Friday, April 30, 2010

Floyd County Will Be Changed

I have now been working for FaithBridge Foster Care for three weeks and the excitement level I have for this is at an all time high. Basically I've spent the last three weeks just learning the ropes, following the other consultants around on visits and things and filling out lots of paperwork. Yes, it is indeed like drinking from a fire hydrant, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Technically it is a job, and I get paid for it along with a lot of other great benefits and those have been a great blessing to my wife and I. Still, I consider it to be much more than a job or occupation. It is a mission field and a ministry and I truly believe that God has ordained this partnership and has entrusted me with a huge responsibility.

FaithBridge's mission is "Changing the way America does foster care". It is great to work for an organization that you can tell 100% that every single employee believes wholeheartedly is a true statement. I am no different. I believe God wants to change the lives of millions of children across our great nation. For me, that starts in Floyd County and I am ready to stand on the front lines. Floyd County is the fourth highest county in the state of Georgia as far as the number of kids coming into care. Per capita, it is the number one county. What that says is that the need is tremendous. My new life verse right now comes out of Matthew 9:37-38 which says, "Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'" I believe that with all my heart. There is an amazing group of Pastors who have joined together to create Project 127 Rome, which is partnered with FaithBridge and I get to play an important role in seeing this vision come to pass.

This all got me thinking. How many times do we actually believe with all our heart that God is going to do something? How often to we just assume his faithfulness, but don't necessarily believe in it? What has happened to our faith? I can say this because I am as guilty as the next person. So often I agree to pray for something or someone, and I usually do once or twice. However, I can't remember the last time I just fell before the Lord and begged him to move. I love that Shane and Shane song "I Beg" because it just captures for me my heart right now. I want my life to be a picture of someone lying down at the feet of Almighty God yearning for Him to move and do something huge. God is sovereign and He is going to do His work whether we help or not. But how amazing is it that God allows us to be a part in His Kingdom coming to pass. God is going to completely change the way foster care is done in this country. He is going to use the church. You can either step up and be a part of it, or sit on the sidelines. Before you go getting mad at me, I'm not saying that you aren't a Christian if you don't become a foster parent, but I am saying that you are missing out on something incredible by not getting involved somehow. If you can't foster, then do respite care. If you can't do respite care, sign up to be a volunteer through the Church. If you can't volunteer, then hit your knees and pray for these children and for our foster families. If you've been blessed financially, then return that blessing and give to a Christ-centered cause knowing that your money is being used to change lives and bring people to Jesus.

We serve a King who loves children and who will not let them be neglected, abused and forsaken without desiring His people to be a part in the change that is taking place. I worked for the state with DFCS, but the state is not getting it done. There are a number of incredible people working hard at DFCS all over the state, but it's just not working. Floyd County is sending too many children away from home because there aren't enough families here to take them. Too many sibling groups are being split up. The hardest part of all this is that in most situations, these kids have done nothing to deserve any of this. They are the ones who suffer the most and too many times the Church has just stood around in our nice buildings and comfortable homes and done nothing about it. Maybe we write a $20 check once a year or we send out a simple prayer for all the children. While those things aren't bad, it is not enough. We must have the compassion and desire to see these kids be in good homes and have the chance to live a full life free from abuse and neglect and to have people who love them and care for them and are Jesus to them. I believe there is not greater calling than investing in the life of a child.

Okay, I will leave you alone now, but I pray that you are moved by this and feel led to do something about this need. If you want more information on FaithBridge, check out their website:

Hayes Party of Two

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Addition To Our Family

That's right, there is a new member to the Hayes family, one that we will cherish, spend lots of quality time with, take care of, and always be there for. Okay, no it is not a baby. Sorry to all those who constantly remind us that we do not have children yet and how much we should have one. We get it, haha. We promise to have a baby this decade.

Seriously though, many of you know how much I love music and instruments. Ever since my freshman year of college I have wanted a Taylor guitar. I played a friend of mine's and fell in love with the sound, action and the look of these beautiful instruments. For me as a worship leader, I have long felt it would be the best way to go. Unfortunately, these are very pricey guitars and there is just no way I could have afforded a $3000 guitar. However, the Lord is looking out for me. My friend Lawson Bost came up to me about a month ago after church asking if I was in the market for a new guitar. My response was, "yes, I am always in the marked for a new guitar, but I'm not sure my budget is." He told me he had a Taylor 714ce, which is one of the two models that I have really wanted for many years so my brain started turning and my heart started yearning for this guitar, but I didn't really think it would truly work out. Luckily for me, I was wrong.

Lawson let me borrow it a few weeks ago just to hold on for a little while and play it and see if it fit me. Well, of course I loved it. He told me on facebook one day that he really just wanted to bless me with it and that although he could get somewhere from $1800-2500 for it elsewhere, he wasn't looking for that. He told me to pray about it and talk to Brittany to see what we could possibly afford and then to let him know and we could even do payments. Lawson is a musician as well, but hasn't been able to play it very much and wanted it to have a good home. He is very passionate about cycling and wants to buy a nice bike. I won't mention the price we finally decided on, but it was the same price that Lawson had been thinking and hoping in his mind which both of us felt was fair and feasible. Brittany and I told Lawson and his wife, Jessica, on Sunday we definitely want to buy it and now it is mine.

My wife is so amazing to let me have this guitar. She knew had badly I wanted it and she wanted to get it for me as a surprise, but unfortunately things didn't quite work out that way. That is probably because I kept pestering her and making it blatantly obvious that I wanted this guitar badly. I only hope I can get her something nice in the near future. If anyone wants to donate some money to my "Get Brittany a Nice Gift" fund, let me know!

Here are some pictures of my new baby. Any ideas on a name for her? (yes it is a her, I had to explain to my wife that guitars are always female names for guys, similar to boats, it's just one of those unwritten rules of life)