McDowell Technical Community College

Charis Children’s Foundation

The Beginning of the Story

John and Stephynia Limongello

Mitchell and Yancey Counties

When God controls the story of your life He adds things you could have never dreamed, calls you deeper than you ever thought you could go, and demands more than you thought you could ever give. In that place of the great big unknown of God is where we find ourselves today.

God has given me (Stephynia) songs for several years.  In 2015, I was sitting at my keyboard and heard the line “somebody love me”.   I knew that this was the heart cry of a child. I knew the song had something to do with a foster community, perhaps a fundraiser song. I began looking for someone who needed the song but could not find a place for it, so I put it on the back burner.

In spring 2016, I tried to find a place for the song again but did not hear any direction from God.  I was in school full time, pregnant and taking care of a two year old, so once again I laid the song down. In late 2016 God told me I was supposed to record an album. I had no idea where to start or what to do, so I kept it to myself, but God began pouring songs into my heart faster than they had ever come before.

During the same time, John and I became friends with a couple from the church we were attending who had five adopted children. They asked us to help pray whether they should open their home to one more child. In February, they received a call asking them if they would take a three day old girl who was taken into DSS custody at birth.  We received a text asking us to pray for wisdom for them. The next day our friends called to let us know they were taking the baby and were allowed to name her. Baby Charis (which is Greek for God’s grace) became a part of their family and unknown to us, a part of our story.

A few days after Charis came home from the hospital we were honored to be asked to come and pray over her dedicating her life to God. The next morning while having a conversation about Charis, I heard God say “that song is for Charis”. I knew immediately which song he meant. Before I could tell anyone, I again heard Him say, “and the name of your album is The Charis Project: Live it out and it is to fund The Charis Foundation”. I was so overwhelmed; all I could do was cry.

Later that day, I shared what I heard with John. I told him I had no idea what the Charis Foundation was but I thought it had something to do with foster children. John quietly said “I know what it is’.  Then he began sharing, with tears in his eyes, the vision God had been speaking to his heart about building a foster community… And the Charis Children’s Foundation was born.

The vision for Charis Children’s Foundation is to house children in multiple houses in a community setting with permanent foster parents. We know the vision will change and grow as we do, but our heart is to provide long term Christian homes for foster children sharing the love of Jesus and the hope of the Gospel will always be our mission.

We believe God has uniquely trained and called us through our life and career experience to create The Charis Children’s Foundation. Children have unfortunately been lost in the madness of a world that promotes materialism, selfishness, and hedonism. Judeo- Christian values are shunned in this modern era of acceptance and tolerance.

We believe God created marriage, between one man and one woman. He created family. It is all to reflect who He is and His relationship with us. He sets the standards by which man should live.

Our goal is to bring the hope and love of the true gospel to a generation of kids who have been thrown away. We want to see the church rise up and take its place as the center of family and community again. We want every child that God allows us to reach to feel the safety of knowing there is a God that loves them and a family that does as well.

The first phase of the Charis Children’s Foundation includes the building of a community health center that will provide medical care, social support services and recovery services for the foster children, their families and the community. We are donating a home near Burnsville to Charis Children’s Foundation which will be remodeled and enlarged to serve as the community health center. Phase one is necessary to receive the credentialing required to be licensed to house foster children in a community setting.

We believe the foster care issue is the mandate of the church to address, not the government. We believe no one can address the wounds caused by addiction, abuse and neglect without the power of the love of Jesus. We can provide housing and services, but only Jesus can make a wounded heart whole again.

The Charis Children’s Foundation is currently in the planning and fund raising stages.  The Charis Project album is being recorded at Cross the Bridge Ministries in Spruce Pine, NC. We are prayerfully taking each step as God directs. We believe that God will bring to fruition what he has started. We are challenging the body of Christ to partner with us to care for these children.

John and Stephynia Limongello reside in Burnsville, NC.  They were married in 2009 and have two beautiful young boys, John David and Daniel. John was raised in New Jersey. He has earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work. Stephynia was raised in Yancey County, NC and works as a Nurse Practitioner. They attend the Bridge Church of WNC. View our video and donate at https://www.gofundme.com/charischildrensfoundation.  Contact at charischildrensfoundation@gmail.com.  Facebook: Charis Children’s Foundation and The Charis Project: Live It Out.  Call 828-467-5485 for more information.