Serving in the Unknown

My journey with Safe Families started with the unknown.

When Pastor Mark asked to speak to me about a new ministry he was considering starting at St. Paul’s, I was intrigued, but uncertain if I wanted to join since I had just retired. After talking with him, I was excited about the ministry. Helping children and people has always been a passion of mine. But being asked to be Team Lead for the program seemed very overwhelming to me.

I had never done anything like this before.

I told him I would pray about it, seeking God’s guidance. Over the next week I searched God’s Word, prayed, and fasted (which I had never done before). By doing this, I felt God was leading me to be part of this ministry. In my anxious times during this process, God has put on my heart that He takes ordinary people and does extraordinary things with them.

One year later, it has been an exciting, eye opening (and at times frustrating) experience. Taking a year to make progress seemed frustrating to me, but after attending the Safe Families National conference in Chicago, they assured me that when working with a church of our size, it takes longer and we are on the right path!

To date, many people have opened their hearts, abilities, and finances to help get Safe Families up and going at SPL. At this time we are still building our team. We have Families going though to become a Host Family, Coach, and Family Friend, but we need more people and more families to join us.

The process does take some time to go through, but any adventure and service is worth the time and energy when sharing “Agape Love” with others.

Every step gets us closer, and exciting things have happened along the way. Last year we had the opportunity to put together Easter Baskets for families through Illini Christian Ministries. Then we developed an area called the Care Closet at SPL (just off of Room 214) designated for children’s clothing and other resource items that will be needed to help host and care for these children. This year we got to put together an “official” kiosk for Safe Families in the Fellowship Area where we can keep some of our information and also collect items for the Care Closet. And best of all, we’ve become part of a larger support network, along with other churches in Macon County, who are encouraging one another and who are ready to serve families in need.

We urge everyone to get involved in some way. Joining the team at any level can make such a difference – from being a host family or family coach or friend, to helping supply needed items or donating, to being a prayer partner. You can make an important difference for someone else while also being impacted yourself – it has made an impact on my life and I know it will in yours too!

God’s Blessings to ALL as we move forward in serving and sharing God’s love with others in our community.

Marla Galka

You can connect with Marla Galka and the Safe Families Team at SPL at or via the Safe Families Connect Form, or if you are feeling called to another type of serve, contact the SPL Church Office at 217-423-6955.

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