Thank you so much for your generosity to Accelerate, our one-fund generosity initiative! Because of God’s goodness and His people’s generosity, we are able to share stories of how He is at work at Immanuel, in our community and around the world.

by Jaci Scheidemantle, Immanuel attendee

I was born and raised in Indonesia, a Muslim country on the equator halfway across the world from Gurnee. I’m not really American or Indonesian; I’m a third-culture kid who assimilated some of both cultures to make an “other,” a third culture. This means I speak English and look American, but I often still think and feel Asian. And that I’d still pick chicken sate over pizza and fried bananas over potato chips any day of the week.

As a missionary kid, I had the privilege of helping my parents plant a church. I witnessed my dad speaking the words “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” for the first time to the Gerai people. And I saw the joy of new believers reading scripture translated into their mother tongue. I learned to watch carefully for cultural cues, sit straight legged in church on the floor, wrap diaper-less babies in sarongs, winnow rice and cut grass with a machete (although, admittedly, not very well).

Since becoming a mom, I have felt a profound tension between wanting my daughter to experience the same joy I had in interacting with another culture, while still dealing with the cost of that lifestyle, which, for me, was feeling abandoned when sent to boarding school at age seven. For eleven years, I spent three months at school followed by two or three months at home, and this constant change, always leaving and being left, marked me deeply.

DoforoneThis is one reason my husband and I are getting involved with Safe Families. Safe Families for Children is coordinating with churches in the Gurnee area to offer a temporary safe haven for children whose parents are in crisis situations. Their goal is to minimize the risk of abuse and neglect to the children, while giving time for the parents to get the tools they need to be more successful so that ultimately the family can stay in tact.

We want to open our home to these kids, and in the process, we hope to teach our daughter how to love the “other” and to experience the challenges and joys of difference. God has showered us with grace and now invites us to love the ”other” too. And I trust God will help me love enough. I know it won’t be perfectly, but sometimes just being available is enough.

You don’t have to have a big house or extra income to be a part of this movement. We need prayer warriors, meals and hand-me-downs, too, as we launch the Immanuel Church Unleashed Safe Families project!

Find out how you can be part of this growing network of support for families in crisis by joining us on April 7 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Immanuel Church as we make fleece blankets for the Safe Family kids. Bring the whole family! We’ll have snacks and a short presentation.

Please RSVP at or 847-809-9400.

One thought on “Local Outreach: ICU Project, Safe Families

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