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February 15, 2019 3:33 pm
This week on the Focus On Faith edition of Family Policy Matters, NC Family’s Pastor Outreach Director Thomas Graham speaks with Miriam Cobb, founder and director of The Empty Frames Initiative. Cobb discusses how Empty Frames empowers young people who are aging out of foster care by using photography to tell their stories, and how relationships and community are essential to the ability to live independently.
Not really. The calendar sheltered hawser workforce readiness. All of these are important relationships and community. I think of the ability to live. This is family policy matters. Focus on faith. Edition Thomas Graham Hester outreach Dir. for NC family.
Thank you for joining us for this week's focus on faith.
Additional family policy motors weekly podcast and radio program of NC family. Some of the most vulnerable members of our communities are young people who age out-of-state care, like foster care and orphan programs as these precious youth age out of the system and try to navigate life on their own.
They often become susceptible to human traffickers or get involved in criminal life, or worse yet they'll even commit suicide.
One organization based right here in North Carolina is looking to shift the paradigm in perspective for these young lives. Miriam called was a young lady whose passion to advocate for the struggles that come with fatherlessness in the field orphan care has led her to found and now serve as the director of the empty frames initiative. In addition to helping tell and redeemed the stories of youth who age out-of-state care. The empty frames initiative is working to open a facility that will provide counseling, life skills training community and the message of the gospel to young people who are often forgotten and overlooked by much of the community. Miriam, welcome to family policy matters. It's great to have you on the show today is our delight, our pleasure, so empty frames and this show have something very much in common.
Miriam, we would like to tell individual stories so let's start with your story. If you don't mind.
What is your family life and faith backgrounds has all come together to form the woman was here today taking on this very important work on the right answer. Monetary factor for sharing Christ when I pretty young to clean medevac called Chapman he care her personal life contract on a topic of adoption and locked up in her family during their youth applicants between called orphan care.
Since then hung panic and know exactly where that would lead that I didn't expect anything to help clean out all Miriam this beautiful work actually started as an adoption photography project.
Tell us about that working and how it is grown into the empty frames initiative. Would you please me initial idea what the photography company. Major part. I also hope that when photographing.teach photography at the life of the children just around the world to give them the ability to cover a strike of dignity, and even meeting the photography to create income for themselves. A great opportunity to demand it in the hands of those who should have ownership of their stories next. 11 idea that I was challenged by business and can call detail that California counsel get deeper into elsewhere going to get you this idea and spent three weeks with the company at a Christian conference call 21 project that kind of a good thing were talking about.
Well, what a journey that you've been on the yellow Sea. When we speak about young people, you're fairly young person yourself larger. 23. I get that a lot is wonderful that at such a young age of the Lord would lay his hand upon you and that you would receive that sense of direction from him and then step out and with with great faith. Some trembling going on as well. In order to pursue what you feel Christ is calling you to. I think that's wonderful, Miriam. One of the greatest, or shall we say the most common challenges that young people face as they well is a transition out-of-state care and into independent adulthood people differently depending on their background complicated. But empty frames and landing records. My billing is the biggest challenge is the lack of community going up are sometimes recently placed state care because they weren't faith in our biological home on the way to go in a foster family retreat house and many more. Taking 21-year-olds don't leave home for work or college and come back, but that they can't stop the car safely is not really the calendar sheltered college or workforce readiness.
All the important relationships and community are essential to the ability to live me that found each other to be able to run around when we spoke with a focus group of foster care alumni. They felt the most help and they transitioned out navigating personal conflict in relationship no one showing you how to engage with those around you become isolated and a lot of the problems he spoke about the beginning of the program. No one meant a lot absolutely and so breathing or all helping to form a community that is supportive so embracing of these young people is critical. Isn't it right know how receptive do you find many of these young people today to that level of outreach, support, care, concern how receptive the funds young people today believe the number of speech you have been very receptive noun meaning and understanding among that the community of foster youth we've been able to work with that could come facedown and start strong able of you sticking out and they work with foster youth from 14 to 24 to work with some of their kids and get to know then and now understand the need of directly facing anything accepted to the idea and pay supportive of it. So excited about that.
I'm guessing Miriam engaging the church is a major aspect of making the dreams in the hopes of empty frames become a reality. So could you talk to the listening audience for just a moment about what role do you see for the church in this work that God has raised up that the church is integral to the station repeatedly calling on the church. 11 Most vulnerable widows elections and the displaced and we want to give the church opportunity to respond to that time you were looking for people to be involved through prayer.
Prayer for future participants. This planning process for funding. They can be involved in helping us get the word out loud to speak it churches and have the people share our website on Facebook or whatever and then still in the process of bringing initial funds to get a project off the ground, so any and all the nation typing. That's what we need help right now.
At the beginning I want to get our site in the Raleigh area will be environment checks to help get the home ready like your mentioning physical labor and help getting rooms ready for looking people become volunteer. He sliced building to be to be that community is going through a program I think you'll agree with me you would. I suggest that the church can be a very, very rich resource for you and for your efforts here. Don't you agree here and Mike Kelly are you a part of any local church and most of them assume that your answer is yes, we have actually spoken about you tell me about that for just a moment I go to Northridge church member of the missionary alliance have been going there for about wonderful people that you attend church with the members of the congregation have come along side you have demonstrated the loss of support for you doing the work that this this ministry calls you to do and very supportive and going for about three years now and all along the way we have to part of our church and then very likely someone you think I attending our church pass on my information you yes I'm sure it's been great to see how the Lord had connected Esther that you were listening to Stanley policy matters radio show and cast from the NC family.
You can sign up to receive and to listen to the show online resources that will leave this place anyone website family Martin so I think I've learned that there's a discipleship program which are launching in Raleigh. Could you talk to us for just a few minutes about that program. Miriam will open a short-term evidential program in the three months of intense discipleship to be taught life skills will be engaged in the local community and had during this time they be living at a site that would not only hold a discipleship program but a small business that will help make the program stuffed currently putting out photography gallery that would display the stories that come to our photography curriculum going to our program would help contribute to the gallery with their own stories, or what they choose to share with Beth. Very creative ideas is July do someone else suggested to know dad has been in all of the details of this and you honestly say he got a go. I also think that this is an international efforts. Could you tell us about both the people from around the world join doing this work, as well as the global vision for the future, felt my first national Bank of the group call just by venturing work in Central and Eastern Europe on their primary ministry evangelical summer camp opportunity to be a summer intern with them into disconnecting the Lord showed me a lot about the social dynamics of that country played a huge role in our initial vision where he wanted to restore old buildings that represent redemptions and thinking making plays again into an empty frames since we began three years ago he met with people who work out of Russia they call the harbor in St. Petersburg made an organization working with this age range for long time helping them till they come from orphanages to independent incorporating a part of their curriculum to round.
I would like to partner with them directly in the future. The author group entire that we had contact with and need a program like that were developing. We discussed using the been felt around the world, but hoping to have our Bali program at the model that can be replicated and that will allow organizations already in the early life is easy to continue with and into adulthood is fantastic.
When I think of the global scope of this I become even more impressed with the vision.
The sense of mission that God has given to you and those of come around you. I think it's just wonderful and great to know that around the earth.
There are people just like you who really want to do something to change the lives of these young people for the better I think is wonderful member of the folks that are involved in other parts of the world. Your same age bracket. As such, or is it a mixed group of ages. Perhaps you could speak to that for moment so the quickest side venture are normally then getting people like for the college-age a lot and looked around for about 10 years and I am a believer want to be involved in the future.
The hybrid St. Petersburg started when they were about to change. The man who runs it has an incredible testimony of how he himself can't do that orphanage system there and was invited into that vision pretty early in early 20 people in China that will I commend you all at such an early age in life to be placing themselves in such a role as is, as were talking about here today. How can we as individual Christians serve and love. These well.
These often unseen young people in our own communities with what can we do how can we demonstrate Christ's love for them that so many ways that you, I believe it begins with prayer and open our eyes to the right opportunity to call the foster parent needed to calculate that you needed directly to homeless shelter you're impacting the population trafficking groups you're impacting population. The Lord will I believe it will provide the right opportunity economic looking for specific Avenue needing help. I glad to hear from you. I got a chance to meet great organizations like Lucky Keeler Beatty can even be a part of the recruiting entity think initiative count likely to be involved. I think it really does come back to you. What is the work I needed you and Julie also were just about out of time for this week. But before we go. Miriam can our listeners learn more about empty frames initiative. Also, the ways to become involved in this wonderful work at filling in the same silly empty frames.org site you so very much for being with us on family policy matters work to share them to live the gospel with these young people around the world and live our own backyard listening to family policy weekly radio show and Comcast from NC family to listen to the show online, and for more resources that will help you be a voice of persuasion in your community. Go to our firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter