Justin and Sarah Oberndorfer are foster parents in the State of Kansas. They have had numerous foster children in their home, along with their four biological children. Through their vocations, (Sarah is an attorney and Justin is a pastor and high school teacher), they saw the trauma that the broken family can have and also the trauma to those who try to help. The Oberndorfers have had long-term foster placements, short-term, emergency custody, and the “one-nights”. They saw sibling groups moved multiple times just because home weren’t available that could keep them all together. They personally felt the burnout of foster parents from the isolation of working with these kids from hard places. Recognizing the greatest strength of their foster care experience came from the support of their church community and the need for other churches to provide the same stability to help these hurting children, Justin began to look for a way to share the model of their local church and the care communities it provides to foster families with other churches here in Kansas. In addition, they were aware of reality of the foster care crisis in Kansas and the need for churches to become involved in recruiting, retaining, and supporting foster families. God led them to the Live the Promise model that has been so successful in other states and Fostering Joy was created.
Justin Oberndorfer leads the Fostering Joy ministry. He graduated from Southern Nazarene University, is an ordained minister, and has served in ministry for over 20 years. He also has a master’s degree in Education from Baker University. As a foster parent and pastor, he is passionate about helping lead churches to answer God’s call to serve the orphan. In addition, after seeing the brokenness that foster care brings to a foster family, he is dedicated to ensuring churches do not get caught up in one-time events or merely recruitment of foster families, but that churches actually see foster families as missionaries and give them on-going support and care as they answer their call from God.