You don’t have to go abroad to be “on mission” for Jesus! There are opportunities to serve in significant ways all around us. This week we will be featuring three stories from Grace Church professionals that serve on boards of great, God-honoring organizations doing significant work in our community!
Cristi Morgan and her husband John started attending Grace Church soon after they were married 14 years ago. Jason Young, Pastor Young’s son, attended college with John, giving them an instant connection with Grace Church. John and Cristi got involved in the Homebuilders ABF, finding that it was a great foundation for their marriage. Mike Lutz, the ABF teacher, is still considered a mentor to the couple. Cristi also mentioned that Beth Fahnestock and Lynn Niner have been mentors to her throughout the years. “When I look at the impact that those people have had in my life, it naturally leads me to want to become involved in a mentorship ministry so that I could ‘give back’ in a way.”
Today, Cristi and John are still involved in Grace Church ministries. They belong to a Connect group and serve behind the scenes on the tithe counting team. We are so grateful for their involvement and commitment to Grace Church, but living “on mission” doesn’t stop within the church walls either. Keep reading to see how Cristi is “On Board, On Mission.”
In 2012, God used a series of events to open the door to my involvement with Bridge of Hope (BoH). At that time, I was more seriously considering how I should become involved in a ministry. Then I heard one of the BoH staff members featured on a WJTL radio morning show. She captured my attention as she told her personal story and described the BoH program. Her testimony really left a lasting impression on me. A few weeks later, I learned that a mentor group was being formed within our church to serve a new BoH participant in our community. I knew that the Spirit was prompting me to serve in this capacity. After about 16 months, we celebrated my BoH friend’s graduation from the program. Afterward, I asked God, “OK, what next?” The Spirit opened up the next window of opportunity with a phone call, asking me to join the Board of Directors. Again, I knew that this is where God wanted me to serve.
I’ve seen lives transformed in this experience. In the last year alone, the BoH Lancaster and Chester County office has served 53 single mothers & their 101 children. The mission of Bridge of Hope is to end and prevent homeless for single mothers and their children within our community. The program provides rental assistance and helps them to secure permanent housing. Personal and financial stability is achieved by connecting them to resources within the community and a mentor group from a local Christian congregation. As participants experience the unconditional love of Christ demonstrated through their relationships with the staff and mentors, many come to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. BoH just celebrated their 25 year anniversary and the countless lives that have experienced positive life change as a result of the program.
The experience has exceeded anything that I could imagine. I am reminded of Ephesians 3:20. He does “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Participation in the program changes the lives of the participants and their children, as well as the staff and mentors. While we extend support in tangible ways, sometimes the “stuff of life” seems impossible and all you can do is pray. Through fervent prayer, we have seen God protect and provide in countless ways. He is faithful.
To learn more about Bridge of Hope, click here!
Check back in this week to hear two more incredible stories!