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new balance 999 A call to motherhood nurtures love and life in Abilene Abilene Reporter The annual Christian Homes Family Services luncheon honors local mothers and raises awareness about the needs and services of the organization, which offers education and assistance to women facing unplanned pregnancies and families looking to foster or adopt. Rhea, who has five children, reached out to other mothers, encouraging them by reciting Proverbs 31:28, "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." "Raising five kids," she said, "it's been a blast, but it puts a lot of miles on a person." Rhea used her own motherhood experiences to inspire moms in the audience, mentioning how much her own children have been a blessing to her. and Shelly Blake also spoke briefly at the event with their current foster baby in tow. Christian Homes began offering foster care services in the 1960s. The Blakes are one of seven local families that currently foster through Christian Homes Family Services. They have fostered six babies through the organization as they await "forever families" and encouraged other families to consider foster care. "Jesus told us," he said, "when you've done it to the least of these you've done it to me." The six babies in his care over the past several years have been "the least of these" to him, Blake said, and foster care has not just been an act of service for his family, but a blessing. His wife, Shelly, agreed. They have two children of their own who are 26 and 27 years old, she said, and foster care has allowed her to continue to do what she loves most be a mother. The love she has for the foster babies is the same she has for her own, she said, and the excitement that comes with having a hand in completing someone else's family at the end of the period of foster care is irreplaceable.