As you know, one of our goals is to help local businesses in Harford County grow. Each week we will feature a Business of the Week on our website, so please visit these businesses and share their information.
This week we are proud to feature Loving the Lost Boys. Here’s some information about Loving the Lost Boys taken from their website at http://www.lovingthelostboys.com/.
About Loving the Lost Boys:
Shane and Wendy Lankford live in a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland. They have been married for 17 years and they are the adoptive parents of two amazing children: Graeme, 6 and Knox, 4. Shane was adopted and experienced the great and amazing love of God’s family. Both Shane and Wendy had a desire early on to adopt as part of their plan for family. It was as a result of Shane’s background as a child who was loved by the body of Christ and the Lankford’s mutual passion for caring for at-risk children that compelled them to get involved in the care of orphaned and vulnerable children. It was during that time serving an orphan care organization that Shane encountered a model that would change his vision for transforming the lives of people in poverty.
The Open Table, a model that utilizes relationship to change the life of a brother or sister in poverty, links a group of people from a church congregation with someone in need. Six to twelve members act as a board, directed by the brother or sister to develop a plan to move from poverty to community. The Open Table serves the working poor, individuals affected by HIV, youth aging out of foster care, victims of trafficking, and veterans reentering society. The premise of the model is that “stuff” of transactional ministry diminishes the true transformation that Gospel centered relationships can bring. Shane and Wendy are advocates, sharing the vision of The Open Table and presenting the opportunity for congregations to participate. Wendy works as a freelance writer, chronicling the impact of Open Table on table members and brothers and sisters. Shane links church leadership with local social services to mutually serve the poor, particularly children aging out of the system. They depend on the support of like-minded believers to be able to continue their work, advocating for the transformation of those most precious to God.
During their time in service to Open Table, the Lankfords were brought a third blessing from the Lord; a young man that had recently aged out of the foster system. Ryan was about to turn 21 and needed a home and a family. Their lives have been greatly enriched and challenged by their growing love for this lost boy. Through the experience of loving and learning to develop a relationship with a boy that has had trauma and a disrupted family life, the Lankfords were spurned on to learn more. Wendy attended Empowered to Connect trauma training and Shane and Wendy have felt a renewed calling from the Lord to serve this lost population of the orphan care world. They have developed a vision for wholistic care in a family environment and have begun the hard work of pursuing non-profit status to serve young men who have aged out of the system of care. Through their work, they hope to help these young men develop solid roots, and necessary skills to not only survive but thrive in the world and in their future families. The concept of Loving the Lost Boys was conceived through their experience with Open Table and with their personal experience of Loving their first Lost Boy, who is soon to be officially adopted into the Lankford clan.