When Gary and Lynette Frost joined in marriage more than 45 years ago they had faith-filled expectation that God would grant them the privilege of bearing 10 children. As an anchor passage, the Lord gave them Psalm 127:3, which reads, “Children are a gift from the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” For the Frosts, the answer to their prayers came as God gave them four biological children, two adopted sons and 48 foster children. They are now the proud grandparents of six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
A passion to help children, youth
Bettering the lives of children and youth has directly and/or indirectly been the driving passion of Gary and Lynette since they were married on Oct. 9, 1976. Gary was was pastor of Rising Star Baptist Church in Youngstown, Ohio, for 18 years, and the couple was instrumental in developing programs that focused on children’s academic, attitudinal, athletic and artistic proficiency.
Approximately four years ago the Frosts became aware that the Mahoning Valley in Youngstown had one of the highest infant mortality rates in the state and nation. This rate is determined by the number of children that die before their first birthday. Many factors play into these untimely deaths, such as poor prenatal care, post-traumatic stress during pregnancy, nutrition issues, poor pediatric care, substance abuse, accidents, domestic violence and the many dynamics that grow out of poverty.
Responding to the need
As the Frosts prayerfully sought ways to intervene in this tragic reality the Lord birthed in their hearts a ministry that has come to be known as Eagle’s Nest Life Equipping Center. Eagle’s Nest is a “dream come true” that was Lynette’s vision as she sacrificially worked with women who were members of Rising Star as well as others outside the church community who were desperate for parenting skills. Eagle’s Nest now streams Lynette’s compassion by providing residential care and round-the-clock support for young mothers and their infant children.
The Eagle’s Nest facility is located on the north side of Youngstown near Wick Park and Youngstown State University. The spacious building in an historic community once served as a lodge for a local synagogue before being repurposed to house the Park Vista Nursing Home. When that seniors facility relocated, the building was secured and renovation began. This allowed Eagle’s Nest to be housed there. The property is comprised of two buildings joined together with a total of 36 rooms. Current renovation of the property has brought two fifths of the building up to code for use. More than 20 women and their children have thus far benefited from this ministry.
The Frosts fully identify with the principles of sanctity of life, however, they believe that protecting and assisting vulnerable women and their children doesn’t start at conception and end on the birth date. The Frosts are not just pro-life proponents and abortion opponents — they are whole life advocates whose vision statement is: “We exist that the unborn may survive, the newborn may thrive and parents be equipped to teach their children how to fly.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was originally published by the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio.