Christmas is coming! Now is a great time to start collecting new, unwrapped toys so homeless dads working hard to rebuild their lives can gift them to their children!
2014 Toy Giveaway! from K2 Media on Vimeo.
Giving gifts is a big part of the Christmas season and every year hundreds of gifts are given away at the Whosoever Gospel Mission. This year over 1,000 brand new toys were donated and distributed to the men of the mission, giving them an opportunity to bless their kids and grand kids!
As they spoke to a packed chapel of (cheering) residents, staff and families at the Whosoever Gospel Mission, Wentz and Maragos both shared how Jesus gave them new life. Now their heart’s desire is to live in awe of Him and no one else. He is the One they want to make famous.
They admitted that fame can be intoxicating (they would know!). It’s also fleeting. When we live in awe of people or money or worldly goods, we end up disappointed. But when we live in awe of Jesus – the One who gave Himself for us, the One who is truly worthy of our worship and awe – then we can find and enjoy our proper place in this world. The struggle to deny ourselves and our own pride is tough, though. Thankfully, it’s not one we face alone.
We need to be rooted in the Word of God.
Maragos shared Jesus’ prayer to the Father in John 17:17: “Sanctify them in the truth. Your Word is truth.” God uses His Word to peel back the layers of our hearts and lives, to wash us and renew us, to make us more like Jesus as we walk in Him. We need to diligently study the Bible and ask God to teach us through His Word.
We need each other.
Walking with Jesus is not something we do alone. It’s like a team sport – we need each other to reach the goal. What’s the goal? Making the name of the Lord famous in all the earth as we share the love of Jesus with everyone!
How do we accomplish the goal? We accomplish it as the whole Body of Christ works together in the church, building each other up as we seek to love God and others. It’s a church where a homeless man in a rescue mission working to rebuild his life and a famous NFL football player at the top of his game have the same rights, responsibilities, privileges and power. Jesus levels the playing field.
Let’s make His Name famous!
This Christmas the love of many stretched far beyond their immediate family and reached out to include the 55 homeless men who live at the Mission and their families! As you baked cookies, prepared meals, bought toys and gave gifts to our men, our families truly became one. Here are a few of the festive highlights:
- Our men selected & wrapped over 1,400 FREE toys & gifts for 195 of their kids & grandkids! While they wrapped up their gifts, a pastor prayed with each man for his family.
- We feasted on Christmas cookies & special holiday meals all season long. The sweet laughter of children rang through our dining hall as families visited with men working hard to rebuild bridges to home.
- Each man was blessed with 13 Christmas presents lovingly prepared by churches & families and filled with all kinds of treats.
Thank you for sharing the love of Jesus, our Emmanuel – God with us! – at a time when people can feel so alone. Your love was deeply felt and greatly appreciated!
Check out these photos for a glimpse of what it looked like!
Here at the Mission, we are thankful for much! We gathered together on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the Lord’s goodness to us and to give thanks. Tim shared how he’s thankful for true friends who love him enough to speak truth to him even when it’s hard to hear. Mark thanked God for the Mission family. Others thanked Him for second chances, grace and many blessings. After a chapel service filled with joyful singing and grateful testimonies, we shared a feast around warmly decorated tables. Here’s a snippet of the festivities to enjoy!
This year’s garden produced a bountiful harvest that was enjoyed all summer long by Mission residents working hard to rebuild their lives! We’re especially grateful to the 2nd graders of William Penn Charter School who raised money to buy our plants again this year!
Video: The Robinson’s Story
Watch this video as Ed and Jasmine share how the Lord used the Mission to bless and heal their family
Watch this video and hear firsthand how the Lord used the Mission to bless Ed and bring healing to his family
Donors and friends gave tons of toys and gifts so the men could give a very special gift this Christmas to their kids and grandkids – the gift of a dad!
The Mission family gathered for an awesome feast on Thanksgiving Day where we enjoyed sweet fellowship, amazing food and a time of sharing testimonies of thanks for all that God is and does for us!
Some awesome friends from 1st United Methodist of Webster Springs battled the early-April cold and wind to create some raised vegetable garden beds for us! Then, the 2nd graders of William Penn Charter School earned money to buy all our vegetable plants. The resulting bounty was a blessing all summer long!
Check out our facebook album for lots more pictures!
Photographer Jacqueline Horning and some of her friends spent an afternoon at the Mission. Here’s what they saw:
See her photo blog here