Run 4 Their Lives 2016
October 14, 2015
Trafficking Arrests in Knoxville and East TN
May 27, 2016

This Thanksgiving, Street Hope is grateful for our church and community partners. We love working together in creating safe communities for our kids. Together, we envision a day when all children of Tennessee have the opportunity to live in a culture free of exploitation and injustice.

As we celebrate this season of giving thanks, we want to introduce you to one of our partners. Listen in to our interview with Lauren Wilson of Bethany Christian Services of East Tennessee to find out why we are so grateful for our partners!

Bethany Christian Services

What needs do you see children and families facing today?

At Bethany in East TN, we serve many children and families by helping to bring families together through various adoption services (domestic, older child, international, and embryo), but we also help to keep families together through our Safe Families for Children program that provides temporary housing to children for their families facing a crisis like homelessness, drug rehabilitation, or loss of a job. We also provide free pregnancy counseling 24/7 to any woman facing a crisis pregnancy, and help to walk with them along their journey of making an adoption plan or a plan to parent their child.

Through our work at Bethany, we have seen an increased need for adoptive homes for children with special placement needs through our international countries. Many children across the world need a home, but many of them are above the age of 2 with minor to moderate special needs, specifically in China. It has been amazing to see God bringing families from East TN to our doors that are open to providing loving homes to these children.

There is also an increased need for adoptive homes for older children here in East TN, and that can be any child from age 2 years up to a teenager. We are seeing an increased number of babies born exposed to drugs in utero through our work with pregnant women, and it is certainly a problem facing our community in this area. We have worked with birthparents that make an adoption plan and give birth to a child exposed to drugs, so we are in need of families open to adopting children with prenatal drug or alcohol exposure.

Our Safe Families for Children ministry has been inundated with calls for host homes for children where their families are homeless or have no place to live. Housing is very difficult to find at short notice in Knoxville and surrounding counties, and we are seeing more and more families getting on waiting lists for housing. We have provided many host homes for these children to have a safe place to stay while their parent(s) can work out a plan for housing. We are also getting many calls to provide hostings for adolescent children, and we need more families/couples willing to provide a host home for these older children. We believe God will work in the hearts of those who have already parented older children or empty nesters that are willing to sacrifice their time to care for these adolescent children.

Are there Bethany Christian Services events happening this fall?

Bethany offered 3 opportunities in November. Information about events like these can be found on the website.

  • The Bethany Annual Benefit Dinner on Thursday, November 5th at The Foundry in Knoxville. There was no charge, but reservations were required.
  • On November 18th a free Lunch & Learn Training was presented by Dr. Karen Howell of Emory University covering topics of prenatal drug exposure and maternal substance abuse and how it affects children’s development. Lunch was provided by Chick-Fil-A.
  • Knoxville’s FIRST Citywide Foster Care and Adoption Conference hosted by KAFCAM was held Saturday, November 21st at Pellissippi State Community College Hardin Valley Campus. Area agencies and professionals were available to answer questions along with information sessions, coffee talk chats, and great training opportunities.

Do you have needs for volunteers to get involved?

We are in need of area churches in Knox, Blount, Jefferson, and Washington counties that would like to consider becoming a partner in our Safe Families for Children ministry. This ministry depends on the support of the church to help us find safe, loving Christian homes. We are in need of Christian host homes in these counties to provide temporary housing to children in need. We also collect ‘Birthmother Bags’ for our clients making an adoption plan for their child – these bags are given to them at the hospital when they give birth. Learn about Safe Families for Children here.

How can we pray for Bethany’s work in our community?

Pray with us that God will raise up families in Knoxville who are willing to step in and follow His call to care for the orphan and widow. We would also like prayers for our expansion of the Safe Families for Children ministry in 2016 and specifically prayers for Blount, Jefferson, and Washington Counties to help us grow the ministry in those regions, so we can serve more families and children.

Street Hope gives thanks for partners like Bethany who impact risk factors for DMST. Since 1944, Bethany Christian Services has been reaching out to vulnerable children. As a worldwide and community leader in adoption and family services, Bethany knows that a child’s best chance to thrive is as part of a safe, loving, forever family. Because of the ministry of Bethany in the Knoxville, Tri-Cities, and surrounding East Tennessee counties, many hearts are giving thanks!

Learn more about our partner Bethany Christian Services here.

Meet all of our church and community partners here.

Tuesday, December 1st is Giving Tuesday. You can give to support Street Hope TN here.