The Stories of TNL – Justin & Ann Waite

When we think of TNL the first word that comes to mind is “hope”

TNL has been our home for a long time. We each had our own positive and embittered experiences and their entangled expectations about “church.” We’ve tried several, and there is no other community that lives out “you are accepted here just as you are.” We find TNL’s values of social justice and teaching relevant and applicable to our lives. We attended between 2005-2007 before life detoured and we returned in 2008. We were baptized together.

Over the years God has consistently used the pastors and community and causes of TNL to reveal His great grace. From Tuesday nights to coffees out and brunches with friends, we have rhythms in our life that are growing us as followers of Christ. This is a safe place for confessions and counsels.

The most significant rhythm of TNL for us is Royal Family Kids Camp. Hearing about camp and stories from it were always heart tugging. Volunteering at Camp has been one of the most amazing and life changing things we’ve done. It broke Ann and opened our eyes to the plights of hurting children. After Ann’s second year of volunteering God revealed to us that it was time for us to prepare for creating a family.

It happened like this: Ann spent at least a couple of weeks trying to word a persuasive conversation to have with Justin; one that would convince him that we should become foster parents. God was already working on it with Justin. Abruptly one night Justin said something like “I’m pretty sure God wants us to do more for foster kids, like foster or adopt to start our family.” Justin volunteered at Camp the next year, and we started a new chapter in our lives.

It took nearly a year to become licensed. The licensing process was disorganized, emotional, and not as timely as we were hoping. God was faithful and this community was faithful and encouraging, but things didn’t go the way we thought they would in a variety of ways—a lesson that God’s timing and plans are His, not ours, and He is Sovereign.

Now we are in the process of adopting Hunter and Randy, the two beautiful boys that we have been fostering since May 2016.

Our kids, who first knew God and Jesus Christ as just other swear words amongst all the other ones, now understand and embrace the life altering fact that they are Children of God and Friends of Jesus.

TNL reinforces the love of God and the other Biblical values that we have at home. Additionally, we know that the vast majority of our church has experience with and compassion for foster kids and we know that our kids are safe from judgement here on their worst days.

Furthermore: When we see our son, who is wary of adults, BEAR HUG TNL:Kids volunteers, it is enough to strengthen our hearts on the hardest of days. When we see our other son, who lives in a tightly wound ball of anger and anxiety, physically relax when he hears worship songs and sees the worship team lead the service every week, we are reminded that God planned this all along.


Categories: Stories of TNL