ep. 25 | The Gospel and Advocacy with Jenn Haskew
On this episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Jennifer Haskew, my former mentor and real-life friend, about the Gospel and advocacy. Jenn is a Texas transplant living in Los Angeles with her husband, Patrick. Together, they have had the privilege of fostering seven children. Jenn also runs a sleep consulting business, is a personal trainer, and a seminary student who hopes to use her education to continue advocating for the voiceless in their city.
As with every episode, if listening to my conversation with Jenn draws out big feelings, I want to encourage you to seek out a friend to help you process. This particular episode could bring up triggers if you have a background in foster care, adoption, or a history of abuse. As Jenn and I mention, we encourage you to pursue professional counseling if needed, just as we have done ourselves. On a personal level, this conversation inspires me to pray for opportunities to stand in the gap with my God-given gifts and resources to help someone in need.
Jenn said, “I think if you have resources that someone else doesn’t have, you have an opportunity to advocate. That can be when you see someone walking down the street trying to carry two children and they don’t have a stroller, so you let them use your stroller. Or someone is sick and you bring them food. Or a special needs student’s parents who may not understand the hierarchy in the system, but you have some education, so you go with them to their IEP meetings. Or a co-worker who might not feel heard, so you help them navigate the waters of talking with their boss at work. The more common things we hear are modern day slavery, foster parenting, but it doesn't have to be a big thing. It can be as small as taking a meal to someone. Take a step in any direction.”
I hope you guys will take the steps the Lord is leading you towards to put his glorious Gospel on display for a lost and dying world to see.
How have you served as an advocate for others in your life? When did you first start to see that in yourself? What inspired you to that end?
Why do we practice advocacy? What (or who) enables us to do that? What are some ways in which we, as a church, can practice advocacy?
Can you share a little about the role(s) God has given you to be an advocate for others in your current season?
I want to hone in on your role as a foster mama for a second, because I know a lot of our listeners are either fostering themselves or know someone who is practically advocating for another person in this capacity. What made you decide to pursue fostering? Do you feel like certain people are “called” to foster? Or should we all be engaging in fostering and/or adoption?
How is fostering to adopt different than fostering? Why did you chose fostering and not just going straight to adoption?
What do you wish you would have known going into the messy work of helping other people and really sharing your life with them?
How do you respond when people say, “I could never do that”?
Is it true that most kiddos in the foster care system have experienced some level of trauma? Have you ever experienced trauma, personally, being a foster mom or helping other people? How do you process through that, personally?
Is there a time in which we can go too far and actually enable someone when we’re trying to help them?
Have you ever faced burn-out and gotten really tired? What did that look like? What does self care look like for you in the midst of helping people in need? And for marriage too?
How can we come together as a church to share the burden of helping those in need (particularly when we are in busy seasons of life ourselves)? How has your community come alongside you?
What’s the joy of advocating for others in general, not just in the role of fostering?
What are some practical starting points for people who want to serve as an advocate for those in need?
3 Questions I Ask Every Guest
- What 3 resources would you recommend for people wanting to serve as an advocate for those in need?
- What are 3 of your simple joys?
- Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?
Note Worthy Quotes
“An advocate is someone who steps in, supports or speaks on behalf of, or offers aid to somebody else. In order to advocate you have to realize that there is someone who has need and areas where you have resources that they might not have.”
“You have to realize there’s a need and way that you can meet that need.”
We can stand in the gap for others… “Because Jesus. Jesus did it in the ultimate way.”
“In order to be an advocate, before you can advocate, you must understand the challenges of those that you’re advocating for and you have to become like them… That’s what Jesus did for us. He doesn’t stay above us in the heavenly realms and advocate for us from afar. He came down, became a human, and then the Spirit now gets to advocate amongst us and for us on earth. I think we really just follow his example.”
“I think if you have resources that someone else doesn’t have, you have an opportunity to advocate. That can be when you see someone walking down the street trying to carry two children and they don’t have a stroller, so you let them use your stroller. Or someone is sick and you bring them food. Or a special needs student’s parents who may not understand the hierarchy in of the system, but you have some education, so you go with them to their IEP meetings. Or a co-worker who might not feel heard, so you help them navigate the waters of talking with their boss at work. The more common things we hear are modern day slavery, foster parenting, but it doesn't have to be a big thing. It can be as small as taking a meal to someone. Take a step in any direction.”
“I wish I had known that you don’t just foster one kid. You really are fostering an entire family.”
“I often say, ‘God will give me the grace for today.’”
“The more we communicate in relationship, the more we can realize what it is that the person actually needs.”
“Surround yourself with people who exude passion about advocating for other people.”
“Kingdom building work is exciting! I have been given a privilege to get to do this. It’s fun. Bringing God’s kingdom to earth, restoring things, and making it the way that it was supposed to be and once was is fun.”
“Think about what makes your heart beat fast. We naturally advocate when it’s an area that we really love. Think about the areas you love and what resources you have and who you could share those with.”
“Enter into their suffering and try to really understand it. Not with the point of understanding it, but because you want to be their friend.”
Think about what makes your heart beat fast
Find someone you see who is advocating well and get to know them
Volunteer somewhere locally
Jenn's Simple Joys
Gel Manicure Nails
Connect with Jenn
Today's episode of the Journeywomen Podcast is sponsored by T Bar M Camps.
Ya’ll have heard me talk about how much camp has impacted my own life. Because of that, I want to tell you about a special camp, T Bar M, that’s located in New Braunfels, TX. You’ve probably heard of T Bar M for their incredible summer camps, but did you know that you can retreat with them year round? Having spent a year on a camp property, I know there is something powerful that happens when we get away with the goal of nurturing our relationships with God and with each other. If you have a group that needs to retreat, T Bar M is definitely the place to go. It’s is a unique property with lots of space, a perfect spot to strengthen your team by unplugging from routine and breathing life into your people. Best of all, the staff at T Bar M will come alongside of you to accomplish your goals in a Christ-centered environment. Right now, T Bar M is partnering with Journeywomen to help you retreat well! Visit tbarm.org/journeywomen and get a free Ebook on the value of retreating, along with 15% off your first retreat experience!
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