Building Hope GRAY AND TREY PACE BUILD HOMES OF HOPE TO REBUILD LIVES IN UKRAINE
BROADMOOR BAPTIST CHURCH ISSUE 1 • SPRING 2014
A Letter from
Pursuit It is my privilege to welcome you to the first edition of Pursuit! As Lead Pastor at Broadmoor, I hear stories of life-changing and world-changing faith every week. When I hear stories of ordinary people experiencing God’s extraordinary power working in and through them, I often think, “Everybody needs to know about this!” Pursuit is a vehicle to share some of the stories of how God is uniquely working in and through the Broadmoor Faith Family. “Passionately Pursuing God’s Vision for Life” is our vision statement as a church and, I believe, an accurate description of how our church family seeks to live our lives. The stories you will read in this edition, and in coming editions, are beautiful and powerful pictures of individual followers of Christ in pursuit of all God has invited them to experience for the good of the world and His glory. The physical magazine itself is an expression of the giftedness of many people within our church family who have offered their talents in writing, layout, photography, and printing to bless each of us with these stories. I know you will be encouraged and blessed by all you read and see. Most of all, I hope you will be challenged to stay in pursuit of all God has for you! Remember: Pursuit is not just for the Broadmoor Family. Feel free to share a copy with a friend! Everything Changed: The Easter Effect This first edition launches in the spring during the Easter season as the Broadmoor Family begins the Everything Changed sermon series. Easter is always a highlight of the church year as we celebrate the historical event of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Beyond that, we also celebrate the spiritual reality that Easter is more than an event to be remembered; it is about the reality of an available relationship with Christ that can be experienced. This relationship experience affects every area of our life, breathing true life into every fiber of our existence as we allow our living Lord to lead us. When Jesus stepped out of the tomb that
first Easter, He set in motion a new reality that can be experienced by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. The annual celebration of Easter reminds us of the ultimate reality of the resurrection: EVERYTHING CHANGED! It is the identifying characteristic of every follower of Christ and the unchanging message of the church for over 2000 years. I can’t wait to see all God will do as we stay in pursuit! During this sermon series, we will search the Scriptures to see just how everything changed when Jesus defeated death, how everything changes in the life of the believer, and how everything can change in the lives of those who have not yet placed their faith in Jesus Christ. In this series of messages, we will also have the opportunity to join our living Lord in His work in the world around us through what I am calling the “Everything Changed Challenge.” Each of us will have the opportunity to participate in two specific ways by Caring to Change and Sharing the Change. This challenge should actually be the lifestyle of every follower of Christ, but the Easter season offers unique opportunities to share with others the faith that has changed us. Caring to Change is simply the challenge to care for others around us in tangible, practical ways in order to gain the opportunity to share about the possibility of a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. Sharing the Change is being available and willing to openly share with others the gospel and how your relationship with Christ has changed your life. Begin praying for opportunities to share. Remember, there is no greater proof of the story of Easter than the testimony of a person who is experiencing the power of the living Lord today! I can’t wait to see all God will do as we stay in pursuit! Your Pastor,
pur•suit (pǝr-˙süt) an effort to secure or attain; quest ................
Pursuit exists to tell some of the stories of those within the Broadmoor Family and beyond who are Passionately Pursuing God’s Vision for Life.
ON THE COVER
THE FIRST LADY OF BROADMOOR
STAFF and CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR Gary Maze CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Lynsie Armstrong Keisha McNeil Linda Watkins CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Bill Moak Malcom Woody
FROM A BENCH TO A BUS
DESIGNERS David Leonard Derek Walker PHOTOGRAPHY Chase Richardson If you have story ideas or comments about Pursuit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published by Broadmoor Baptist Church 1531 Highland Colony Parkway, Madison, MS 39110-7469 601.898.2345 • www.broadmoor.org • Dr. Rob Futral, Lead Pastor
TO HAITI FROM JAMES
Where the Story Begins In the spring of 1958, a young pastor and his wife came to a small, but growing church in the bustling city of Jackson. Called from a pastorate in the Delta town of Drew, Dr. David Grant and his wife, Lukie, had big dreams. One was that the church they helped nurture would grow and spread the gospel all over the world. Nearly six decades later, that dream is a reality. Though the Broadmoor of 2014 might look a lot different than the Broadmoor of 1958, the basics have not changed: actions built on Scripture and coupled with big, “God-sized” ideas; a commitment to missions; faith; perseverance; and love for each other. Lucille Elizabeth Gardner Grant, known fondly as “Mrs. Lukie,” just celebrated her 90th birthday on Christmas Eve. Her wisdom and counsel have been invaluable to church staff, their spouses, and members through the years. With humility and grace, she has served as a constant, a reminder of that foundation laid so many years ago. Now, she’s a great-grandmother, who proudly shows off pictures of her family to guests. Sitting back in her comfortable chair, she remembers clearly how things were in that spring of 1958.
Broadmoor had recently established its first presence on a busy corner of Northeast Jackson when they called the Grants. “At that point, the church was on the corner [of Manhattan and Northside Drive], and then it was just woods,” she recounts. “They laughingly told David his job was to clean up that lot.” And, over the years, that’s just what they did. Broadmoor built slowly, but deliberately. As the church’s membership grew, so did its commitment to missions and to loving each other. “They were very loving, kind, and responsive,” she remembers. That Broadmoor has remained, growing stronger as a body. One thing that has never wavered has been the church’s commitment to missions, which Mrs. Lukie notes was strong even during the early days. Broadmoor’s groups ranged far and wide doing missions work, often combining things like music programs with missions travel. Born in Gulfport, Mrs. Lukie had moved with her family to Hattiesburg when she was four years old, and then to McComb four years later. After graduating high school in McComb, she went to “The W,” known then as Mississippi State College for Women. While attending summer school classes at Mississippi College, she was approached by a confident young student from Plantersville named David Ruff Grant. He was immediately smitten and asked the pretty young coed if he could carry her books. “I wasn’t really very impressed,” she recalls. “I said, ‘No, thank you.’ But later, I found out what a treasure he was.”
Arriving at Broadmoor When the couple arrived at Broadmoor, they found a congregation full of young families just building their lives. The postwar baby boom had turned parts of North Jackson into a thriving community with lots of children and big dreams. Businesses were bringing new families, and the young church responded. Meeting first in an old bottling plant, then a store, 3
Building Relationships As their relationship grew, Dr. Grant was preaching at several churches in north-central Mississippi. “Communication was hard, and courting was difficult,” he wrote in his autobiography, To God Be the Glory: An Autobiography. Dr. Grant noted in the book they had little money at the time and when Mrs. Lukie’s father asked her how they would get by, she replied, “Love and the congregation.”
“We have labored beside each other in our Lord’s Kingdom for a half-century, and there have been few ladies that have filled such a role with the small amount of criticism that she has had.” Dr. David Grant
Always during the 26 years of their ministry at Broadmoor, Mrs. Lukie notes, there were strong men in the church helping guide it. “David said one of the secrets of Broadmoor was the leadership; there were men who led…that were strong, and followed through on ideas.” In his autobiography, Dr. Grant went to great lengths to praise Mrs. Lukie and her role as a Christian wife and mother, referring to her as “…chief counselor, constant companion, friend and wife. Lukie has been a first lady, magna cum laude, in the churches where I have served as pastor. We have labored beside each other in our Lord’s Kingdom for a half-century, and there have been few ladies that have filled such a role with the small amount of criticism that she has had.”
The couple was married at the end of their junior year on June 28, 1944. Life was a whirlwind during those first years of marriage. They moved to Kentucky to continue their education, and their family began to grow. Sarah was born in 1950, about the time Mrs. Lukie got her master’s degree. Sarah was followed by Olivia in 1953, and David in 1956.
Retirement Mrs. Lukie and Dr. Grant continued to serve at Broadmoor until his retirement in December 1984. She worked for 13 years at Mississippi Disability Determination Services, where she retired in 1985. The Grants welcomed Broadmoor’s new pastoral family, Dr. Jim Futral and his wife, Shirley, soon afterwards. Among their three children was Broadmoor’s future pastor, Rob. After retirement, the Grants traveled and saw much of the world, including time spent doing interim work at churches in Norway and Germany.
The Grants found their children loved by their new family at Broadmoor, a trait which Mrs. Lukie counts as one of Broadmoor’s great strengths. “Broadmoor has always been blessed with children,” she notes. Inside the towering figure of Dr. Grant, she notes, was a loving husband and father -- and a sensitive soul. “He was a very caring, loving person,” she says of him. “He loved everybody, and wanted everybody to love him.” At Broadmoor, the Grants went about their work with dignity and purpose, never wavering in their call to leadership of the Broadmoor flock. Often, Dr. Grant’s visionary ideas for the church were new and different. “He had a marvelous ability of having such foresight,” she remembers. “Broadmoor was the first to have a bowling alley and a gym. I don’t know of any other church that had it; probably not in Mississippi.”
The Grants’ children have been involved in Christian ministries, carrying on the couple’s work. Sarah and her husband are on the mission field in France, Olivia serves as Assistant to the Senior Pastor at Johnson Ferry Church near Atlanta, and David, Jr. serves with Lifeway Christian Resources in Tennessee. Mrs. Lukie enjoys her eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Under his leadership and by bringing in talented and visionary staff members, Broadmoor went on to establish ministries that are credited with bringing in many who might not otherwise have been reached by a church. Broadmoor’s athletic, music, and childcare programs were all instrumental in helping Broadmoor grow into the church it is today. Dr. Grant’s grand vision included things that sometimes were subject to vigorous debate, such as the grand pipe organ, which characterized Broadmoor’s Northside Drive location.
Leaving A Legacy Mrs. Lukie now lives a quiet life at her Northeast Jackson home. After Dr. Grant’s death in 1991, the family published the autobiography on which he had been working at the time of his death. She can frequently be seen at Broadmoor and attends faithfully, still involved in missions service. She does this because she believes a church member should support the pastor. 4
“I am a great admirer of our pastor, and support him in everything he wants to do. I believe in him and I think as long as he’s there, we’re going to just keep on going,” she explains. “He is one fine man, who wants to do what the Lord wants the church to do.”
But among the great gifts of wisdom Kimandria gained was Mrs. Lukie’s advice about being a pastor’s wife. “I’ve learned the greatest gift I can give to my church family is to share my husband, his time, and his energy with the church without any resentment and to make those sacrifices without harboring any bitterness because that is your husband’s service and calling.”
In the years after Dr. Grant’s retirement, Mrs. Lukie began to be called upon to counsel the “first ladies” of the church. They keep her as a close confidant and she has some advice for a pastor’s wife: be genuine. “Be yourself. I think women who find themselves in the role of a pastor’s wife and who pretend…it’s miserable,” she explains. “You really have to have a heart for the church, its people, and the Lord himself.”
Mrs. Lukie has continued her involvement in missions, and Kimandria notes how she accompanied Broadmoor groups to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when she was 81. “So many people would make excuses, but she does not use her age as an excuse.” A few years ago, she traveled to France on another one of Broadmoor’s mission trips.
Kimandria Futral has been the recipient of Mrs. Lukie’s wisdom all her life, having grown up at Broadmoor under Dr. Grant’s pastorate. “I just remember seeing Lukie and her children and looking up to the whole family,” she recalls. “Seeing the children being involved in ministry and missions has been an inspiration. She has been a true role model.” Kimandria got to know Mrs. Lukie better when she and Rob came to Broadmoor in 2003, and the two joined two others in an intergenerational women’s group called Circle of Friends. “We gleaned great wisdom from those ladies at the luncheons. How valuable those times were!” she remembers. “Jill [Ford] and I began to ask questions about marriage and what she would do the same and differently. I remember laughing around the table and having lunch. One valuable piece of information was she wished she had sat down and watched more football with her husband. She was so busy doing chores and ministry. She just wished she had more relaxation time with him.”
As a birthday present last year, Kimandria and Rob presented Mrs. Lukie with a one-of-a-kind “Jeremiah Pot,” based on Jeremiah 18:1-6. “It illustrates how God continues to mold and shape us throughout life,” she notes. “Lukie wants to please the Lord until her last breath.” Story by Bill Moak 5
“You really have to have a heart for the church, its people, and the Lord himself.” Mrs. Lukie Grant
Okay, I know what you’re thinking – that is a peculiar title. Well, I would be the first to tell you this is no ordinary story. This might take a while, but I want you to know every detail, so pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee.
immediately. One security officer assured Kelly they had tried to get Aaron to go to a hospital, but Aaron refused. Kelly didn’t mince words, “If this man doesn’t get to the hospital, that smell you smell will advance from his feet into his body and he will die.” We left not knowing whether Aaron would get to the hospital or not, but Kelly’s message was clear.
The night was just like any other night for the Jackson Street Ministry engaging the homeless of Jackson, Mississippi. Just before midnight I pulled up to a red light on Capitol Street just in front of the King Edward Hotel. We were almost finished for the evening; I was tired and ready to go home. At that moment while I sat begging the light to turn green, someone spotted a man sitting on a forlorn bench by the bus and train depot. It is a scene I have seen many times in the 8 years I have been doing street ministry. However, this encounter would prove to be unlike any other we’ve ever had as events played out.
Needless to say, Aaron Mallard was on his way to the hospital first thing the next morning. By this time, Aaron’s story began to circulate through the network of the Jackson Street Ministry, and many began to pray for Aaron. Folks prayed his life would be spared and that he would be restored to good health. Interestingly, no one was really praying Aaron would not lose his feet, at least no one who smelled that smell. The message was loud and clear: His feet were gone. His feet were dead. What we didn’t know was that as bad as Aaron’s feet were, an infestation of maggots actually not only saved his life, but kept the infection from spreading. Then came the miracle. Kelly Tipton would call me one day and say, “Aaron’s feet are going to be okay, and he is not going to lose them.” In my feeble mind this was impossible. I made sure I heard Kelly correctly. He confirmed I did. What was once riddled with infection and infested by maggots was restored to living flesh. Aaron was not out of the woods yet. He needed time to heal, and get healthy and strong. Kelly continued to build a relationship with Aaron visiting him regularly and overseeing his care. When it came time for Aaron to be discharged from the hospital, Kelly didn’t want Aaron to be turned back out on the street, so he checked into every option available. He contacted agencies, care homes, shelters, nursing homes, experts in the homeless community, and anyone who would listen, but each attempt met a dead end. Then came the next miracle. Just as Aaron was being discharged from the hospital with no place to go, a bed opened up in the medical care wing of the Billy Brumfield Shelter. These are highly-coveted beds are seemingly never available, but Aaron had a bed and a safe haven. The fine staff at Brumfield welcomed Aaron with open arms. He received excellent care as Kelly continued to visit investing more and more into the relationship. Eventually, Kelly tracked down Aaron’s family online and some of his family came from Riverside, California, to see Aaron at Brumfield. They were amazed at how well he was doing, how happy he seemed to be, and looked forward to Aaron coming home when he was able. They thanked Kelly and the staff at Brumfield, then went home. Perhaps this visit left a profound impression upon Aaron. As summer waned, each time Kelly would go to see Aaron, all Aaron would talk about was going home to California. But, how? Kelly was torn not knowing what to do. Yet, when Aaron was finally able to travel, Kelly knew it was time for Aaron to go West. This burdened Kelly because he knew he would have to release Aaron to an uncertain future. He
Our team dispatched from the van with sandwiches, socks, and hygiene items in hand. The man’s name was Aaron Mallard. He was from Los Angeles, but had drifted east to Atlanta. Aaron was on his way back to Los Angeles from Atlanta when his money ran out in Jackson, Mississippi. That first night we met him, Aaron was cold, hungry, and had swollen feet with obvious health issues. We attended to him, prayed with him, and gave him directions to a nearby free clinic to have his feet examined. We strongly suggested he go first thing in the morning. Then, our group loaded on the van and headed to our warm homes. “The thought kept running through my mind: If this man dies in Jackson, I want him to know that someone cared, that someone was nice to him, and that someone was willing to pray with him and for him.” Kelly Tipton
The next week, Aaron was again on the same bench at the depot. As we approached to offer assistance, the sharp stinging smell of rotting flesh hit us about twenty yards away. Aaron’s feet were worse, much worse. Kelly Tipton knew the smell. He knew he was dealing with a potential life-threatening situation. He searched the depot for security and once he found them, he instructed them that Aaron needed to go to the hospital 8
wanted to continue to be able to control care, look out after him, and make sure everything was okay. In his own words, here is what Kelly said about this tough decision: “So, why is Aaron going to California? The simplest answer I can give you is because he wants to. He asks every time we are together when he can go back. I have to be brutally honest here and tell you I am scared. I struggle with knowing if this is the right decision. Have we done all we can? Are we letting Aaron down by sending him to California? But then I remember: God Is Good. When my faith and understanding are at their weakest, I simply have to remind myself that ultimately God Is Good. It is not something I am supposed to understand. I’ll never have all the answers, but what I do have is faith. Simply relying on faith has never been my strong point. I am a guy who needs to understand it, break it down, and analyze it. I need to rely on my faith and trust in the Lord that no matter what happens, it is all according to His plan.” On Friday night, August 23, 2013, I accompanied Kelly Tipton, James Ragsdale, and Rob Rigdon to the Greyhound Bus Terminal in Downtown Jackson. Yes, the same depot where months earlier we had first encountered Aaron Mallard. Kelly had the bus ticket to Riverside, California. He had seen to it that everything was in order.
more than cared for. I hope so. I wish Aaron could really comprehend how he inspires the Jackson Street Ministry to keep on loving as Christ loved. I am certain we will never look at a person sitting on a bench quite the same way. Our expectations have changed because the reality of the power of the love of Christ is now a true story that pleads to be told. It really happened and we were the witnesses. What a sheer privilege it was. For Kelly Tipton, his life will never be the same. He was at the epicenter of the miracle and the love. The great Apostle Paul once wrote in 1 Corinthians 13 that love never fails. For Kelly and Aaron it triumphed… beyond social, economic, racial, and all other barriers.
Aaron was not remotely the same emaciated and dying man we had encountered months earlier. We stood amid the scant groupings of folks waiting on buses to go elsewhere. Aaron stood with us. The cane in his right hand was the only sign he had any health issue. We talked. We took pictures. We linked arms in prayer with Aaron standing with us. Eventually, the bus number was called, and we made our way toward the gate for Aaron’s bus. We stood as the line moved slowly. Kelly continued to go over with Aaron all they had rehearsed. He reminded him of snacks in his backpack for the journey. He wanted Aaron to know the route, where he was going, and how long it would take. He recounted all the programed numbers already entered into his prepaid cell phone. For anyone watching, they would have sworn Kelly and Aaron were family, and they would be correct. They are family–God’s family. As Aaron approached the bus door, I stood back and watched as Kelly said his goodbyes and farewells. There were strong emotions. I felt Kelly was putting his closest brother on the bus. My mind was awash with all that had transpired from the beginning until that moment. I thought about how Kelly had worked so hard, how he never gave up on Aaron. The stark reality was right in front of my eyes. Aaron Mallard had moved from the bench to a bus, and it was nothing shy of a miracle. Carefully, Aaron stepped away from us. He methodically climbed those bus steps with feet he shouldn’t have. As he disappeared down the aisle, there was a pang of sorrow in all our hearts. It was the hurt of love.
Regardless of what the future holds, nothing can ever take back what happened here. Due to what has happened, we turn from that glorious past and look to the horizon of the next opportunity. Aaron’s story keeps driving Kelly Tipton as he shares in his own words, “Aaron was just a man afraid, stuck in a place he didn’t know, and surrounded by people he didn’t know. The homeless are many faces with many stories. Aaron’s story inspires me to keep reaching out to make a difference: one person and one relationship at a time, with great expectations that Jesus will show the way. God is good. He knows what is best.” In my mind, I see the scene like the ending of a Hollywood movie. When the sun rose like a giant orange ball in the east on the morning of August 24th, somewhere in the vast West, it shown brightly on a blue Greyhound bus traveling through a painted desert. How fitting Aaron Mallard rode away from a sunrise and not into a sunset. I wonder sometimes if he ever thinks of us, but there is no doubt that we will often think of him.
Perhaps he’ll remember his days in Mississippi with fondness. I pray so. Maybe he will recall he was
Story by Malcolm Woody 9
It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon, cold and dreary. But there’s warmth in the quiet Madison home of Gray and Trey Pace as they attempt to explain why they would go halfway around the world to help teenage girls they hardly know. Holding her Study Bible open to the book of Haggai, Gray quotes from the verse that started it all, in a short book whose pearls of wisdom are often overlooked like a small town that’s been bypassed by the Interstate. “This is what the Lord God Almighty says,” she reads. “‘Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,’ says the Lord.” Looking up, she says matter-of-factly, “God told me to build the house.” Gray sits across from her husband Trey, a homebuilder and former coach. The Paces’ story starts as many do: the pair met and fell in love in college, started a family and careers, and moved to Madison. With two kids, Kathleene (13) and Kinsman (11), they were living contentedly. Gray was working as a physical therapist (PT) and Trey had started a homebuilding business after years of coaching kids’ sports.
bottom fell out of the housing industry along with the rest of the economy. Uncertainty followed, as the couple realized they might not be able to afford to stay in the home. “I am sure God is providing for us and His plan for our home will be revealed in His time,” she wrote in a personal journal in January 2010. But it was the next challenge that rocked their world. Perhaps Gray’s work was part of God preparing her for what would come next. “My heart is that I want to encourage the sick and hurting to have confidence to do more than they realize they can despite their circumstances. Being a PT helps me do that,” she explains. Those goals are largely unreachable by many young people in Ukraine, a nation of 45 million people sandwiched between Russia and the Black Sea. Having emerged from the shadow of the Iron Curtain in the 1990s, Ukraine has struggled to bring its people the lifestyle promised by its beautiful topography, sturdy people, and rich soil. Part of Ukraine’s challenges lie in protecting its own citizens. The nation has become a hive of international crime, perhaps most notoriously for the spread of human trafficking. This crime involves enticing or
Trey had just built them a dream home when the 12
kidnapping young people and sending them throughout the world to be used as forced labor, or to work as prostitutes. Sadly, this is the way the dream ends for many a young Ukrainian girl, who finds herself without friend or ally, facing the mean streets alone.
Her research told her the cold, hard facts of the orphanages. At 16, kids must leave to face alone an uncertain future. She was told these children leave the relative safety of the orphanage, only to either be kidnapped or enticed to locations where they fall victim to human traffickers.
Tragically, even the orphanages themselves are sometimes subject to corruption with money changing hands to help channel kids into the system. But God loves these kids and has a plan for their lives, as He does for all His children. Sometimes, it involves people just trying to live their lives in Madison, Mississippi.
Thousands of Ukrainians each year are enslaved overseas, with many girls vulnerable to exploitation as prostitutes. Estimates vary, but it’s commonly believed that more than 120,000 Ukrainian girls have been sold into slavery since the collapse of the Iron Curtain. “Sixty percent of the girls end up in prostitution and 70 percent of the boys end up committing crimes,” Gray wrote in her journal, after studying up on the situation.
Gray had been asked to consider going on a Broadmoor mission trip to Ukraine, but she wasn’t sure of her motivation. Visiting an orphanage in the town of Nikolaevka, she began to understand. “There were two girls there I met, and I wondered what kind of future would they have. That summer, God gave me a breaking heart for them. His spirit spoke to me and said clearly, ‘Build homes for these kids.’” After seeing the movie, The Blind Side, Gray was feeling God’s tug on her heart. She believes it wasn’t an accident that she also read a book called, 3 Cups of Tea, about a man named Greg Mortensen, who decided to build a school for kids in the region of Himalayan Pakistan. Mortensen’s mission began after an ascent to the summit of K2, the world’s second-highest peak. He noticed there was no school for the village kids. So, he raised money and built one. Gray’s takeaway? “One person can make a difference.”
She was convinced God had her on a mission. She still wasn’t sure what it was to be, but it involved those girls. Meeting with a local minister named Pastor Sergiy, she found God had already been moving through local Christians around the world. They had started a ministry called Hope House, where girls could move in and live under the guidance of a housemother. There, they would learn life skills and continue their education with Hope House as their safe zone. The organization had been successful and had plans to build a second home, but they needed money and support. “I promise you I am going to pray about this,” Gray reassured Pastor Sergiy. Coming home, she found the task before her was daunting. She needed help. Trey had still not been
“One person can make a difference.” Gray Pace
UKRAINE BY THE NUMBERS • 60% of orphaned girls in Ukraine end up in prostitution. • There are 29.8 million victims of human trafficking in Ukraine, with 92% of the victims trafficked for labor exploitation.
called to this task, “So, I told God, he’s not helping me, so you need to send me somebody to support this mission.” But God was way ahead of her.
“We do nightly Bible studies with the girls. Encouraging and making disciples are our main goals.”
The word has spread about Hope House. Kids in the Trey was no stranger to going on faith. He had helped orphanages know about the program, and they beg start the Jackson Street Ministry, which helps Jackson’s to be let in. But there is just not enough space. Going homeless. He didn’t know how he’d plug into the back has fortified the family’s relationship with the new calling. Nevertheless, he recognized God’s voice girls and their mission. Sometimes, Trey admits, it’s when he heard it. “I was in church, not listening to the heartbreaking to have to leave. “When we went to the sermon,” Trey recalls with a wry smile. “All of a sudden, orphanage the last time, I had to go back and sit in the I heard God’s voice. He told me I needed to come car, I just couldn’t take it. How do you tell a kid that alongside her; I heard His voice telling me I had to go she’s not going to be able to go back with you?” over there and get engaged in it. He said, ‘Go, and go now.’ He shared five names with me. When I talked But, he smiles and says the rewards are worth the pain. to each of those people, they said it had been on their “They don’t know what a Christian man looks like; I try hearts, too.” to model that for them. It takes them a little while to trust me, a lot of the men in their lives up to that point Afterwards, things began to come together. “I had have not been trustworthy.” The Paces hope to take never been good at asking people for money,” recounts Kathleene and Kinsman back with them soon. Gray. But the money began to pour in anyway. “We honestly cannot tell you how the money has come, it The success stories have names like Leanna, who was has just come. There were times we prayed because we found malnourished and living in a culvert. Now, didn’t have any money for the next step. The next day, thanks to Hope House, she’s gotten an education and is there would be a check in the mailbox, or someone gave now married with a baby. The girls work through their us a name.” issues with the motto - Heal, Trust, Forgive. That’s often difficult, when so many have been mistreated. Now, Hope House has not only met its goals, it’s But God’s grace shines through when a girl can move exceeded them. Hope House 1 is at capacity with 10 on with her life. “Those girls are strong and tough in girls living there presently. A second location has been so many ways,” Trey notes. “Girls their age here in started near the first location. Several of the girls have America are strong, but they have lived lives of privilege gotten married, obtained good jobs, and some now and haven’t had to face adversity. But these girls will have children of their own. By summer 2014, 15 girls take on just about anything. What 13-year-old girl will be living in Hope House 2. “But most importantly, could be trusted to take the subway across town to they get to know the Father,” says Trey with a satisfied work?” smile. Ultimately, the Paces have learned a valuable lesson When visiting Ukraine, groups from Broadmoor serve about God, His plans, and His provision. “God has the girls and staff of Hope House. They are helping to given us a love for these girls and He has worked out all build Hope House 2, and helping meet their spiritual the details. Our story is that God has been so good to needs. During one trip, volunteers worked with the girls us. That’s God’s plan.” to make a quilt and an easy-to-understand Bible in their own language. “We love on them a lot!” notes Gray. Story by Bill Moak 15
“WHEN WE WENT TO THE ORPHANAGE THE LAST TIME, I HAD TO GO BACK AND SIT IN THE CAR, I JUST COULDN’T TAKE IT. HOW DO YOU TELL A KID THAT SHE’S NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO GO BACK WITH YOU?” Trey Pace, on having to leave the orphanage
“TO BE BLESSED, YOU MUST FIRST BE A BLESSING” SISTER MONA
Toward the end of Matthew, Jesus tells parables that involve a departed master entrusting his possessions to others. In one story, there is a landowner who plants a vineyard, builds a winepress, installs a tower and surrounds the entire estate with a wall. He then leases the farm to local tenant farmers, and goes on a long journey. Then, there is the story of the faithful and wise servant, who had been put in charge of his master’s household while the master was away. Yet another story tells of ten maidens awaiting a bridegroom who is a long time in coming. Then we come to the master who hands out money in different amounts to three of his servants and departs for another land.
challenged to take this money and creatively see what God could do with it. Once all was collected, the goal was to bless the kids of the Good Shepherd Orphanage in Haiti with gifts for Christmas. The boys and girls (with a little help from mom and dad) went into action. Some walked dogs, some washed windows, and some sold coffee mugs and earrings. One enterprising young boy took his tuba to the square in Canton and put out a box for donations. James Chapman, a first grader at Jackson Academy, didn’t know right away what to do with his one dollar. His mother, Bonnie, reminded him that he liked to draw, and draw he did.
The White Envelope Project Jesus was preparing His disciples for the reality of a departed master. During the Christmas Season, Pepper Carter, Broadmoor’s Children’s Minister, and her ministry team practiced a modern version of the spirit of these parables. Taking $500, they put money in white envelopes and distributed them to the first through fifth grade kids at Broadmoor. These dollars weren’t entrusted by ability, but distributed randomly. Some received $10, some $5, but the vast majority received an envelope containing a $1 bill. The kids were
Bonnie describes James as a social athlete with real artistic talent. The first picture James drew was of his grandparents. When that drawing netted $1.50, James started to draw the neighbors. He was excited. Bonnie encouraged James to focus and to take his time to do an excellent job. The object of the donations, the kids in Haiti, deserved his very best effort. The first neighbor picture garnered $10, and James buckled down for the second. It took three drafts before he got it right, and brought in $20.
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.” Matthew 25:14-15 ESV
James could have stopped there. Certainly, a thirty-fold return on investment was a remarkable achievement. However, the Chapman family wasn’t finished. They took the thirty dollars and spent it on a box of labels. James got busy creating several Christmas designs that could be copied onto the labels. He drew two different Christmas trees, one being the legendary Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. He drew a baby Jesus in the manger, a present, an angel, a snowman, a gingerbread man, and a Santa saying, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” James took his Christmas designs printed on sheets of labels and went door-to-door cold calling. “Would you like to pay for labels to help the kids in Haiti? The money is for the boys to get balls, girls to get dolls, and one whole cow.” James Chapman, 7 year old entrepreneur
It must have been a pretty good sales pitch because James Chapman sold 1,830 labels. No, that is not a typo: He sold one-thousand eight hundred and thirty labels. As a matter of fact, when I asked James what aspect of the project was the most fun, he said, “Selling the labels.” Bonnie confirmed 90% of the labels were sold door-to-door, while the rest were purchased in Life Groups or by family and friends. James would go on to make another $120 drawing caricatures of Bonnie’s co-workers. When all was said and done, James Chapman had taken one dollar and turned it into $350.03. For the rest of the family, Bonnie shared how they followed the example set by James and the Reclaiming Christmas sermon series. Collectively as a family, they decided to forgo Christmas cards and instead use that money in a different way. This was not an easy decision because they loved sending cards and connecting to their dearest friends in this traditional way. However, the conviction to do something else was greater. The Chapmans took the Christmas card money and bought art supplies for their friends who were missionaries in a foreign land. Which foreign land you ask? Yes, Haiti. God had led them to consider giving to this most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere. The entire Christmas season for the whole family was all about giving to Haiti. Christmas had been officially reclaimed at the Chapman house. If the story ended there, everyone would only be amazed with James and his family’s industrious example. Instead, I would like you to look at what James wrote on the top of his white envelope information sheet (and, the title of this article): “To Haiti, From James.” This captures the essence of Christian service in missions. It narrows to the point of one soul reaching out to help a multitude. Does that sound Christ-like? Absolutely. From one, five thousand were fed.
So, what about the others who took home white envelopes? What James Chapman was doing was being replicated many times over. Children all across the Broadmoor Family were learning the value of sowing and reaping through creativity and hard work. That initial investment of $500 grew to an amount just shy of $10,000. This helped buy not just one cow, but two whole cows with plenty left over to take to Haiti and bless some children. Christmas in Haiti For Pepper Carter and her family, this Christmas season would be very different. They would take the bounty from the blessings of The White Envelope Project and present those blessings to the children of Haiti at the Good Shepherd Orphanage. Life there has
been an immense struggle since January 12, 2010. On that fateful day at 4:53pm, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake centered just 16 miles west of Port au Prince literally tore the country from its foundations. Within two weeks, over fifty aftershocks continued to ravage the land. In the aftermath, conservative estimates indicate
over 150,000 people lost their lives, but there is no way to know for sure what the number really is. Over 30,000 commercial buildings lay in ruin, and 250,000 residences were destroyed leaving well over 1,000,000 people homeless. Pepper, Alan, Spencer, and Cade would all see the consequences of this destruction up close. Haiti is a nation living in tents with canals that once flowed with water now choked with garbage. The palace is still in ruin as a president stands by his vow not to rebuild until the country is rebuilt. The acrid smell of smoke fills the air as fires never stop burning the debris, trash, and refuse. Spencer would later tell his mom, â€œI took for granted the smell of fresh air.â€? In spite of all the tragedy and destruction, hope is real. One child named Pablo is a good example. Only six years old, Pablo was sent to the market by his mother, alone. This was a mercy mission. She knew he would get lost, but she also knew he would be taken to an orphanage. We may not completely understand her motivation, but she probably knew Pablo had no hope where he was, so she let him go. He went to the crowded market place (think of the state fair times twenty), the authorities found Pablo and when nobody claimed him, he was taken to Sister Mona at the Good Shepherd Orphanage. It would be in this place that Pablo would learn of the hope for Haiti in the Gospel of Christ. He would come to realize that we are all homeless awaiting our real home in heaven. An Incredible Impact The Carters were a part of a group who helped throw quite a Christmas party at the orphanage. Those two whole cows that James Chapman and others helped buy fed 2,500 people. Portions were about the size of a silver dollar, and practically no part of those cows went to waste. For many this would be their only taste of meat in months if not years. Pepper said her heart melted to see some kids give away their portion to someone else. Like the widow giving her mite at the temple, they were a remarkable example of giving out of their need. Sister 20
Mona would have to smile as her teaching “To be blessed, you must first be a blessing,” was being brought to fruition by her children. Not only were the kids fed, but every boy got a playground ball, every little girl got a doll, and each teenage girl received candy, a necklace, and the Gospel translated into Creole. Therein lies the hope. It is the hope we find shining in the darkest places. Therein lies the hope. It is the hope we find shining in the darkest places. It is the unexpected beauty that lies amid the garbage of the world screaming out Christ lives and Jesus is King. It is the fresh aroma of faith found even in the wisps of smoke from burning heaps. It is a hope that changed the Carter family. Pepper reflects, “Before we left, 35 orphans gathered around us and prayed for our family in their own language in the dark at five o’clock in the morning. I can’t express in words the blessing of that prayer. We felt very undeserving. We came back with much more than we took in terms of being blessed.” Cade Carter said of
that prayer, “I didn’t know what they were saying, but I knew what they were saying.” Sister Mona’s teaching came home to the Carters just like it did for the kids of Haiti. And, isn’t that how God works? Like a mustard seed that started so small, the money in the envelope grew exponentially, and a harvest of blessings was realized. Haiti will one day be a nation of buildings instead of tents. Water will again flow through the canals free of the choke of garbage. The palace will be rebuilt, and the nation will heal from the wounds of disaster. This story is a reminder that this hasn’t happened yet. Jesus still beckons to those who have to come and share with those who have not. Like the Chapmans and the Carters, if you give toward this cause, you will come away blessed in the effort. And, isn’t that how it ended in the parable of the talents for the one given a little who turned it into much? Story by Malcolm Woody 21
“Well done my Good and Faithful Servant... come and share in your Master’s joy.” Matthew 25:21
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