Kris Lehne never planned to homeschool. She never planned to adopt or foster or help run a family nonprofit. “I only thought I’d need twins,” Lehne laughed from her living room sofa.
So while foster care never seemed to be on the horizon, Lehne had to find non-traditional ways to serve the Church body. After all, she had several young children and needed to be home. Coincidentally, that was the perfect place to minister to the orphaned: within the safety of her own home.
Lehne knows the many lies that swarm potential foster parents. “We couldn’t possibly have another,” “I wouldn’t do a good job,” and “I don’t have the time.” However, Lehne insists that most foster children haven’t received food, clothing, safety, and shelter on a daily basis. As a result, you don’t have to get them into seasonal athletics. You just have to show them the Father’s love.
“If you know God or you know what to look for, He sees the fatherless and provides every need they need,” Lehne says.
Now, after 29 years of marriage, Kris and her husband Bill have four biological children, four children adopted through DSS, and 10 years of fostering experience. Over 50 children have come to stay and fall in love with her family’s community. “Even if they come for a couple of days, they don’t want to leave,” Kris remarks fondly.
One of her favorite long-term stories includes a baby she took in at 2 months old. For three and a half years, the Lehne family cared for this child as their own, moving towards adoption. And then all of a sudden, the young girl was reunited with her biological father.
Kris and her family were left to grieve the loss of a daughter and painfully sort through the unveiled deception. They couldn’t understand how God could permit such confusion and dishonesty. But the biological father maintained communication after noticing his daughter’s obvious affection for the Lehne clan.
It was through this engagement that the young father started joining the Lehnes at Church. They attended services together and shared Scripture passages. And eventually—only months before the father suffered a heart attack and tragically died—the Lehnes witnessed him commit himself to Christ.
Kris looks back on these circumstances with God-colored lenses, understanding His intentions all along. It wasn’t just toddlers and teenagers that the Lehnes were able to minister to. Foster care parents were reachable by God’s divine interaction.
It has been through these miraculous encounters that Kris now has endless stories of God’s goodness. She’s watched her foster children bless other foster children. She’s witnessed strangers spontaneously pour in their love and finances. And she’s encountered the Father’s provision through donations of every kind.
“You never know what’ll happen at Walmart,” Kris laughs knowingly.
In addition to mentoring and speaking, Lehne helps minister through the Greenville County Foster Parent Association. As current president of the organization, Kris Lehne and others help support Greenville county foster families and maintain positive relationships with DSS—whether it means purchasing new shoes for foster children or hosting family events.
To find out more about the organization or to learn about their upcoming events, check out GCFPA’s Facebook group here.
Featured Image by Pixabay