Couple discovers troubled kids as their mission field

Published 3:23 pm Monday, August 2, 2010

Wishing to obey Jesus’ command in Mark 16:15, to “go ye into all the world and preach (share) the gospel,” Delona Glenn suggested to husband Craig that they “go on the mission field.”

“My husband said that there are more mission fields than foreign ones, that children need help right here at home,” Glenn said. “There are kids out there who have no one to call Mama and Papa, kids who want someone to want them.”

Since 2006, the couple has welcomed 18 foster children into their home.

One expectant mother, a young, black girl who originally planned to stay only until her baby was born, stayed more than a year. Today, the young mother of two still calls her foster mother Mama.

“We prayed long and hard about becoming foster parents,” the Glenns said.

They had to ask themselves: Can we let a child go after growing to love them? Can we work along with DHR and other agencies to help the biological parents learn the skills needed to regain custody of their children? Can we love without reserve?

They presently have five foster children and two adopted, all receiving therapy.

When one autistic child came, he had a limited vocabulary and wasn’t expected to do well in their active household. He now talks and has a cute wit.

A shaken baby is blind and has cerebral palsy. He was expected to become a vegetable, Delona said. After 22 months with them, he recognizes voices and loves life.

During the past three months, the family had 111 appointments, plus Delona’s tonsillectomy. They have classes at home and public school for some children. Still, they make time for church, fun outings and special family time on Saturdays.

When rain cancelled a recent campout, they set up a tent in the family room.

The couple has two adult biological children and three grandchildren.

“We could have a nice, quiet retirement and travel,” Delona said. “But there are hundreds of children waiting on parents to welcome them home. We’re praying for God to open our doors for all the children that He would lead home to us. Each child has caused our hearts to grow bigger.”

Delona and Craig Glenn have found their mission field, and have created a loving world for children right in their own home.

A secretary of the Shelby County Foster Parents Association, Delona’s leading the group’s fall fund raising campaign. For information, call 678-2928.