Raymie Veneble

In Our Stories by Kim Eiffert

“There were moments of doubt and exhaustion, but each challenge became an opportunity for growth and a reminder of the immense grace available to us.”


At Story of Peace
By Raymie Veneble

Hello, my name is Raymie Venable, and today I want to share with you my journey back to the Methodist church. A journey which began in the United Methodist church but was often a winding road with no real home. As an adult, I often “tried’ churches but never found a home. Finding Grace Avenue United Methodist Church through a random encounter was exactly what God placed in our path to find our spiritual home.

Several years ago, as my wife and I began the process of fostering and preparing to adopt, it became very important to us to find a church home that would embrace our family and allow the opportunities for our children to be involved and grow up surrounded by a church community. Before this decision, my life was comfortable and while church was a part of my life, little did I know that God was placing a church community in our path that would provide so much support to us during both the happy and turbulent times that come with fostering and adopting children. As we faced many emotional hurdles and heartbreak, Pastor Laura and Billy were always there to listen, comfort, and help us move forward.

As we experienced our first adoption through ZOOM, we looked up to see members of our church community celebrating with us. In those precious moments, I saw God's fingerprints all over the process of forming our family—each adoption, a plan bigger than us. Through the challenges and joys of parenthood, I encountered God in the laughter of my children, in the sleepless nights, and in the shared milestones.

Adopting four children transformed me in ways I could never have imagined. It wasn't just about becoming a parent; it was a journey of self-discovery, patience, and reliance on God's strength. There were moments of doubt and exhaustion, but each challenge became an opportunity for growth and a reminder of the immense grace available to us.

As life became ever busier, I realized the importance of a supportive community and a solid foundation in faith. My journey back to the Methodist church was a homecoming—a return to the faith of my earlier years. The Methodist beliefs of love, inclusivity, and social justice resonated with the values I wanted to instill in my children.

Rejoining the Methodist church was like reuniting with family. The community welcomed us with open arms, embracing our family with love and understanding. Today, as I share with you, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Grateful for the journey that led me to adopt these incredible children, and grateful for the Methodist church that has become a spiritual anchor for our family. The journey continues, and as we navigate the challenges ahead, I am confident that God's grace will guide us every step of the way.

In closing, I want to encourage each of you to embrace the moments that God places in your life. While your journey may not involve adoption or a return to faith, remember that God has placed you right where you should be for the random encounters that could lead you HOME.