Conference Highlights

Coming from many, many places...some driving over four hours, the first faith-based adoption conference held in the Miami Valley was a tremendous success. Hearing numerous thank-yous and comments, we want to thank Phillip and Heather Bench,the Salem Church of God for organizing and financially supporting this event and the workshop speakers who gave of their time and energy. Over  200+ foster and adoptive parents walked through the doors early this morning.

This was a great start to, what we hope will be an on-going event.  A year ago August, Heather and I sat at the Panera Bread by the Dayton Mall and started dreaming about what could be.  We thank God for His direction and for what happened today.

Here are the conference highlights in pictures:

Heather Forbes, author of Beyond Consequences,
Logic and Control was the keynote.

It was so exciting to see the gymnasium fill up!

Pastor Ken and Jackie Day and the praise band from
Dayspring Ministries provided the music.

David and Phillip Bench conducted a workshop just for dads.
We heard so many good things about it! 

Pastors and laymen gather to talk about orphan care ministry.
Heather speaks to the moms.
Dr. Wendy Flowers discusses a child's developmental issues.

Ruby Johnston, from LAMb, talks about parental expectations.

Betsy Smalley shares on parental self-care.

Our creative trio from the Shelter Community Church
 manned the support group table and helped wherever they could.

Randy and Kim Gebele, representing LAMb International
had many opportunities to share about the ministry.
After the conference, many came up to us saying "today made a difference in my life."   One mom told me that  in one workshop, she had more insight into her son's issues than years of therapy.

What now?  We will step into the next planning stage for the development of faith-based adoption support groups in this area and hope to support churches in this area who want to start adoption or foster care ministries.


WOUNDED CHILDREN, HEALING HOMES: A Faith -Based Experience for the Journey of Adoptive and Foster Families - November 12

Join us for a day of focusing on the emotional and spiritual needs of adoptive and foster families, many who find themselves parenting children who come from hard places.

From our keynote speaker, Heather T. Forbes, to the specially designed breakouts, parents will leave equipped and spiritually lifted to strengthen their families.

Due to the generosity of our speakers and Salem Church of God, this is a free event. Lunch will be available for purchase at the Salem Cafe and will support Salem Student Ministries. Childcare will not be available.


Opening Session: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Worship - Gathering together to Celebrate God's Heart for Children
Keynote Speaker: Heather T. Forbes

Breakout Session I: 10:15 - 11:45 AM

The Impact of Traumatized Children on the Adoptive/Foster Mom
(Heather T. Forbes)

Just for Dads - a Discussion of Fatherhood
(Pastor David Schooler and Philip Bench)

Showing Love and Support for Adoptive & Foster Families - Roundtable Discussion for Pastors and Ministry Leaders
(Pastor Joseph Cookston and Jody Curtis, Facilitators)

Lunch: Noon - 12:45 PM
Salem Student Cafe

Breakout Session II: 1:00 - 2:45 PM

Addressing Expectations/3 Essential Tasks
(Ruby Johnston)

Filling in the Missing Developmental Pieces
(Wendy Flowers)

Parent Self-Care
(Betsey Smalley)

Closing: 3:00 - 4:30 PM

Creating a Circle of Support
(Philip and Heather Bench)

Closing Thoughts
(Pastor David Schooler)
Worship and Prayer Time for Parents


Pre-registration is required. To register, please visit:​/#/upcoming-events/adoptio​n-conference

This conference is presented in cooperation with Heather T. Forbes and the Beyond Consequences Institute; the Synergy Network; Lamplighter Orphan Care Ministry; LAMb International; Salem Orphan Outreach Team; and Salem Church of God.

For additional information or to receive a brochure, contact Heather Bench at 937-836-6500, voicemail extension 302 or email SalemOrphanOutreach@gmail.​com