Tag : adoption

post image

Pastor of the Week: Tom Curry

By: Dezaray Barr

Tom Curry

Tom Curry is the Pastor of Living Faith Lutheran Church in Wabash, IN. He is also employed by a mission mobilization organization serving mainly evangelical Lutheran churches, Awakening Lives to World Missions, where he is the Mid-West Regional Representative.

Curry graduated from Taylor University with an undergraduate degree. He attended Huntington University for his graduate studies and received his M.A. in International Development from William Carey International University.

“I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from India Bible Institute in New Delhi, India, on March 1, 1995, for my work among India’s poor children,” Curry said. “I am the Founder of an Indian Trust – Center for Orphan Development and Education and assisted in the founding of its sister American organization, Friends of Hope, which presently supports children of five different residential homes in India.”

Curry and his wife, Rhonda, lost their first child in 1978. “I began to see the reality of hope that is relevant to life,” Curr said. “As painful as it was, God used that event to move me in the direction of people and coming along side of people without hope. This proved to be instrumental in my calling as a pastor. ”

Curry and his wife

Curry and his wife just celebrated 43 years of marriage. They have three children – Joni Annette (deceased), Jim and Jenny, as well as six grandchildren. They were licensed foster parents for 15 years and have adopted two children.

Curry said that in his time in pastoral ministry and as a missionary in India, spiritual warfare has been the biggest challenge. “It was only in recent years that I have come to realize the far-reaching effects of evil and present-day demonic activity. I believe the church is the primary target of our enemy the devil. Demonic activity is behind every church conflict. This is more blatant in developing nations,” he said.

Living Faith Lutheran Church is a new church start in Wabash. The church has two main themes – word and sacrament. “Communion is a big part of every service with an emphasis upon the real presence (not literal) of Christ in and through the communion elements,” Curry shared. “Corporate confession of sin along with pastoral absolution is part of our Eucharist.We value and are not ashamed of our connection with historical Christianity and see the ancient creeds as an important part of that connection.”

If Curry could encourage IWU students of one thing, he would tell them, “As you deepen your knowledge of God through His written Word, may you also deepen your knowledge and appreciation of how the Holy Spirit has worked throughout history. Appreciate the saints gone before you and seek to stand on their shoulders working with them, not doing your ‘own’ thing in isolation.”

 

 

Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

Miracle Baby: Grant County’s First Birth in the New Year

By: Katherine Arch

On January 1st, 2016 IWU alumni Nathan (’05, Social/Behavioral Sciences, Business Administration) and Kim (’04, Elementary Education) Cromer welcomed Caleb Jonathan Cromer into the world. Caleb was Grant County’s first birth of the year, born at Marion General Hospital. Many people herald the birth of a child with comments about the miraculous nature of new life, Grant County’s first baby of the new year, however, cannot be described as anything short of a miracle.

Chronicle-Tribune source

When the two married ten years ago, doctors told Kim and Nathan that they would never have children. Coming from a family of twelve children, Kim especially was very upset by this news.

“We were told it would be a miracle to have a baby,” Kim recalls. Upon hearing this news, the couple felt called by God not to pursue fertility treatments. Instead, they chose to wait patiently and hope that God would grant them their desire to have children.

“There’s a verse in Psalm 113 that says “He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother” (Psalm 113:9 a) I clung to that verse at that time,” Kim recalled. “I felt as though God gave me that verse as a promise. I needed to wait.”

During this period of waiting, Kim recalls that she was working at McCullough Junior high as a teacher. Many of McCullough’s students are from poor socioeconomic backgrounds, every day Kim faced the struggles of poverty. Her heart was heavy with the struggles these students faced.

“I wanted to help children who were hurting,” Kim remembers. “So Nathan and I decided that we wanted to pursue doing foster care and in-home childcare.” After making this decision, Kim stepped down from her position at McCullough and the couple began the journey of foster care.

“We had groups of siblings several times; sometimes we just had individual kids,” stated Kim. “At one point we had a five-year-old, a three-year-old, and a one-year-old in our house at the same time!” About two years ago, the Cromers took in a young boy named Isaiah; this child they were able to adopt. Kim commented on the significant difference between adopting and doing foster care. She mentioned how difficult it is to give children back when their time as foster parents ends.

Looking back on the series of kids that came and left their home, Kim recalls that the process of doing foster care was “emotionally and physically exhausting.” The Cromers, however, sensed strongly that this was something to which God had called them. So they continued volunteering to take children through the foster care system. At the same time, they finalized adoption for Isaiah. After successfully adopting him, the Cromers found out they were pregnant.

“We were thrilled,” Kim stated. “We felt as though God had promised us this child, and now we were being given him.” The pregnancy was without complication, and on January 1st, the couple welcomed Caleb to their family.

“His name has special meaning,” explained Kim of her son. “Caleb means “faithful”, and Jonathan means “gift from God.” We really felt that both of those names were fitting.”

Five days before Caleb’s birth, their last foster care child left their home. The family plans to take a year off of foster care to adjust to their new family dynamics and resume care next year.

“We have no promise that we’ll have a child again,” Kim emphasized, “and his birth doesn’t change our desire to do foster care. This is something we still feel called to do. Caleb was simply our miracle baby.”

The Indiana Wesleyan Alumni family is excited to celebrate the birth of Caleb Jonathan with the Cromers!

 

Written by Katherine Arch, Story Teller for Alumni Relations. Katherine Arch is a Senior English major at Indiana Wesleyan, and a member of the Track and Cross Country teams. She is passionate about sharing people’s stories and celebrating their unique divine potential in written form. Katherine also operates a website called “Join the Ranch” at jointheranch.weebly.com. It is about pursuing God’s purpose for her life and vocation.