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By Leah Marshall

Colossians 3:12 says to, “clothe yourselves with compassion.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines compassion as, “a sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” Compassion actively seeks to relieve people of their pain and suffering. This is a strong motivation for Greg Stigge, the regional director of Safe Families London.

Safe Families is a ministry that seeks to show compassion and the love of Christ to every family they serve. The goal is to surround families in crisis with caring, compassionate community. This is achieved through volunteers who provide a network of support to families in crisis while they get back on their feet.

A Desire to Do Something Greater

Greg first heard about Safe Families at a conference in the United States. He was immediately excited about the mission and vision of the ministry. In his personal experience with fostering and adopting 6 of his 10 children, he noticed that in far too many cases children are removed from their families simply because their parents don’t have the support they need. He wanted to be involved with an organisation like Safe Families to help avoid the unnecessary breakdown of families within our community.

At the time of the conference the ministry was not active in Canada but it stayed on Greg’s heart for a few years. When Safe Families Canada launched he was one of the first people to join the London chapter. Two years after Safe Families was brought to London, Greg was hired as the regional director.

Impact on Families

The mission of Safe Families is to support families in crisis with family-like support to keep families together. This happens mainly through three avenues of support- host families, family friends, and family coaches.

Family coaches oversee the needs and goals of families, family friends provide the day to day relational support, and host families care for children for a temporary period of time while their parents work through their crisis situation. This generosity changes the lives of both the child and host family. One of our volunteers Amy can attest to this firsthand-

“I think that serving with Safe Families has been a great way to fulfil the Great Commission but it has also been great for my family. It’s been great for my kids to have other kids in their home and have the opportunity to care for them”.

Amy’s family became involved as a host family after moving to London a year ago. Since then, they have hosted multiple families. Her children have always been eager to welcome children into their home and it has been a joy for Amy to watch them get involved in the mission.

The Impact on Parents

Time and time again scripture tells us to care for orphans and widows (James 1:27). Safe Families London helps many people in crisis including grandparents, single fathers, and married couples but they mostly support single moms like Sarah.

A couple months ago, a woman, named Sarah*, was referred after leaving a relationship involving domestic abuse. When she was first connected to Safe Families, Sarah felt isolated, lost, and hopeless. Sarah was connected to family friends who have supported her by bringing meals, watching her children, and being a friend to her. Host homes have watched her kids at times when she was really struggling. It has been a huge help to her as she goes to school and walks in the path of healing.

Safe Families London is currently in need of more family friends so that they can continue to serve as many families as possible.

The Future of Safe Families London

Greg hopes to see Safe Families represented in the majority of churches in London. This allows families in need to connect to the local church in their neighbourhood. Growing the volunteer base is also a major need with an emphasis on family friends.

Safe Families London is run by donors and relies on the generosity of others. If you feel led to support this ministry, you can donate now at:

If you or someone you know would like to change lives and provide community to families in need, contact us at: