The Journey Home Quarterly Newsletter July 2017
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
We all experience the ups and downs of waiting for something we long to have happen. At those times, we need to focus on God and have faith that He will accomplish what is best for us in His perfect timing. The Biblical definition of faith says it so well, reminding us that we have sureness in and the guarantee of what we can’t observe now, but believe will happen because God is faithful.
God has given the vision for The Journey Home (TJH) and continues to confirm that it is His will. We trust in and wait for His perfect timing for the home to be built and for the lives that He will transform through it. He has been “on the move” in mighty ways in the past months that we are excited to share with you.
Howard, the general contractor, is currently working on the water and sewer hook-up. Since the building requires a sprinkler system, we need to run a 4-inch pipe the length of Lee Street to replace the 2-inch pipe already there. This delay was one we did not foresee, but God knew and we are trying to be patient. God has provided all the funds needed to proceed with this next step! Once the water hook-up is complete, we hope to announce a groundbreaking date.
Other exciting news is that the TJH Board just voted to purchase a smaller piece of land only 500 yards from the current site of TJH for the Next Step program. In the future, an affordable home (and a storage garage for Next Step equipment) will be built there for a graduate of TJH to move into. This will allow a continued relationship with the family while generating income that will help to sustain TJH.
Meanwhile, we have been continuing to get the word out about TJH. Multiple presentations have been made to key churches and individuals in the community. God has blessed TJH with great favor and support. We recently met with an outreach committee of St. James Episcopal Church and experienced an amazing God moment. There was another gentleman there to present about his ministry with the hope that the committee would fund them. We were speaking with the man beforehand about TJH thinking that he was a member of the committee. When the meeting began, we realized he was representing the other ministry. He stated, “I have now heard about TJH and I want you to give the funds to them. I really like that it is a local and a much needed ministry.” God was so good to give us favor and the church was so generous to TJH.
It has been an incredible privilege and blessing to meet brothers and sisters in Christ from all different denominations who are supportive of TJH. Their prayers, financial gifts, and willingness to be involved have been a great encouragement.
Work continues on fine-tuning the application process, the rules for living in the home, and the roles of the “house parents”. We have also been meeting with people who have the expertise to help us plan the details of the interior and exterior spaces. God has provided an interior designer who has already spent countless volunteer hours to help plan the best use of the gently used furniture that has been donated. Please pray with us for the balance of making things nice in a way that honors God and gives dignity to those living in the home, while also making good use of the limited financial resources.
There continue to be monthly update and planning meetings (the next one is July 6th) where a faithful group of people are praying and planning for TJH. Upcoming fundraisers include a Bingo Give-Away, organized by Irene, on Saturday, August 19th, 6-9 pm at the Mineral Baptist Church Family Life Center (51 Louisa Ave.). A limited number of tickets ($100 per person or $150 per couple) are available for this fun night that includes a wonderful steak dinner (cooked by our local firemen) and a chance to win $10,000. Please join us in supporting a good cause and in enjoying a fun evening. There will be a yard sale on October 7th at Louisa Baptist Church (LBC) 8am – 5 pm. Items will be accepted in advance on October 6th at LBC. Gently used furniture and kitchen items are being collected and stored for the home. Those items that we cannot use are being sold at the yard sale. Shirley has organized a raffle of a P. Buckley Moss signed print that we are excited about. Raffle tickets will be available at both the August 19th and October 7th events. The brick fundraiser ($100) has continued to be a great way to support TJH and honor a loved one or friend or family member. The engraved brick path will bless the future guests of TJH. A form can be sent to you electronically by emailing your request to email@example.com. A greeting card fundraiser is a fun way to support TJH, too. Nadine can help you with all the details.
The Louisa County & Vicinity Minister’s Conference (representing 16 Pastors) has decided to give TJH half of the proceeds from their Bowl-A-Thon Fundraiser on July 22nd to be held at the Kegler’s Bowling Center in Charlottesville. Wow. Let us know if you would like to be part of a four-person bowling team. You can have fun while doing a good deed.
TJH Board Members believe that we need to do our part and trust God to do what only He can do. So, we are continuing to labor as He leads and trust Him to do the things that are impossible for us.
Since January, 13 grant requests (or letters of inquiry) have been submitted. Several rejection letters have been received (mostly because they want to support a program that is up and running). We are thrilled that we did receive a generous $30,000 grant from the Louisa County Community Foundation. Praise God for His provision. This is a great start to our Capital Campaign. We met with a Foundation that typically gives larger grants for “brick & mortar” projects. After two interviews, they asked us to resubmit our application when we are further along in the process. Please pray with us for the many details that need to be in place for TJH to open. Funding is obviously a huge need to pray for. We are so encouraged by the many gifts given by individuals that believe in TJH. From $10 to $2,500 this past month, we are seeing God move in the hearts of generous people. Please consider a one time or ongoing gift to TJH.
Please pray with us for the preparation of the hearts of all our wonderful volunteers. We need God to prepare us for ministering to those who come to TJH. We are currently reading a book we would highly recommend called Ministries of Mercy by Timothy Keller. One quote from the book states, “The kingdom means bringing the kingship of Christ in both word and deed to broken lives. We have seen that poverty, sickness, injustice, emotional problems, and social problems are all the fruit of sin. We must minister to the whole person. We must reconcile people to God, counsel them to emotional wholeness, free them from structures of injustice, and meet physical needs. But we participate in these ministries all in conjunction with each other. We proclaim the gospel of the kingdom through word and deed.” Our desire is to show Jesus to the residents by our compassionate care and to share the good news of Jesus with them as well. What an eternally significant and fulfilling privilege that will be for us all! What a joy it will be to hear the stories of lives transformed.
In late April, we visited the Mercy House in Richmond. This facility provides Christ-centered transitional housing and support to women in crisis (often from substance abuse). Ed and I were in tears as they shared their stories of how a year there in a stable, godly environment has brought hope and healing to their lives. They are indeed transformed. On the way home, I shared with Ed how I can’t wait until we have amazing stories from those whose lives have been transformed through TJH!
Until then, thank you for your faithful prayers, your active participation, and your generous financial support. We are so thankful to partner with you in God’s work through TJH.
With confident faith,
Ed and Debby