It is amazing to see how the hand of God weaves together like-minded believers to do His work here on Earth. The Joy in the Journey ministry was birthed in April 2013, but He knew long before that time how He would form a ministry whose sole purpose was to connect and encourage those He had called to foster and adopt.
The Joy in the Journey ministry itself began with a stirring to bring a retreat for foster and adoptive moms to the mid-west. Prompted by that call, the name and mission for Joy in the Journey was birthed, shortly followed by planning for the first annual retreat. From that, connections began to be made through social media and the Joy in the Journey blog, which featured raw and encouraging posts by adoptive parents, social workers, and others who had a vested interest in adoption and foster care.
In February 2014, the first annual Joy in the Journey retreat took place on a Friday evening/Saturday morning at Maranatha Bible Camp and Retreat Center. The feedback was positive and the leadership team began to plan a bigger and more extensive retreat for the subsequent year.
At this point, it became clear to the leadership team that Joy in the Journey’s ministry was just beginning and that God had so much more connecting and encouraging to do amongst the foster and adoptive families He had brought to the ministry. So, in December 2014, Joy in the Journey took the necessary steps to become an incorporated entity, complete with not-for-profit status. This step helped to ensure that Joy in the Journey, Inc. could act as a limited liability corporation for the future of the ministry.
The second annual Joy in the Journey retreat occurred in March of 2015. The team worked tirelessly and intentionally to ensure that the feedback from the previous year was taken into consideration to fit the needs of the ministry’s affiliates. The event was expanded to three days and two nights and included a full schedule of professional speakers, breakout sessions, main sessions, an adult adoptee panel, intentional groupings and connection times. The Joy in the Journey Retreat has followed this new event schedule ever since, and each year the ministry team seeks to improve the retreat and the experience for those that attend.
The Lord has placed it on the hearts of the Joy in the Journey team to continue to move forward with the ministry. Currently, this means continuing and expanding connections of foster and adoptive families, planning for future Joy in the Journey Retreats, and being sensitive to God’s calling for future events and opportunities.
As a team, we are committed to continuing our works within the foster and adoptive community. We are dedicated and excited to see where God leads within the foundation of our mission statement. Thank you for being a huge part of our vision!