the desperate need to get involved in this hard and holy work of fostering. Especially as the church.”
Please pray that the foster care agency here knows our church is in their corner. That they would feel seen, supported, and served in a way that builds trust and partnership. That they would know kids in foster care, bio parents, agency workers, and foster parents ALL matter to us. And that the hope of the gospel would seep into, and transform their entire community.