Isaac was riding with Rusty, one of our maintenance staff, to help with needs at our Knoxville office. Isaac loves to work and especially with maintenance and our landscaping. We always look for opportunities to teach our youth practical life-skills and to expose them to as many healthy and caring adults as we can. This experience was one of those days to accomplish both. While driving down I-40, our maintenance truck broke down. Isaac watched while Rusty managed the situation and did so without any change to his attitude. This observation led to a deep conversation where Rusty was able to share his story of how Jesus changed his life and the power of faith in Him. This divine appointment ended with Isaac asking Jesus to be Lord of his life too. I had the honor of seeing Isaac and thirteen other young people get baptized with a sanctuary full of family and friends. I watched our Christian Life team baptize kid after kid until Isaac came up. Then, I watched as one of our maintenance men joined him at the front to baptize his little brother in Christ. Isaac wanted Rusty to be the one to baptize him and I was frozen in praise and gratitude as I thought about how God is always at work. He is never taken by surprise or calling an emergency meeting of the Trinity. He does indeed work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes — even in broken down maintenance trucks.
During this time of uncertainty, I want to encourage you that He is still working all things for good for Isaac, you, and Holston Home for Children. Like so many ministries our donations from the churches have been significantly down as churches have been navigating this crisis. We completely understand, and our hearts are with our churches and families who have been impacted by COVID-19 and its effects. Much like our history recounts from the Great Depression, God has continued to provide in so many different ways. One of the most striking ways He has met our needs is through decades of estate gifts.
At Holston Home we do not use estate gifts for our ongoing operating expenses. We set these gifts aside and each year we draw down 4 percent of the 3-year average balance to use for operations along with our other revenue. This year these funds were incredibly important as we weren’t sure how our other funding would fare. It occurred to me that when the Lord led these dear friends to include Holston Home in their estate plans so many years ago, He already was at work to provide for children living through this crisis of today. God is so good! I am so grateful for the saints, most of whom I have never met, who made a way to continue their care and support of children as part of their life’s legacy. In addition to taking care of their family, they gave to care for young people they would never meet or at least not meet on this side of eternity. We could not do what we do without this kind of support, and my wife and I plan to follow their lead for those that come after us so that we can be a vessel for the Lord to use for the Isaac’s and Rusty’s who may not even be born yet.
We would ask that you prayerfully consider including Holston Home for Children in your estate planning. Our Development team would be honored to discuss options and different ways that are available to meet your goals. Regardless of whether an estate gift is right for your situation, God is using your prayers and support to change children’s lives. I can’t thank you enough for your faithfulness in coming alongside of our ministry. I pray that God blesses you and your family and that he clearly reveals how you are a critical part of His beautiful plan to work all things together for good. We love you and we thank God for you!