Kevin Bueker lived in a middle-upper class family in a nice home, but behind the pristine doors of this ideal world, he was suffering unimaginable physical and emotional abuse. By the time he was in the eighth grade, Kevin found himself kicked out of his home and on the streets wandering his neighborhood. He would sleep at night in the tube slide at the neighborhood park . . . until a friend and his mom stepped in. Kevin’s amazing journey led him to his faith and to stepping into the lives of kids who have experienced the same things he has.
We then hear from Pr. Robert Gelinas, whose church in Colorado was confronted with the reality of hundreds of kids waiting for homes. They decided they could no longer stand by and do nothing. Pr. Gelinas’ powerful message reminds us of where to look when we can no longer look away.
Download the free companion PDF to this series—“Seven Insights about Foster Care from Those Who’ve Been There”–and share these types of insights with others in your community!
I still remember at one point I told her like, “My parents just don’t want me.” She just couldn’t believe that, like she had no comprehension of that being possible, and so she called my dad. I sat there and eavesdropped from the stairs as my dad told her, “I don’t want him.” You know, “He’s caused all of these problems. He’s the reason why my marriage fell apart, and if you want him, you can have him.” I had to sit there and listen to my dad talk on the couch with this woman and give up on me. I think at that moment she realized, “I can’t just turn my back on the situation.”
Here are the resources and/or organizations mentioned in this episode:
Meet Our Guests
Kevin Bueker is a former at-risk youth who overcame abuse, neglect, incarceration and homelessness to become an active foster and adoptive parent and to advocate for at-risk children. Kevin lived in psychiatric hospitals, juvenile detention centers and substitute care before becoming independent at 16 years old. He spent over 10 years in business while simultaneously running a transitional home for 18-21 year-old men, as well as leading church youth groups. He has led juvenile and adult prison ministries and anti-human trafficking ministries, and currently volunteers as a motivational speaker for the Preparation for Adult Living Program, while continually providing guidance and support for youth aging out of care. Kevin and his wife, Kelli, are licensed foster parents for children ages 11 to 17.
PR. ROBERT GELINAS
Robert Gelinas deeply desires to see the body of Christ united across the divides and empowered to serve the poor and the poor in spirit; the miserable and the marginalized; the disabled and those deemed unimportant. Robert is a pastor, writer, and a transformational teacher of God’s word. He and his wife, Barbara live with their six children in the Denver area.
Meet Our Hosts
Jason and his wife, Trisha, have been caring for children from U.S. foster care since 2001 and have had the privilege of adopting their five children from foster care. Jason has helped to produce and write several books, bible studies, and other tools all created to serve churches as they care for hurting kids including the newly released children’s book, Farmer Herman and the Flooding Barn (BroadStreet Publishing). Jason writes a regular column for Fostering Families Today magazine and is the host of the Foster Movement Podcast, which highlights the stories of former foster youth and national foster care advocates. Jason serves as the National Director of More Than Enough for the Christian Alliance for Orphans and currently lives in Plano, Texas.
Most teenagers remember the day they got their license, or their sweet 16, or even prom night. For Diego the most prominent day he remembers is In 2002, when he showed up on Bishop Aaron Blake’s steps. Blake stopped Diego at the door and told him to lose any foster care mentality that he has. “You are not a foster child; you are ‘Engrafted’ into my family.” Diego, now a national recording artist, released his second studio album titled “ENGRAFTED” in 2014! Diego is the founder & president of B.I.G Records & Foundation. He and his “Pops,” Bishop Aaron Blake have joined forces and travel the country empowering the local church to create a culture of families prepared to accept the calling of orphan care. Diego lives with his family in the Dallas area.