Stories

Seeing Needs in My Own Backyard

07.31.13 | Written Stories

In the summer of 2010, I went on a mission trip to Cancun. I enjoyed my time there, but I could hear the Spirit telling me that I need to be doing this in my own backyard. I started praying about how I could do this kind of mission work at here at home. A week after being home from the trip, I went to the kick-off meeting for 200 Million Flowers, a local adoption agency, and heard Judy from Southern Christian Services tell stories about adoption and the PALS house in downtown Jackson.

I had no idea that we had a place here in Jackson that provides a number of services and helps homeless teens. The home here in Jackson is for children who have been in and out of foster care and the Department of Human Services (DHS). These kids have been through some rough stuff and even abandoned.

After hearing Judy talk about this and how they offer youths ages 16 to 21 the opportunity to be loved, get their GED and take technical classes, God stirred in my heart to go and see what this is about. Another friend and I went to see how God could use us there. Our heart is to build relationship with the girls in the home. It’s been a hard journey because they are so broken and leery of people because of their hurt and abandonment.

We were able to do Bible study with some of the girls and hope to see all 12 kids there have a mentor. We are continuing to pray about that and waiting on God’s timing. We’ve been able to build relationships with the staff there and let them know we are here to help however we can. It’s been great to get the word out about PALS and see the community come around these kids. We want to show them the love of Christ.

We want to show them the love of Christ.

It’s the really simple things we’ve tried to do to reach these girls. We’ve taken them to paint parties, decorated their home for Christmas, planted a garden and teach them how to garden. We’d love to establish a library of devotional books, sermons and spiritual books for them as well.

It’s been such a blessing, and we hope to get other people involved who will rejuvenate the staff and continue to love on the kids there. We hope the kids will see that we are consistent and that they see the love of Christ. We want them to know someone loves them, cares about them and God can redeem. It’s important they understand that God has a purpose and plan for them and what has happened to them doesn’t define who they are for the rest of their lives.

Being a part of this has brought my attention to the needs that are right here. There is plenty to be done. I want the Lord to use me however He wants.

— Anne Marie Tipton, Pinelake Reservoir

To learn more about Southern Christian Services, click here. If you would like to be a part of helping mentor at PALS, contact Anne Marie Tipton at .

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