There are 100’s of missionaries that serve with our mission organization BCM International. Several of their ministries have their own name, but most do not. So, how is it that our ministry has a name? Well, it wasn’t named by us because the ministry that we are directors of was not started by us.
Good News Ministries was actually started by two couples that had a burden for the people that live in the low income housing areas (projects) of Livingston. They saw that an old “mom and pop” grocery store with a house attached was going up for auction right across the street from the projects and they went to a local doctor friend of theirs to see if he would bid on it so that the could start a ministry their. He did, and he, praise be to God, won the bid and the ministry was started. For a few years they held the ministry in the house. Every Sunday they served them breakfast and then held Bible studies with them. We began helping them about six months after they started. The goal was to remodel the storefront and eventually move the ministry into the store.
Finally, the storefront was done and the ministry was moved from the house. We were working full time with another ministry at the time but it was time for a change so, by mutual agreement, we became the full time directors of the ministry and moved into the house.
Over the years the ministry took on many different forms but there were some elements that always stayed the same. We continued serving meals for a long time but by that time the meals and the Bible study were Sunday afternoon so the meal was more like a dinner than a breakfast. We also continued to do a Bible Club for the kids during the week. Some things we added, though, were day camps during the summer for the kid; cooking classes for the ladies; a food and clothes closet; individual mentoring and help for those who were in need; and more.
Sometimes the needs were very different. For example, there was a drug raid where several residents of the projects were arrested for selling prescription drugs, etc. Sarah then took on the ministry of visiting them in jail for a while. Another time a family that were regular attendees of the mission had the children removed from the home. We worked with the family over several months to try to teach them to better their lives, get jobs, and get the children back.
We also did seasonal ministries such as the day camps in the summer, a holiday meal between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a special Christmas meal for the attendees of the mission and various special activities during other holidays. Often, during the year, we would get food donated to us that we would bag up and pass out to the residents.
People don’t realize how busy one can be and get when running a ministry such as that. We would often get calls at all hours of the day and night from people that needed help or just wanted to talk. I remember one day waking up and walking over to the mission only to find that one of our regulars had let themselves in through the back door, made coffee and was using the internet to job hunt. Soon another lady came looking for food. Then one of our volunteers (that came up through our ministry) called in tears saying that her best friend had been taken to the hospital and wasn’t expected to live. Right after that, a homeless man came in looking for food. Finally, we got a call from the daughter of one of our ladies asking if we had seen “Mom”. She had been trying to get a hold of her but couldn’t. So I went to check on her. We then took another lady out for supper that needed some support and a shoulder to cry on.
Those days weren’t unusual, they were the norm. We stayed quite busy.
However, what happens when, after 15 years, the landlord calls to say that he is getting old, got an offer on the property and has decided to sell so that his wife and kids wouldn’t have to bother with it when he was gone? What were we going to do now? Many people thought that was the end of Good News Mission, but we didn’t feel at all that God was ending the ministry. We had just begun!
Tune in to the Part Three when you will find out the new direction that Good News Ministries (what our ministry is now called) is going in. God has really blessed and we are excited!
If you missed Part One just click here to find out what our umbrella mission organization BCM International is all about.