Huge thanks to Evangelical Christian School student Allison Boyd for her commitment to HFH! Allison has served in many capacities over the past several years. This year, as a senior, she is leading her fellow students through SLI (Student Leadership Initiative) as they volunteer. In December, ECS students wrapped gifts for customers at Barnes and Noble to raise funds for HFH. Read the story in the Commercial Appeal here. Thank you, Allison and SLI students for giving to Habitat for Hope!
After 6 beautiful,life-changing, God-honoring years hosting families at the HFH House, Mark and Mylissa are moving to the city of Memphis while our newest staff family, the Dovers, are moving out to the HFH property!
Work for the well-being of the city where I have sent you to and pray to the Lord for this. For if it is well with the city you live in, it will be well with you.’
A few months ago, we told you of the Dover Family – our newest staff family with Habitat for Hope! Jen and Charlie are former IMB missionaries to Macedonia, Charlie will serve alongside us in the role of Director of Family Care. For some time, Charlie has been training with Mark Horrocks and connecting with families that come to HFH for love and care – and frankly he and Jennifer are uniquely gifted by God to serve in such a capacity. They will also soon begin to serve in another capacity – as the host family at the Habitat for Hope property.
In 2010, Mark and Mylissa began to research, observe and talk with two ministries that practice family care in a similar manner as HFH – Wears Valley Ranch in East Tennessee and Black Mountain Family Home in Black Mountain, NC. Although both of these organizations work with foster and at-risk children, the heart and goals of their ministries are the same as ours – to glorify God by building God-honoring relationship with families and children. Through our study of other programs, we will begin to build a sustainable model that will carry our Habitat for Hope campus into the next phase of ministry…one that should secure a long life here in the Memphis area.
Jen and Charlie will serve as primary host parents at Habitat for Hope, hosting our long and short term families, and hosting events for the community at large and for our core groups of families. For the forseeable future, Mark and Mylissa will rotate back in to hosting at HFH on an as-needed and refreshment centered basis – and our family care team will begin to build a strategic model that enables relationship building while also providing enough rest and respite time for all of our family care staff.
Mark will remain in the executive director role with Habitat for Hope, focusing some added time on the area of ministry development. As you know, one long-term goal of HFH is to achieve our property build – also including housing for our family care staff. Mark will begin to put significant hours toward that end – achieving our vision for a sustainable ministry model here in Memphis to families experiencing loss or the initial trauma of parenting a seriously ill child.
Mylissa will assume the newly created position of Assistant Executive Director – assisting Mark more fully with scheduling, staff management and communication. She will also continue to teach weekly horse lessons at Habitat for Hope and assist Jennifer with house management and hosting duties.
As you can imagine, these new plans are a significant shift toward a new model of ministry – and we are so grateful to the Lord for His leadership and guidance! Would you pray along with us that God would sustain and grow? We are excited for the future!
One of our dear volunteers, Richard Bryant, recently contacted Take Them a Meal to let them know of our frequent use for HFH families. Not only did they feature us on the homepage of their site, they featured us on Facebook too! Thank you Adina for your tireless work on Take Them a Meal! You have really simplified this meal-gifting process for so many.
Many visitors to Habitat for Hope have noticed the large tree to the left of the driveway – namely, because it had a ladder running through the middle. Dubbed the “holy tree” by the Barnhart family (previous residents of the HFH property), it is over 100 years old, and although alive, was hollow in the center. Our friends from Timberline Tree & Lawn have a passion for old trees, and offered to create a solution that would save the tree for generations to come. Apparently, the bark of the tree will now grow over the placed wood – creating a new solid trunk for this old tree. Thanks so much Timberline for your service to the sustainability project at Habitat for Hope!