As a part of the Christian community here in South Florida, I would imagine you’ve likely heard the name “4KIDS” over the years. Since 1997, 4KIDS has been changing the lives of kids and families in crisis. In fact, this year we’re celebrating 25 years and over 30,000 lives impacted!
God is at work for the vulnerable
What I would also imagine is that you likely aren’t accustomed to hearing the latest stories and updates that come straight out of our community’s vulnerable population of children and families and how God is using His people to change those lives in powerful ways. Whenever I meet with a partner or friend for lunch, I share the latest information from the frontlines of child welfare and beyond. Over those lunches I see businessmen and women, leaders, pastors, and others all shocked by the realities that kids in crisis face in our backyard. I also see these individuals ignited with a call from God to make a difference and join in on the miraculous work being done on behalf of kids and families.
While I imagine I likely can’t have lunch with every Good News reader, I can still invite you to pull up a chair and listen to the latest God stories with me and get introduced to a new way to make an impact or to pray together as we work to eternally impact the Kingdom.
Since we are having “lunch,” how about I introduce myself first! In 2006, my wife Michelle and I were at our home church Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale when we first heard about 4KIDS. At the time, we were relatively new Christians, and we were open to how God would use us. We were learning more about God’s Word and His heart for the vulnerable, like in James 1:27 where it says: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” It was through that season that we opened our home as foster and later adoptive parents. The way God has spoken to and inspired His people to move toward children and families in crisis has been a beautiful legacy and testimony through not just my family, but hundreds and even thousands of others. Since 1997, 4KIDS has licensed over 1,300 Christian Foster Families who have offered love and the hope of Jesus to children in their homes.
4KIDS was searching for a new president after Doug Sauder became the lead pastor at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. Through God’s divine orchestrating, I was humbled and honored to receive the role as President and CEO of 4KIDS in 2017. I have spent my entire career in business, with 30 years of experience, and bringing that unique lens to 4KIDS has accelerated innovation as we implement business best practices that can make a tremendous difference for nonprofits, while maximizing the ministry focus on kids and families in crisis who need to know the Hope of our Savior.
Impact that grows beyond
To say this journey changed my life hardly encompasses the way my heart has changed through being a foster and adoptive dad. That’s the amazing thing about what God is doing through this work – it’s not just impacting the vulnerable kids we serve, but it’s changing our lives, as those who serve, in the process.
In the deepest sense, we’ve all been touched by the restoration and beauty of adoption – all who have put our hope and trust in Jesus, have been spiritually adopted into the family of God. It’s no wonder the people who have served through 4KIDS have experienced their own transformation as they work to transform the lives of others. We see it in the ways 4KIDS continue to expand and deepen our reach year after year. This is revival.
New impact strategies
4KIDS is on an incredible track for growth and impact. And in the last five years we’ve expanded healing through our unique EPIC Therapeutic Approach with over 30 therapists on staff. We’ve also expanded hope through prevention provided through CarePortal, reaching over 2,200 children and 3,000 individuals, which has surpassed $500,000 economic impact on our community since November 2020. So much of this is possible through uniting local churches who come together to wrap-around kids and families. I am often asked by other nonprofits about our strategies for growth, and we enjoy sharing a lot of those through conversations on our Advocate 4KIDS Podcast, which is accessible on Apple Podcast and on Spotify.
I look forward to sharing stories from the frontlines with you, as we link arms to share God’s heart for the vulnerable. Hearing these stories and serving their needs allows us to impact lives for eternity! To learn more, visit 4kids.us
4KIDS celebrates 25 years with a concert! Read about it here.