This time of the year can be bittersweet. Summer is over, and autumn has begun. Schedules adjust, and preparations get underway for the upcoming winter. Four times a year, seasons teach and remind us about change.
2018 has held many changes for Hephzibah Ministries. While the mission has remained constant, Hephzibah Ministries as we have known it for many years is changing. Hephzibah Behavioral Health Services, launched as its own ministry with its own governing board, has moved off of the Zebulon campus to a bus route location which better serves its clientele. The Hephzibah property, which remains on the market, is being maintained by a smaller but very dedicated staff. A church has leased and is using the gym.
It is through this process of change that the story of Hephzibah ministries continues to be written. This past year is one chapter of many.
Hard questions about our future have been asked during the past 12 months as we have prayed and sought God’s will. We have been reminded repeatedly that Hephzibah is not about a building or place. Hephzibah has always been about people who invested their lives in caring for those who were neglected. Our main priority is and remains developing a sustainable ministry to children who are vulnerable.
The Hephzibah Ministries board has been engaged in the revisioning process and has welcomed some new faces who share the same ministry heart. We have been amazed at how God has brought us these new friends.
Meet Jodi Lewis and Katie Kirkpatrick. They bring a wealth of knowledge about care to the vulnerable child and a personal commitment evidenced in their lives. They are present-day Betty Tylers.
Jodi is mom to an internationally adopted family comprised of two young adults and a teenager. She is the founder and coordinator of families of Promise, a church-based foster and adoption ministry at Kentwood Community Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Katie, with a degree in public policy, has worked to support under-resourced communities around the world. She oversees the World Hope International child sponsorship program. Previously, Katie served a statewide faith-based initiative in Louisiana to mobilize local churches, raise awareness about waiting children and support the Department of Child and Family Services in becoming trauma informed across all sectors. She has two adopted daughters from Haiti and has cared for 10 special-needs babies and children through foster care.
The revisioning committee, working with an outside consultant, is putting together a new ministry action plan which will be presented to the General Board of The Wesleyan Church next month. We are excited about the future and are thankful for your input.
Throughout this season of change, the Hephzibah Ministries heart has never beat stronger for children who are vulnerable and their families. Although the method of ministry may change, the mission does and will not.
Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support. All funds given during this time of transition will be dedicated to the new ministry.
Please keep praying, believing and giving. Hephzibah Ministries needs you.
Sherry Gorveatte, Hephzibah Ministries Inc.
Shirley Duncan, Director of Church Relations
Current Hephzibah Ministries Board Members:
Sherry Gorveatte, Interim Chair