Renee Hanson was reading an article a few years ago about a foster child who lost her life due to mishandling and under-investigation by CPS. The article desperately tried to figure out who to rightly point the finger at: the foster care home, the foster care agency, CPS, the government, etc. Renee felt outraged. And convicted. In all of this effort to pin down who was to blame, there was no one attempting to take any responsibility. Not just for the death of the innocent child, but for all of these children lost in the foster care system.
The Lord spoke to Renee: you’re not doing anything about it, either. Is it not the responsibility of the church to care for the orphans as James 1:27 says? And if Renee is a Christian, doesn’t that mean it’s her job, too? God began to put on her heart the foster children in her community. She spoke to her husband about what was going on. She felt unequipped to help, but she and her husband began praying to the God who could equip His people to step in. Then something interesting happened: God put on their heart children aging out of foster care, specifically young men. They decided to invest in a group home for men aging out of foster care where they could have a safe space to receive coaching and mentoring before living on their own. Renee had no executive experience: just faith.
Renee at the time was a massage therapist, and when she was sharing God’s calling with one of her clients, her client put her in touch with Ministry Realty. Last summer, we talked to Renee about her dreams of buying a house for these young men and to be honest, we weren’t entirely sure how to start helping. But we saw that Renee was relying on the Lord to show her every day what her next step should be. We prayed with her and by faith, decided to look for a house together. Renee had her housing needs: a master bedroom suite for the house parents, a big back yard for the young men, enough bedrooms, etc. We wanted to dream bigger because our God is bigger. What about a pool and barbecue pit? A place to garden? A spacious kitchen and a garage that could fit a pool table?
And low and behold, God directed us to the perfect home. It had all of Renee’s needs plus some, and it was at a price that can only be described as miraculous. The house was in probate and had fallen through, but the timing was perfect for us. We believed God would provide, but our human nature was still shocked. Renee’s nonprofit, Raising Arizona’s Men, now can house around six young men, and some are moving in soon. This house serves as a launch pad where they learn life skills, have healthy relationships, observe conflict resolution, and pick up a healthy routine. These men receive unconditional support and love as they do things like enroll in college or get their GED. The house acts as a refuge for them. It provides stability, family, and community. Their spirituality is fed through required bible study and optional church attendance, where their community can grow even larger. RAM is fulfilling God’s commandment.
If you’re interesting in supporting RAM, please visit their website and learn more.
And if you’re in need of any real estate help for your ministry, contact us.