“Me and my sister can’t go because we don’t have the right supplies…”, a long face told me as we waited anxiously for the last two campers before heading to Lake Kristi. “The right supplies?” I asked. “Yeah, like a bathing suit, towel and stuff.” “It’s ok, just go grab an extra change of clothes and tell your mom you will be fine!” Off to Lake Kristi we went in a van full of children excited and nervous for what was soon to be a “Day 2 Remember”, especially for one young boy who thought he would never experience it.
Each summer, In His Wakes visits North Carolina, partnering with nonprofits to provide the opportunity of a lifetime for at-risk youth and giving them an unforgettable day on the water. Hope of Glory Ministries partnered with Raising Young Men and traveled to Lake Kristi for this Day to Remember (D2R) event which offers swimming, boat riding, tubing and other exciting activities that help them break through walls of fear, distrust, and low self-esteem. Fears turn into beautiful smiles and laughter as they are motivated by the wonderful team of ministry staff and volunteers.
Kristi Overton, former professional water skier, closes each event with a Gospel message pointing them to Jesus, His love, and His power to conquer fear and walk in “victory”. This year the opportunity was given for anyone who has confessed Jesus as their Savior to be baptized right there in the lake.
“I want to be baptized,” says the smiling face that just enjoyed his D2R in a t-shirt and shorts. Over the next few minutes we spent time reviewing what it really meant to be baptized, then headed over with the others to watch the public proclamation of their faith.
Praise God we don’t have to “have all the right supplies”! Praise God that He graciously takes us as we are! T-shirts, shorts and all!
Our day to day…
This is just one of many “collisions of grace” we experience often at Hope of Glory Ministries. Whether on outreach in the surrounding neighborhoods, studying God’s Word, serving customers at our thrift store, or ministering to those with specific needs, broken people collide with us daily, thirsty for hope, healing, encouragement and restoration only found in Jesus. Our frontline thrift store cashiers, Randa, Cat, and Carmen greet them with their smiling faces and welcoming spirits. Tony, our resource center director, and Kathy, our Hispanic/Latino outreach director, minister to their practical and spiritual needs during appointment times.
Behind the scenes in our sorting trenches, “Mama Faye”, Glenni, John, Mary, Jai and Patricia are making sure the items are in their proper place. Deeper into the warehouse, you will find Seth and JerMichael handling donations and keeping our pantry stocked throughout the day. Sweet Pete spends time housecleaning around our facility. Lastly, one cannot forget the behind the scenes extensive administrative tasks that Judy handles, along with the executive duties to be managed. Whether on the “frontline” or in the “trenches”, our family is constantly seeking to show those we serve the light of Jesus, His love, kindness and truth. We are striving to be of one mind and Spirit, operating as one body, with many members, serving in our giftings so that God is most glorified.
Faithful with a little…
While reflecting on all God has done here at HOGM in the past 14 years, Jesus’ teaching in the parable of the talents comes to my heart. His parable about a master, his servants, the Kingdom of Heaven, and the final judgment when Jesus returns serves as a model of obedience for each one of us today. He shares about a master who entrusted three servants to parts of his property and asked them to manage it while he was away on a journey. We see the faithfulness of the first two servants as they “traded” and yielded more, opposed to the last servant, who hid his talent and was unprofitable then deemed “wicked and lazy”. To the first two he answers “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:21 (ESV)
This practical example of deep spiritual truth reminds us of the eternal reward of Heaven and responsibility of stewarding the “talents” God has given each one of us as we await His return. A responsibility to be obedient, intentional, and fueled by the grace He supplies.
In 2001, a few faithful followers were stirred to start this ministry that would serve our city, equip believers, and seek the lost. Through the location changes, evolving strategies, and ministry additions, HOGM has strived to be faithful every step of the way. Faithful to continue our mission of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ through evangelism, discipleship and the distribution of healthy food, clothes, hygiene products and household items to those in need throughout Pitt County
Come serve with us!
In closing, I wanted to share a snapshot of the day to day operations at the ministry and invite you to serve with us. Our in-house Resource Center is open five days a week by appointment. Our ministry thrift store, The Community Outlet, is open six days a week and has enabled us to offer low-cost options to families, and serve as a common ground for heart changing ministry. Summer outreaches are full of new friendships, games of baseball, kickball and art, along with intentional time in God’s Word with children in Kearney Park and Hopkins Park. Healthy snacks are provided and kids are impacted and challenged in their walk with the Lord.
All of this has been possible by God’s grace, over 450 donors who contribute financially and tangibly throughout the year, and all those who serve with us in our ministry and on outreaches. Therefore, let me challenge you, are you being faithful with the talents our heavenly Father has given you? Would you consider joining us by sorting clothing, hosting a healthy food drive, going on an outreach or making disciples? Contact Mandi Stewart at 252-321-6857 x 201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mandi Stewart is in her third year as Executive Director at HOGM and deeply loves the three “J’s” in her life; Jesus, Jeremy (husband), and Josiah (firstborn). Secretly, she wants to be a professional golfer or boxer, but is surrendered to the call of leader and coach in this world as she awaits that glorious day when Christ returns.