Whole Child Conference: Is It For You?
“I don’t think Whole Child Conference is just for people who are in foster care, but it’s for everybody. It gives someone a benchmark for what to expect. For those in foster care, it lets you know you aren’t crazy,” said Parker Manuel, a Jonah’s Journey caregiver. “If God has ever put it on your heart to work with children from hard places, this would be a good first step. After this conference, you will know better what next step to take.”
Manuel’s connection with Jonah’s Journey goes all the way back to the beginning, when the ministry focused on women incarcerated in Tennessee Prison for Women and their children. As Missions Pastor at Long Hollow Baptist Church, Manuel also participated in the initial meetings between Palmer Home and Jonah’s Journey as the ministry transitioned into an alternative to foster care with a reach across multiple states.
The connection that Parker and his wife Jess share with Jonah’s Journey goes even deeper as they have been standing in the gap as a Jonah’s Journey caregiver, eventually adopting the boys in their care.
“There are people who want to be involved, I believe; many people just don’t know where to start,” he said.
The speakers at Whole Child Conference, scheduled for January 27-28, 2017, at Long Hollow Baptist Church just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, offer very practical and applicable content to caregivers, adoptive families and those who are interested in caring for vulnerable children. Outside the sessions, families have time to share with each other the joys and difficulties of being caregivers- praying together, laughing together, and simply enjoying the presence of like-minded friends.
Over the last several years, Parker and Jess have forged relationships with other parents they usually only see during the conference. They enjoy connecting with old friends and meeting new attendees each year.
In addition to the speakers and fellowship time, the worship time also draws the Manuel family to the event. According to Parker, the worship leaders all refer to it as the best event of the year, with the sweetest spirit. He attributes this spirit to the attendees, a group of people who have been through so much and have learned to be dependent on God to get through all of it.
“I say this, not against anyone who isn’t in adoption or foster care, but it’s just really sweet being in a room of people who are on a similar journey as you are, worshiping together,” he explained.
There’s nothing like Whole Child Conference.”
Learn more about the conference and keynote speakers, and register for tickets now.