APR 18-20, 2024 | Swansboro | North Carolina


Mark Schultz

One of Christian music’s most acclaimed singer/songwriters, Mark Schultz, now a resident of North Carolina, has also tasted success on the mainstream adult contemporary charts with such hits as “He’s My Son,” “Letters from War” and “Walking Her Home.” “Back in His Arms Again” was named BMI’s Christian Song of the Year in 2003, “Letters from War” was the centerpiece of the Army’s “Be Safe-Make It Home” campaign and Schultz has flooded radio with nine No. 1 songs, such as “Remember Me” and “I Am the Way.” He’s also earned the top spot on Billboard magazine’s Christian Adult Contemporary Songwriter list and has been featured on the national TV programs, 48 Hours, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, CNN and more. His 2005 release, Mark Schultz Live…A Night of Stories & Songs, sold RIAA certified Platinum and garnered Schultz his first GMA Dove Award. Mark is an adoptee and an adoptive parent.


Dr. Kimberly Offutt is an inspirational speaker, author, child advocate, social worker, and adoptive parent. She has spent the last two decades serving in the child welfare field; currently as National Director at Bethany Christian Services. Kimberly has used her unique personal and professional skills to impact the lives of children and families around the world.  She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia Southern University in 1999, a Master of Social Work degree from Michigan State University in 2012, and a Doctorate of Christian Education from Midwest Theological University in 2020. Kimberly and her husband, Dr. Marcus Offutt, have seven children (four who were adopted from the foster care system) and six grandchildren. They currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia.


Nicholette provides leadership to staff for Kinship Navigator, Safe Families for Children, and Expanded Safe Families through Patrick Henry Family Services. She has specialized education in management and after shifting from years of kinship caregiving to faith-based house parenting, she along with her husband entered full time ministry.  She is passionate about empowering families and walking alongside them as they break generational chains. Nicolette was excited to publish her first children’s book in 2022 for children with autism and their loved ones.

She and her husband Ben have parented children through kinship care, foster care, and the usual way.


Dr. Melody Aguayo has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Ph.D. in Psychology. She is the founder of Real Child Consulting, LLC – an organization  that specializes in providing coaching and training to parents and organizations caring for “at-risk” children. She has spoken at many notable locations including Christian Alliance for Orphans, City of Orphans, Vanderbilt Neurological Symposium, and others. She is also a parent of two children through adoption. Her personal journey has compelled her into a professional world she wasn’t planning on. She has a passion for helping hurting families and children turn their pain into purpose.


Kevin is pastor of Swansboro United Methodist Church. He has an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and received his undergraduate degree (with a focus in psychology/sociology) at Southern Nazarene University. He also currently serves as a PIP Ministry Coach (Passion in Partnership) to other clergy in ministry. In addition to being a full time pastor, Kevin has also served as a teaching assistant for Duke Divinity School, has experience with facilitating outreach and evangelism, integrating technology in ministry, and has taught Course of Study for Pastors at Duke and the Central American pastor’s school in El Salvador. He is a recipient of the Duke University Chapel Humanitarian award and has been a clergy pioneer for issues of race reconciliation.  Kevin has written for The Christian Century, The General Board of Discipleship, Upper Room Books, Abingdon Press. He and his wife Denise, have three wonderful adult children and four amazing grandchildren.


Joy has been passionately involved in the local church for more than 20 years, and currently serves as Associate Pastor for Relentless Church in Garner, NC. Her education and training in Intercultural Studies, Sociology and Masters in Church Ministry with a concentration in Biblical Counseling has aided her natural aptitude and passion for working with people from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. She enjoys helping people of all ages understand the truth about God’s Word – especially regarding reconciliation, diversity & justice issues and how much He loves them. Joy is the foster mother to two young children.


Paula is mother of three adult biological children as well as “second mother” to three young men she and husband Tom adopted as older teens and young adults. Paula also has seven grandchildren. Early in her Christian journey Paula spent two years in Mexico and Honduras, doing mission work where the Lord impressed on her heart a burden for the poor and the orphaned. For the past 10 years Paula has volunteered as a Guardian ad Litem for children in foster care. She is treasurer for the nonprofit organization, Second Mothers, as well as for Child Evangelism Fellowship. She serves as the financial coordinator for Renew.


Sandra is mom of 8 children, 5 through adoption—2 diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. She encourages and equips foster and adoptive parents through her weekly Adoption & Foster Care Journey Podcast and blogs at SandraFlach.com. Sandra is co-founder of Justice For Orphans and author of Orphans No More—A Journey Back to the Father. She is also a trained facilitator of the FASCETS Neurobehavioral Model. Sandra and her husband Wayne have been married for 36 years. They reside in upstate NY where they love to spend time with family, especially their seven grandchildren.


Karol and Christian started their foster care and adoption journey in California where they adopted their youngest child. In 2020, they moved to North Carolina and continued fostering. They started and are leading the foster ministry in their church. They founded Foster Connect, which plans and hosts events for foster & adoptive families to build community and connections. Karol was born in Guatemala and Christian in Peru. Because of their connection with the Latino community, they are always looking for opportunities to encourage Latinos to become involved in the foster community.


Joyce Koo Dalrymple is a pastor, speaker, and podcast host. She leads Refuge for Strength, a women’s ministry focused on spiritual formation and listening to God in community. She is on the teaching team for Church360, a collection of house churches in the Wheaton area. A former television journalist and attorney, she frequently guest preaches at local churches and speaks at women’s events and retreats. Joyce received a BA from Stanford University, a JD from Boston College, and an MDiv from Metro Atlanta Seminary. She and her husband, Tim, have three daughters, one who was adopted, and live in Wheaton, IL.


Keith has been a foster and adoptive dad for ten years. He lives in Apex, NC with his wife and six children and works for Agape of NC, building a network of people who will live sacrificially and give generously to protect the children who are most vulnerable in North Carolina. He is passionate about calling the people of God into foster care/adoption and providing training and support that makes it sustainable. Before Agape, Keith spent 12 years working as a Kindergarten Teacher and then transitioned into support roles for the foster care system. Keith became a TBRI Practitioner, a Behavioral Health Partner, and ran support groups for foster & adoptive parents. Through it all, his greatest passion has been equipping local churches to be the light of Christ to their local foster care system.


Dr. Sharen Ford is the director for Focus on the Family’s foster care and adoption program, raising awareness of the need for foster and adoptive families. She previously spent 30 years in Child Welfare Services for the State of Colorado and has been honored for her tenacious advocacy on behalf of foster children by numerous organizations including the Congressional Coalition for Adoption Institute. She loves spending time with her daughter and watching her grandson play football. She is a highly sought after speaker and expert on the child welfare system in the U.S.


Born to an unwed teenager, Betsy Kylstra was soon adopted by loving, wise parents.  However, even with many advantages, she experienced the deep pain and struggles common to many adoptees.  Betsy’s Christian upbringing, plus her healing encounters with God, led to the healing of her heart and launched her into co-founding (with her husband) Restoring The Foundations International:  a ministry providing healing to individuals and couples.  Betsy’s three advanced degrees include a Master’s in Biblical Studies.  She is co-author of Restoring The Foundations and Biblical Healing and Deliverance, as well as other books.  She and her husband, Chester, have four adult children and four grandchildren.


Melissa Matthews is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Restored Souls Foundation,  a Wilmington based nonprofit that supports families with vulnerable children by providing free fun experiences. They specialize in vacation experiences for the whole family as well as parent retreats and provide their services for families across the state of North Carolina. Melissa and her husband Mark have been foster parents for 13 years and fully understand the need for rest and self-care. They have three girls ranging from pre-teen to toddler and when they are not running the foundation or chasing their children, they work other full-time jobs. Melissa is truly passionate about helping kids become all that God has called them to be, whether helping them find their forever homes, or in her high school classroom.


Anastasia is a digital media designer and military spouse. Her husband,  Jett, serves in the USMC. Together they have three children, including a 13-year-old they adopted through foster care, a four-year-old and a two-year old. The Meenach family resides in Hampstead, NC where they have a small, suburban homestead including goats, chickens, dogs and a cat. They have been in the area since 2019 and are active in their local church, Renovation. Anastasia serves as media coordinator for the Renew Planning team.

TONY and venita MITCHELL

After being placed in foster care as a newborn, Tony lived in the foster care system for two years before being adopted by a caring family. Raised in a loving but impoverished home, he became the first and only person in his family to attend and graduate from college, with honors. He went on to navigate a successful 30-year business career serving as CEO, CFO and COO of several organizations, most recently as CFO of Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). Tony has served as a nonprofit board member, an independent corporate board member, a national speaker, and a strategic advisor. He and his wife, Venita, serve as speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage conferences.  Tony and Venita have two adult children and reside in Atlanta, Georgia.


Johnston has been married to Terri since 1988, and together they have seven children (five girls and two boys); all of whom were adopted through the Los Angeles County foster care system. John enjoyed a career in Hollywood in film & TV production before becoming fully immersed in adoption and foster care ministry. He is a freelance writer and consultant, and speaks regularly -including at Focus on the Family’s Wait No More. Currently, John, Terri, and their youngest three daughters live in the Richmond, Virginia area, where they are members of Redeemer Anglican Church. Johnston has served on the Renew planning team since its inception, and is its beloved annual MC.


Linda believes that prayer is the most important thing we can do, and it is the greatest weapon we have. “Mama Linda” is a former foster mother, and has served as the lead of the Renew Retreat Prayer Team for the last four years.  She has served in leadership roles for National Day of Prayer, Promisekeepers, Men at the Cross and others, including a ministry for at-risk, fatherless teens of Chicago. She is also a volunteer to teens at Western Guilford High School. She leads several prayer groups including for Prodigals, Youth and those battling thoughts of suicide. 


Trent experienced sexual abuse, neglect, and domestic violence during the first half of his childhood. He endured a horrific journey through the foster care system until he was adopted at the age of nine. After healing from his traumatic past, Trent began sharing his inspiring story of triumph to provide hope and healing for others. Trent is the founder of Watch Me Rise, a ministry to foster and adopt children. He has mentored hundreds of children, is an accomplished public speaker and has been recognized for his efforts through various awards. He is the author of two books.

Pam, his mother, is a licensed TBRI®  practicioner and former special education teacher with years of experience. She is available to provide specialized trainings for your school, church, nonprofit staff, or any other organization.



Jodi and Jerry have a family that has been blended in all possible ways. Presently, nine young adults call them Mom and Pop, along with a growing army of spouses and grandchildren. Their family includes bio kids as well as domestic and international adoptees. Jodi is the author of three books, including Second Mother: A Bible Study Experience for Foster and Adoptive Mothers, and Healing for Every Heart in Adoption: Redemptive Strategies and Prayers for Adoptive Parents, Adoptees and Birth Parents, (coming September 2024.)  Jodi is the founder of Second Mothers, a ministry for women who serve vulnerable children as well as Renew Retreat.  Jerry is the CEO of Treasured Property, a real estate company that gives back to help every child have a home.


Jason Weber and his wife, Trisha, have been speaking up on behalf of the marginalized for the past 24 years. Jason has written and helped to produce several books and other tools, including Farmer Herman and the Flooding Barn, a 2018 ECPA Christian Book Award finalist and Until There’s More Than Enough. Jason has been a regular columnist for Fostering Families Today magazine and is the host of the More Than Enough Podcast, which highlights the work of national foster care advocates. Jason serves with the Christian Alliance for Orphans, and helps lead More Than Enough, a collaborative movement facilitated by the CAFO community. His family includes five children adopted from foster care.

natalie giduz

Natalie graduated with her masters in social work last May and now works as pediatric medical social worker at UNC. She is passionate about caring for the vulnerable, whether that be supporting at-risk families through her job or supporting foster and adoptive parents at church. She is a member at Waypoint Church where she serves in the buddy ministry. In her free time Natalie enjoys practicing Spanish, swing dancing, playing board games with friends, and listening to audiobooks. 

APRIL 18-20, 2024


SWANSBORO, North Carolina

See you at the beach!