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Reflecting on 10 Years of Ministry

By April 12, 2021August 19th, 2021Blog

by Jami Kaeb

We just crossed over the ten year mark at The Forgotten Initiative. Ten years of ministry! Crazy, right!? In some ways, it feels like the years have sped by, but at the same time, a lot of life has been lived in those years! What remains consistent is the faithfulness of our God. He has moved in incredible ways in my own life, our community, across our nation, and beyond!  
A verse I regularly come back to is Ephesians 3:20-21:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Amen is right!
When I first started TFI, I had no plan other than to bring support to those who were often forgotten in the foster care community. I could see a great need in our local agencies, and I saw how the Church could play a huge part in meeting those needs.
Today, God has turned those early desires and efforts into a nationwide ministry on a mission to help people everywhere support the foster care community and experience Jesus together!
The last ten years have been filled with joys, trials, lessons learned, and plenty of watching God do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine! I’m truly grateful to get to be a part of this work.
I certainly don’t have all the answers (never will!), but through this journey the Lord has taught me some important lessons I’d like to share with you. I hope these are an encouragement to you!

1) Don’t let the urgent control you.

When I first started TFI, I dove headlong into raising awareness, meeting needs, listening, and learning a lot. I also spent a lot of time on my laptop. I’d get a request from a worker, I’d post it on Facebook, allowing the thrill of the urgent fill me up as I checked and rechecked to see if the need had been met. 
Everything felt urgent. Everything felt important…only it wasn’t.
The pace I was running in those early days was not sustainable, nor was it healthy. I remember it was early on in this season when my husband, Clint, and I went on a vacation, just the two of us, and it was exactly what I needed to unplug, recharge, and realize what my priorities really were. TFI didn’t make it to the top of the list. Nor should it have.
This is something I continue to be reminded of now ten years later. We cannot let the urgent rob us of what is most important in our lives. Keep your relationship with Jesus first. Everything else flows from this.

2) When you focus, you flourish.

Because I had such a big, broad desire for the foster care community when I started TFI, I thought I needed to do anything and everything that was asked of me. I wanted to show the love of Jesus, of course! So I had to…right?
“Project Sunshine” was one of our first TFI projects, where we remodeled agency visit rooms to create welcoming spaces for kids and their families. These opportunities led me into a prison. We did the same thing there and called it Project Sunshine: Prison Edition.
I will always have fond memories of this, it was a beautiful way to show the love of Jesus, but it was not very foster-care focused.
As the years have gone by, we at TFI have increasingly honed in what we do and why we do it. Nowadays, we spend all our time and efforts on helping people launch and lead thriving foster care ministries. As we walk along our leaders, we provide them with coaching, community, and resources. This means, we don’t try to be everything to everyone anymore, and we are seeing fruit! Through our focused efforts, we are growing our impact and flourishing! 
God has a purpose for you! Follow Him, be who He calls you to be, and walk in obedience. Maybe, He’s even calling you to launch and lead a TFI ministry in your area!  We would love to help you! You can learn more about that at tfiadvocate.org.

3) Live with open hands, not closed fists.

I’ve said it time and time again over the last decade: I do not have all the answers, and yet incredibly, God gives me what I need, when I need it.
Jesus has walked with me every step of the way, and when I don’t know what to do next, or when things don’t go well, I find comfort and hope in Him. I’m sure you relate. 
Now, let’s be real, sometimes, it feels safer to “close our fists” and fight for control, and yet, I have found over and over that when I release my will or desire for control and remember who God really is, I feel SO free! Are you willing to trust God more than your fears? This is a question I ask myself often, because I want to live in freedom, and I want this for you, too!
As I reflect back on the last 10 years, I am excited and more passionate than ever to take on the next 10 years. We are focused, clear on our mission and vision, and living in anticipation and expectation of what God is going to do next. 
Now, my friends, I cannot close this note without thanking you. Whether you’ve been supporting us since Day 1, or just found us yesterday, we couldn’t do this without your generous support and prayers. We are truly in this together and I just love it!
Let’s just imagine what we could accomplish together over the next 10 years! The best is yet to come!
With joy,
Jami
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Jami Kaeb

Adoption, foster care, and advocacy were not part of Jami’s dreams for her life, but God changed her heart when He made her aware, and she is passionate about helping others become aware too! She and her husband Clint are parents to their seven children (five through adoption).

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