Essay Contest Winner: Johnna Stein

Johnna Stein is the Director of Volunteer Development at Promise686 where she has worked for three years. She’s previously held positions as a high school teacher, tour guide, children’s ministry leader, stay-at-home mom and reading therapist.

More than a decade of her life has been in the Netherlands where she and her Dutch husband of 25 years raised their two young children. It was there that their hearts began to break for vulnerable children. They hosted Olga from Belarus for a month each summer and sometimes at Christmas for seven consecutive years. Just a year before their return to the United States, they took their teenage kids on a life-changing mission trip to serve for a month at Beautiful Gate, an orphanage for abandoned babies in Lesotho, Africa.

Once settled in America, they began volunteering with foster families bringing them meals and tutoring. After a couple years of serving and after much prayer, they took the plunge to become a foster family. God melded what He was doing in Johnna’s personal life with what He was doing in her professional life when she was asked to come on staff at Promise686 the same month she started IMPACT training. Johnna’s passion is to see the church rise to her potential by raising up loving foster families and supporting them well, so they can foster longer and stronger.

Johnna is also a published writer whose stories have appeared in five Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, Guide, Kiki, Susie and Cricket magazines. She recently started “an adventures in foster care” blog called The Magic Window. You can find it at