Our initial dream for the Tapestry Adoption Fund was simple — to help as many children & families experience the blessing of adoption as our resources would allow. By partnering with Lifesong for Orphans and utilizing the strategic tools of matching grants and interest-free loans, our fund was designed to help qualified families in a tangible and practical way as they follow God’s call to travel the adoption journey.
The Tapestry Fund began with a modest balance — just enough to help about three families. Without much fanfare or really any plan to raise additional funds, we moved forward in faith, confident that with the help of Lifesong we could make a real difference as we faithfully pursued the vision that God had given us for our ministry. With each grant or loan awarded, we faithfully told the stories of how God was using the Tapestry Fund to bless the lives of families. As we did, more and more people wanted to give to the fund. In only a few years, our relatively modest-sized fund has been blessed to play a small part in welcoming 24 children into loving, Christian families.
But along the way something interesting happened; something that was entirely unexpected, although I am learning to always expect the unexpected from God when it comes to anything related to adoption.
A couple of years ago we became aware of a simple fact — there are more qualified Christian families facing financial hurdles than there are available funds to help them. In fact, Christian organizations that focus on adoption funding are forced to turn down many more qualified applicants each year than they are able to help due to lack of available funds. And yet, we know that God’s provision is always sufficient. So we began to ask ourselves how our small fund might be more effective in meeting needs. What we discovered completely changed the way we view the Tapestry Fund and church adoption funds in general.
After much prayer and discussion with Lifesong, we concluded that God could use our fund in greater ways for His glory if we would seek to make our financial resources available outside the walls of our church. So we began to ask ourselves, “If we have money in our fund that is just sitting there with no use for it in sight, why wouldn’t we joyfully say ‘yes’ to helping a qualified Christian family at a church across town or across the country if their church fund doesn’t currently have sufficient resources or is just getting started?” After all, it’s not really “our” money, and what better way to allow God to fulfill the dream He gave us of helping as many as our resources would allow. For us the decision was simple: Far worse than our fund “running out of money” would be for us to pass on the opportunity to be a tangible part of a story that God is writing with the lives of those He has called to this journey, simply because we had not looked outside of ourselves and our own church.
From this simple idea, the Outside the Walls Network (OTWN) was born. By joining the OTWN, Lifesong enables us to truly work together in a way that not only maximizes the stewardship of financial resources, but also broadens our impact in the lives of children and families. Lifesong offers participation in the OTWN to church funds at no cost and no additional administrative burden. To join, a church simply needs to communicate to Lifesong its desire to become part of the OTWN. There’s no obligation for an OTWN church fund to say “yes” to any specific funding need that is presented, but as we discovered last year when we funded a family from Louisville that was waiting to bring their son home from Korea, the opportunity to say “yes” is truly a privilege and a blessing.
Over 15 churches have already joined, and our prayer is that many more churches will partner with Lifesong and come together in this important effort. To learn more about the Outside the Walls Network or to join, contact Rich Metcalfe at [email protected].