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The CAFO2021 Theme in a Single Word?

In the book, The Great Divorce, CS Lewis’ imaginative portrait of hell contains no horns or pitchforks.  Rather, what gives the netherworld such horror is the utter separation.  Its residents are eternally divided from their Creator and one another.  Unable to bear with others, they move continually further apart.   This fanciful image reveals a fundamental […]


One last unexpected for 2020… And a look ahead to 2021

 Unexpecteds defined 2020, from masks to toilet paper runs, canceled church to at-home school. Many of these unexpecteds carried loss, some of it beyond words. And yet, as always is the case, hidden alongside (and sometimes within) those losses came so many unexpected gifts as well.  I’d like to add one last unexpected for 2020, […]


Why #9 Matters So Much to This College Football Player

In a year of unexpected things, this has to be one of my very favorite: a 2-minute football story that somehow makes you both laugh and cry at the same moment. Kari Stewart helps lead the vibrant foster and adoption ministry at Timberline Church in Colorado.  I had the privilege of spending time with Kari […]


Guidelines and Resources for Healthy Sponsorship Programs

You’ve seen the images hanging on the wall in your church sanctuary, smiling out from social media squares, or attached with a brightly-colored magnet to your friend’s refrigerator:  the precious faces of children from around the world receiving support through a child sponsorship program. Perhaps your own heart was pricked by their sweet faces, and […]


Child Welfare in the Midst of the Pandemic

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosted a web-based event for DC policymakers and leaders nationwide, Child Welfare in the Midst of the Pandemic.  The event offered a serious look at the impact of COVID response on children and child welfare systems across the country.  Presenters spotlighted a range of critical issues, from the projected spikes […]


Collateral Beauty of COVID-19: Gifts We May Have Missed

We’ve all experienced disruption and difficulty from COVID-19, some of it severe. But amidst it all, many gifts have also arrived unexpectedly — some of them despite, and some even because of the hard things. At the CAFO “Small Matters” gathering last month, one workshop speaker asked participants to share unanticipated hardships they’d faced due to […]