We (Jesse and Stacey) are both public school teachers. There have been several instances where a child from our school was in need of a place to live because of neglect, abuse or homelessness. We both began to realize that God was calling us to stand in the gap for these kids somehow so we decided to get licensed as foster parents to be better prepared for the next time one of our students needed help.
During the process of becoming licensed, we began to learn a lot more about orphans and we were heart- broken over the orphan crisis. We felt ashamed of our ignorance about the many people around us right here in Yakima who were suffering and for our lack of involvement. James 1:27 says this,
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Caring for orphans in their distress is one of the highest ways our faith in God can be demonstrated. God was now moving us from the possibility of helping the students we already knew from school to putting us on a state-wide list to take calls from wherever.
To be honest, we were a little scared. We both knew we were doing what God was calling us to do but we knew our lives were going to drastically change. God was beginning to show us that He is a sovereign, loving Father and we were to put our lives in His hands and trust that He will do what He pleases for our good and His glory.
On Friday, September 6th we said “yes” to our first placement, Teytum Myles who was just 4 weeks old. God began to do an indescribable work in our lives. We knew from the beginning that the goal, according to social services, was to see Teytum reunified with his mother. As our hearts and our bonds grew stronger and stronger for this baby, our time with him became less and less. God was preparing our hearts to let go of this child we loved like our own. Come March, our baby Teytum was to fully return to his mother. As he began to transition back full-time, we prayed and pleaded that God would protect him and allow him to grow up with a family that would love him and teach him who Christ is. We prayed for his mother, that God would soften her heart and call her to Himself. The Lord heard our supplication and received our prayer. Teytum’s mother, whom we love dearly, called us up and wanted to meet with us about something. When we met with her, she embraced us and told us how thankful she was for us loving and taking care of her baby. She said that she knew her son was in the right place and asked us if we’d be willing to adopt him. With tears in all our eyes and our hearts torn in two, we said yes and praised God for all that He had done.
As we began to plan for an amazing adoption party, Jesse had the idea of people bringing a gift box for an orphan in need to the party instead a gift for us. From there, the idea of Teytum’s Gifts was born. God would use the idea of providing a backpack full of necessities and comfort items to a child in need as an opportunity to strengthen the Church by informing and encouraging others in obedience to get involved somehow in orphan care. He was placing in front of us the opportunity to share the Gospel and remind others of what Christ did for us while we were still sinners. Remembering what Christ did for us helps us to compassionately mirror Christ's grace and mercy by placing ourselves into a broken situation in order to bring healing.
Not everyone is called to be a foster parent, but everyone can help. God is using TG as a way to educate, inform, and bring awareness but most importantly, He is using TG as an opportunity to share the gospel. Time after time we have been given the opportunity to explain that “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
It is our prayer that the Church will be like Christ and endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. It is our prayer that TG will be a way to encourage the Church to stay rooted and grounded in God so we will be blessed to have the strength to endure the cost of giving ourselves. We pray for love, passion and energetic zeal to win the lost and to build up the saved that comes from knowing and understanding the gospel.
If you want to get in touch with us for any reason, please contact us via email or our phone number below.
- The Benedettis'
You can also find us on facebook.
Our MISSION: SHaring God's heart for the orphaned
- Our mission at Teytum’s Gifts is to provide relief to every child in the Yakima County entering foster care. We hope to provide some immediate material and emotional needs by giving a backpack filled with necessities, comfort items and school supplies to children on what might be the hardest, scariest day of their life.
- In addition to providing relief, we want to educate and come alongside the Church:
- By encouraging sacrificial involvement because of our responsibility to ‘oversee’ the orphan (James 1:27).
- As we join forces to seek justice for orphans and to love mercy by providing protection, care and compassion (Proverbs 31:9; Micah 6:8).
- As we follow Christ into a broken world to seek and save the lost who are dead in their sin by reconciling them to God (Luke 19:10) and to be fishers of men (Mark 1:17).
- To show hospitality. Hebrews 13:2a “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers…” Matthew 25:40 “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.” To feed the hungry, take in the stranger, and clothe the naked in Jesus’ name is to serve Him. To turn our backs on those in need of such things is to turn our backs to the Lord v.45.
- “Not every believer will stand praying outside an abortion clinic. Not every believer will take a pregnant teenager into his or her guest bedroom. Not every believer is called to adopt children. But every believer is called to recognize Jesus in the face of His little brothers and sisters when He decides to show up in their lives, even if it interrupts everything else.” Russell Moore, Adoption.
- To practice genuine faith by obedience to God’s Word. Like Noah, trust and obey what God is asking you to do (Hebrews 11:7). The Lord has ‘arks’ for every believer to build. When we build our ark in faith, according to God’s plan and by His power, we will accomplish what God wants accomplished and He will be pleased.
- Lastly, we aim to educate the community about foster care, encourage involvement and share the gospel.