Under the Willow Tree

Under the Willow Tree

From Eric and Cody Mathis

“Under the Willow Tree” is our foster ministry, and we have outgrown our home and vehicle...we are seeking funding for an 8-bedroom home ($215k) and a larger van (12+ passenger, $35k). Thank you

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When I was younger, I experienced significant trauma and, in turn, often sought solace among trees, Willows being my favorite refuge.  I always told my mom we should just live in a Willow tree, planning how we'd get an oven and fridge up those branches...lol.  But, God used those moments for His glory, and that was long before I was familiar with the spiritual significance of willow trees and God’s promises in Isaiah 44: 1-4 (so applicable to this ministry).  Willow Trees became a reminder of God’s work in my life, and later, a part of my journey to healing (bent but not broken).  During the time I was being healed from much of that trauma I had experienced as a youth (abuse, SA, and more), I had a considerable amount of vivid dreams.  Many dreams were of my family (even before this ministry, I felt called to have "many children"), but more often they were of my young, hurt self being lead from underneath the safety of a Willow tree into the wide open freedom Christ had prepared for me--Each time I was freed more, I stepped further out of the branches and into the wide spaces prepared for me.  

It was this history with Willow trees, my dreams, and a family calling, that became the catalyst for “Under the Willow Tree”, our family’s foster care ministry, as well as “The Willows of Michigan” (a forming non-profit)—our family wants to be the “willow tree” that God uses as He heals as many children (and their families) as He brings to our home.   We want to be part of the journey leading them to stepping out from under the Willow and into His freedom.  We can continue as we are, but feel called to grow, and need our brothers and sisters to stand in faith and support with us...

“Under the Willow Tree” is our foster care ministry, providing a home, structure, support, faith-led family, and most importantly, an introduction to God and His endless love for each child!  This is a choice, but also a very real ministerial calling.  We ask that you keep our family lifted in prayers: protection, peace, and supernatural healing for each child (and family) that comes to us via foster care.  Also, please always be praying for those children that God knows will enter adoption (either our home, or another), as that is a beauty from ashes story, no matter how fantastic is seems outwardly.

“The Willows of Michigan” is a forming non-profit, that aims to support, advocate, and educate families involved in “the system.  From birth families to foster/kin families, to adoptive families, The Willows aims to serve as a source of resource, respite, and recovery from the realities of trauma and foster care.

We are currently seeking funding to expand to a larger home (changing our license to a family group home requires more space/bedrooms/storage), as well as a 12+ passenger vehicle (be it a sprinter van or a mini-bus, we just want to be safely able to move from A to B together). Between the two we are seeking to raise $250,000 (we are aware of the sticker "shock", but we have a rich God), which will fund a local home for sale with 8-bedrooms, and a new-to-us vehicle!!

Please consider supporting our family ministry!

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