The rewards of foster parenting are many, but that doesn’t change the fact that it, like all parenting, can be difficult and emotional work. Even those who have raised a brood of their own biological children may not be fully prepared for the circumstances of foster parenting.
Experts say mentoring works best one on one. But Lewis Haley found such a need for mentors that he bent the rules.
"What would happen," asks Carol Howard Merritt of Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., "if we coupled baby boomers' prophetic focus with the pragmatism of my generation? What if the church unleashed us to plant churches?"
When Toma and I became friends, he was somebody. I was 16, he was 22. He was a body builder, one of the best in the country, with aspirations and good prospects of becoming Mr. Universe. But then he embraced Christian faith and joined the church where my father was a pastor. He felt that God required him to abandon his athletic pursuits, which until then had been his god. He transposed the dreams of becoming Mr. Universe onto a religious plane: he wanted to be the apostle Paul of Yugoslavia, and maybe a new Billy Graham to the world.