When Miracle Hill Ministries began in 1937 as a small soup kitchen in downtown Greenville, little did the founding leaders realize the lasting impact their vision to serve the “least of these” would have on the Upstate community. Miracle Hill now has 9 shelters across the Upstate caring for the homeless or addicted and is the state’s leader in foster parent recruitment. I can’t fully measure the breadth and depth of the spiritual impact Miracle Hill has had over the past 80 years, but I can share a simple story that represents the life transformation that occurs every day in the ministry. A counselor at our Greenville Rescue Mission recently shared the following:
“One of my guys at Greenville Rescue Mission came here 4 months ago, having lost everything (including his child) due to some unwise choices. Since coming here he has completed drug classes, paid off his fines, had his driver license restored, gotten a less-than-ideal job while working to get a better job, saved up for a car, bought a car, secured a job with BMW, and saved up for an apartment. Today he moves into his new apartment. Monday his son joins him.”
These life change stories inspire us to continue our work. By God’s grace, we are serving over 3,000 homeless children and adults each year. Although I am excited about what we are currently doing, I am even more excited about the future as I expect God to do even greater things in the days ahead.
In recent months we have been blessed to learn that God is calling local churches to engage with us at a deeper level by intentionally directing more of their church members to serve with us. As a result, we need to grow our volunteer training and infrastructure to best engage our new volunteers to use their many different skills and talents. In response to this need, we have hired Lisa Yerrick to serve as Vice President of Collaboration and Engagement. She is already meeting with church and community leaders and developing systems for matching our needs with the needs of volunteers. When volunteers partner with us, not only do they get to bless the guests in our shelters and programs, but we get the opportunity to invest in the volunteers’ lives and see their faith grow. It’s a win-win for our community.
Partnerships and volunteers make this ministry possible. Without them, we would not be able to effectively carry out our mission of providing compassionate care and sharing the gospel with homeless children and adults. Here are some other exciting things happening across the ministry:
- We have received early approval for a $300k grant to build two transitional houses behind our Overcomers addiction recovery center. Transitional housing is vital for graduates to stay clean and sober and to work toward successful re-entry into the community.
- We now have over 220 foster families licensed and ready to receive children in need. In the month of March, one church partner recruited 58 families to come to our foster family orientation to help us move closer to our goal of providing 500 more foster families in the Upstate.
- Through our Yellow Bag Project and Corners of Your Field project, churches and businesses are holding clothing drives for our thrift stores. We, in turn, give those churches and businesses thrift store gift cards they can use to help others who come to them in need. One church recently collected almost 7,000 pounds of clothing!
There’s a lot to be excited about, and we will be celebrating these and other stories of God’s grace and provision for Miracle Hill at our upcoming 80th Anniversary Gala on March 21st at the TD Convention Center. I want to personally invite you to attend this special event.
Our guest speaker, Derek Clark, was placed into foster care at age five and remained in the system for thirteen years. Eventually, with the help of loving foster parents, he learned to cope with adversity and overcome hardship. Clark re-purposed his pain to become an international speaker, author of seven books, and an internet sensation for his viral Rapping Dad videos.
In addition to Derek, this historic event will include dinner, entertainment, a pre-show thrift fashion runway hosted by Studio 62’s Jamarcus Gaston and His Radio’s Alison Storm, birthday surprises, and inspirational stories of lives restored. Miracle Hill will only turn 80 once, and I would love for you to be a part of the celebration. Gala reservations can be made at www.miraclehill.org/gala .
This event would not be possible without the support of businesses that have helped underwrite a portion of the cost. Our thanks to the following sponsors:
Jeff Lynch Appliance & TV Center (Presenting), JMD Architects (Presenting), Walker & Whiteside, Inc. (Presenting), Bert and Lauren Arrowood, Eastern Industrial Supplies, Inc., Palmetto Farms Foundation, Sherman Construction
Finally, as I reflect on this important milestone for Miracle Hill, I can’t help but think of Galatians 6:9 which says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest.” As we continue to build on the foundation of those who have gone before us, let us never forget that God is at work in each of our lives, and as we love and serve our community in the name of Christ, lives will be transformed, and God will be glorified.
Post written by Bryce Norton, President/CEO of Miracle Hill Ministries
Gala sponsors, Kip and Kim Miller of Eastern Industrial Supplies, share why they support Miracle Hill:[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up7dF3wUv3c[/embedyt]