In the News

Tulsa Front Page

A story I recently wrote for American Profile Magazine has exploded into something that is greater than me. It is greater even, than the people who are a part of the story. I am humbled by the calls from readers who have not only been touched by the story but who are being touched by the ministry of Ron and Tynsy Foster, the couple who makes Healing Memory Bears.

Their story began several years ago when Tynsy, who sews and alters clothing for a living, had a request from a customer to make a teddy bear out of clothing that belonged to her deceased husband. Tynsy created a cuddly keepsake for her customer but the idea didn't end there. Other customers saw the results and Miracle Bear was born. The bears have become more than a keepsake for their owners. When I became friends with the Fosters, who live in Grove, OK, I learned how Miracle Bears were helping the grieving to heal. When the Fosters shared their customers' letters with me, I knew the Healing Miracle Bears story needed to be told.

Before I wrote the article about their Healing Bear ministry, the Fosters already had created and shipped out more than 1,000 bears to more than 40 states and three foreign countries. Since American Profile ran the story in early April, the Fosters have had to get a second phone line. At this writing more than 650 people from across the nation and overseas have called wanting bears. Most more than one.

The Fosters are overwhelmed by the stories that people tell as they pour out their grief over the phone and letters. Some of the stories they have heard are heartbreaking: like the 12-year-old girl who had been kidnapped and returned to her parents but perished two days later in a house fire. Tynsy told me of the mother's grief. She wanted a bear but the daughter's clothing had been lost in the fire. As Tynsy ministered to the hurting mother over the phone, she realized there was something else she could do. After finding out the girls' favorite color had been purple, Tynsy assured the mother she would get her teddy bear. Tynsy bought the material and will be creating --from love--a keepsake for a heartbroken mother. Tynsy attaches a card to each bear which reads "I'm only a bear. I'm made of clothes from someone so dear who from loving memory will always be here. So when you hug me up close to you just remember that I loved you too."

The demand has been overwhelming. "We have been blessed," says Tynsy. "It is just amazing." Yes, amazing it is. Another word for humility is obedience. By following the Lord's guidance and using their Healing Miracle Bears for ministry instead of profit, the fosters are demonstrating what it really means to be a humble servant.

As God's chosen people, we are told to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Are you clothing yourself like one of god's chosen? Devote yourself today to choosing the right garment.