While sitting with a single mom of twins during an evening service at The Ransom Church in Sioux Falls, S.D., Christa asked, “Do you tell the pastor about all my issues? I feel like he is always talking directly to me about the stuff going on in my life.” I prayed a prayer of thankfulness for how God has worked in Christa and the rest of us.

A year ago, when Christa needed surgery but did not have a healthy support system in her life to help her care for her kids, she reached out to Safe Families for Children. What bravery and trust it takes to let your children be taken care of by another family from a church!

Through Safe Families for Children, a family opened up their home to Christa’s then one-year-old twins (who are now age two). A family coach opened her heart to provide support for Christa. What started as just help with her children while she had surgery turned into many beautiful and strengthening relationships.

“Attending The Ransom Church has transformed my life in so many ways,” said Angel Metzger, a volunteer with Safe Families. “God has called me away from being a ‘convenient’ Christian into one who is in the trenches. Being a part of the launch of Safe Families in South Dakota has forever changed me. I couldn’t deny the way my heart felt as I sat in a room, listening to information about a movement of compassion that unifies churches to collaborate by serving families in crisis. It was immediately clear that God had prepared me and The Ransom Church for this ministry–here we were, being asked to be obedient to this call in a very tangible way.”

The Ransom Church was the first in South Dakota to become a Safe Families church in April, 2013. Now there are eight churches in Sioux Falls that volunteer with Safe Families for Children.

“Four years later we have many host families, family coaches, and family friends who open their homes and hearts to families who are brave enough to ask for help,” said Angel. “We currently have 42 Safe Families for Children approved volunteers and 28 more that partner with those approved volunteers as resource friends.” This does not include other area churches. Sometimes multiple churches are involved in hosting one family, which says a lot about the ministry and partnership of these churches for the betterment of families.

According to Angel, the term “‘love your neighbor’ (Mark 12:31) has a whole new meaning. When you look into the eyes of these families, you hear their stories, and they allow you the privilege to love them.”

For more information about Safe Families, please visit www.safe-families.org.