I can remember and picture it clearly, January 2010, somewhere in a bus on a road in Ecuador. I am sitting next to my mentor and friend, Andy Huddleston, and we had just visited a local Compassion International project. It was a powerful day seeing the children who lived in poverty and yet whose faces were filled with joy as they sang for us and showed us around their meeting space with their artwork on display. We had shared lunch with them and had gone to one little boy’s house to see where and how he lived, a tiny room with a bed and nightstand but with Scriptures on the wall and all his letters from his sponsor tucked away in a little box under the bed. The evidence of God’s work was everywhere. We saw how other children lived in the community as we rode by, and the difference was astounding simply because the Compassion children had Jesus in their lives which meant they had hope.
On the bus ride, it came to me, not in a voice aloud, but in a conviction in my heart, a simple question: Why can’t we do this at home? Why can’t we have a program that would be like Compassion, Christ-centered, wholistic, transformative, Gospel focused right here in the Old Town Community parts of which in many ways are like a third world country. It was as if God was speaking to me directly. Do this.
This dream has driven me for the past 12 years and now we are on the verge of seeing it happen.
Last year for the Multiply Campaign we added into the goal, $25,000 to go toward starting the Child Development Program through Bridging the Gap, our nonprofit. We raised about $5,000 toward that goal. Since then, another, $6,000 or so has come in. On top of that, Bridging the Gap has more money that can be directed toward it and now we are about to launch Multiply 2022: Building Together to raise the additional funds to get it started. We are so close.
It’s hard to pursue a dream for that long. There have been times when I wondered if it was just my idea or something that was a good idea at the time but not God’s idea. There were times, I was ready to be done, assuming it might never happen. But over and over, the Lord has brought it back to me, so I just keep moving forward. His faithfulness is what keeps me going.
The dream is to see children’s lives change through this program – an after school and summer tutoring and mentoring program, where children receive academic and emotional support but above all have a chance to hear and respond to the Gospel and a life with Jesus. It is to see these children discover God’s calling on their lives and then live it out. It is to see their families experience God’s love in practical and tangible ways and to see lives transform.
We are still pursuing this dream and with God’ help, guidance, and provision it will happen.
Multiply 2022: Building Together launches this Sunday, June 12, with the first phase – Prayer and Preparation. Every family in attendance will receive $100 seed money to begin praying and thinking of how they invest the money and their time to raise additional funds. Then in the second phase starting July 1, fundraising will begin, and the website and online store will launch. On September 11, we will ask everyone to bring in what they have raised, and we’ll see what God has done.
And then, Lord willing, the dream of a Child Development Program will become reality. It will move from an idea born on a bus in Ecuador to real lives being transformed one child at a time.
And it will have all been worth it.
Multiply 2022: Building Together
June 12: Launch – Phase 1: Prayer & Preparation – Receive $100 and begin dreaming & planning
July 1: Launch – Phase 2: Fundraising and Online Store Open – Projects begin
September 11: Monies Due
September 18: Total Revealed
Goal: $25,000 ($17,500: BTG Ministry Center - $7,500 Child Development Center)
Note: If you’re not sure what to do, please feel free to reach out for help. We can help you get started and see it all happen.