The Zeal Conference

The Zeal Conference will be a one day conference hosted by Geronimo Project & Partners at Parkway Christian Center in Grants Pass, Or.
Our goal is to provide you with a place to come be still, fellowship with others and hear from experts in the foster and adoptive field.
The day will be filled with educational moments that can be logged as training hours along with many opportunities like worship, date night and so much more.
Please continue to check out our Facebook page updated information like speakers, lodging and fun things to do while visiting Southern Oregon.


Jason Johnson

Jason is a writer and speaker who encourages families and equips churches in their foster care and adoption journeys.

Jason currently serves as the Director of Church Ministry Initiatives with Christian Alliance for Orphans. In his work he speaks and teaches at churches, conferences, forums and workshops on church-based ministry strategies and best practices as well as encouraging families that are in the trenches and those that are considering getting involved.

Jason and his wife, Emily live in Texas with their daughters and two “grandkids”. He has authored 3 books: Reframing Foster Care, Everyone Can do Something, and ALL IN Orphan Care.

Jason Johnson I Blog


Jamie Finn

Jamie Finn is the biological, adoptive, and foster mother of 4-6 children. When she's not homeschooling, changing diapers, playing Pokemon, making slime, and singing Let it Go, she spends her time encouraging, equipping, and serving foster and adoptive parents. She is the host of the Real Mom Podcast and the author of Foster the Family Blog, which is read by 100,000 people each month and has been featured in over 20 online and print publications. Jamie serves as the director of Foster the Family, a nonprofit which seeks to encourage and support foster and adoptive families, mobilize the church and community for foster care and adoption, and advocate for vulnerable children. Jamie and her middle school sweetheart and husband of 14 years, Alan, live in New Jersey with their children.

Foster The Family



Natalie Brenner

Natalie is a mom via adoption, birth, and foster care. She is a photographer living in Portland, Oregon and the author of #1 new release, This Undeserved Life. She likes her wine red, americano with some cream, and conversations vulnerable. Like you, Natalie is a fierce believer in the impossible and hopes to create safe spaces for every fractured soul. She's addicted to authenticity and honesty. You can love Jesus or not, go to church or not: she'd love to have coffee with you. Natalie is a bookworm, a speaker, and a lover of fall.

Natalie's growing blog,, has had over ninety-thousand page views since January 2017. Her work has been featured in as the top writer, Pregnant Chicken,, Today SHOW, Parents, and more. Natalie has been a featured guest on several podcasting shows including National Public Radio's OPB, Honestly Adoption, Blossoming Mommy and Baby, The Birth Hour, and more. She is a lover of life and breather of grace and hopes to always love bigger than before.


Laura Erkeneff

Laura is a family therapist that specializes in EMDR Therapy. Laura specializes in foster and adoption family counseling. She has worked directly with members of the adoption triad in Colorado and Oregon for almost 20 years.

She has seen what saying yes to foster and adoption means for families and believes in truly supporting the family in all that they will walk through.



Early Bird Ticket


General Ticket

Late Ticket



8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Registration & Breakfast
Enjoy a FREE breakfast while connecting with other guest.
Register for breakout sessions you would like to participate in during the day.
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Morning of Worship
Join us for a morning of worship with Parkways Worship Team
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Main Session #1
Opening of Conference with Bonnie VanDusen & Guest Speaker Jason Johnson
11:35 AM - 12:30 PM
Breakout Session #1
Jamie Finn Session
Natalie Brenner Session
Elizabeth Schaub Session
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Food Truck Choices: (TBD)
2:15 PM - 3:15 PM
Breakout Session #2
Laura Erkeneff Session
Natalie Brenner Session
Panel Speaker Session
3:20 PM - 4:20 PM
Breakout Session #3
Jason Johnson Session
Laura Erkeneff Session
Jamie Finn Session

4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Main Session #2
Guest Speaker Jamie Finn with Foster the Family
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Special Leader Session with Jason Johnson
This session is geared towards community leaders, church staff etc.
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Dinner & Fellowship
A FREE dinner by (TBD) and a time to relax, connect and participate in fun activities

Breakout Sessions

Breakout Session #1

Jamie Finn Session: Foster Caring Community
Being a foster parent can be confusing and difficult, and too often, foster parents are at it alone. This breakout will explore what it looks like to live in community as a foster parent. We will discuss relating to others who may not understand, creating a foster care community where you are, inspiring those around you to get involved in foster care, and other ideas to keep you from feeling isolated as a foster parent. 

Natalie Brenner Session: Grief + Trauma: Part of Every Adoption
We cannot ignore the trauma and grief of adoption and foster care. So often we believe adopting under a magical age will mean the child has "less trauma." 

This is a myth, a lie, a facade that will disappoint you and set you + your child up for failure. Let's talk about why grief and trauma are important to pay attention to, and give space to.

Elizabeth Schaub: Filling the Gaps
More Information to Come
Breakout Session #2

Laura Erkeneff Session: Trauma - Q & A
Saying Yes is the first step.  Now how do you navigate the behaviors of trauma?  During this time Laura will talk about behaviors and how you can support the kids you say yes along with navigating your emotins without feeling overwhelmed.

Natalie Brenner Session: Transracial Parenting through Adoption + Foster Care
As a white mama who has parented children of color over four years, I have realized the work to understanding the privilege and power in this dynamic never ends.

In order to love my child in the best, most God-fearing way, I must dig into the reality of what it means to be a transracial adoptive mom. God created color and culture for a reason, and if we choose to default into "colorblindness," we are not only letting our children down and setting them up for massive struggle, but we are ignoring God's divine creation.

Panel Session-Open Discussion of Saying YES
More Information to Come
Breakout Session #3

Jason Johnson Session: Your Role as a Father
More Information to Come

Laura Erkeneff Session: Trauma - Q & A
Saying Yes is the first step.  Now how do you navigate the behaviors of trauma?  During this time Laura will talk about behaviors and how you can support the kids you say yes along with navigating your emotins without feeling overwhelmed.

Jamie Finn Session: Loving the Broken People of a Broken System
Most people sign on as foster parents with an enthusiasm to care for vulnerable children. But what about when those children are difficult to love? And--even more challenging--what about all of the other broken people in the broken system? This workshop will explore Biblical encouragements, real-life experience, and practical strategies for engaging with and, ultimately, loving biological parents, social workers, judges, and other foster parents.
Special Leader Session with Jason Johnson
This session is geared towards community leaders, church staff etc. that would like to find out ways to better support orphan care ministries or projects within their communities.



Conference Location

Parkway Christian Center

We're thankful for the support from one of our local churches for helping us host and plan this event. Thank you for your commitment to the kids in care.  This beautiful facility will provide a great place to come together.

229 NE Beacon DR.
Grants Pass, OR 97526


More Information to Come


Stay up to date with the latest posts, events and more on our social media pages. Follow us today and share with your friends and family! Together we can make a difference!

Geronimo Project

560A NE F Street STE. A PMB223

Grants Pass, OR 97527

p 541.450.9037


Have An Event And Need A Speaker?

Copyright © Geronimo Project