It seems these days we are witnessing God move mountains every day at Kids to Love. From Day 1, Davidson Farms has been a God calling. On August 19, 2015, I saw the house in person the first time. That’s because my GPS - I have affectionately named my God Provisional Service led me to the house. (Here’s the original story if you missed… worth the watch..)
It’s been almost two years since those feathered friends stopped my car in the middle of a country road making sure I didn’t miss the biggest opportunity to serve that God has ever brought us to. I have been to Davidson Farms hundreds of times since that first day… I have never seen my turkey friends since that day. But I know they are there… because people always send me pictures of them when they visit the farm. It is kind of a cat & bird game we’re playing. The interesting thing… I’m sure the next time I see the turkeys in person… I will be overwhelmed just as much if not more as I was the first day I saw them.
Everyone always seems to need some sort of sign to do something big or start something big. But I think God gives us glimpses of His glory in small steps along the way. He has to see if we are good stewards with small pieces of the vision before He reveals the bigger blessings.
When we started Kids to Love in 2004 there were so many unknowns. The given was answering the call of that Still Small Voice. When you don’t know where you are going how do you know how to get there? When you are filled with questions… you seek answers harder than ever before and in that window of waiting and listening to His Still Small Voice… He will reveal your path.. one step at a time.
The first year we started Kids to Love, my dad and I filled backpacks in my garage. I share this story a lot as a reminder of how far God has brought this ministry. Every year our service to children in foster care across a host of programs continues to grow in the quantity and quality of our service and outreach. In 2004, we served 786 children in foster care… compare that to 2016, Kids to Love made a direct impact on the lives of 7,536 children in foster care. We believe every child is a divine appointment, and with the help of our amazing community our service in the past 13 years has reached more than 210,000 children living in foster care. While our heart is the mission field at home. God has increased our territory year after year.
Over the past two months our team has been working to fill backpacks for 5,458 children in foster care across Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia. While our service and reach grows every year, I’m constantly challenging our team to serve better. That starts with me, buying better quality backpacks than the year before at the lowest possible price. Buying in bulk helps us make donor dollars go far! All new… these kids deserve it… Last year we ‘rebranded’ our backpack drive to be “More Than A Backpack”. You see our kids don’t just use the backpacks for school. If we can provide nice, large backpacks… many times, those become what they move in from home to home. By providing a backpack, we are getting rid of their trash bag. Restoring their dignity… and sending them to school with what they need to learn. Education will be their ticket up and out.
We know a backpack can change a destiny. I love how God sends those reminders just when we start to question… Sacred Huff, a former foster child, told me how in 2004 she and her brother were pulled into foster care…and they received a backpack from Kids to Love. Fast forward to 2017…Sacred has finished her first year of law school, and her brother Terrance graduated from our KTECH program. See I was in the middle of evaluating what programs do we keep, what programs do we grow and do we let any go. That was God’s way of showing me… not only do you keep going… but you do it bigger and better every year!
We are moving into the last month before Davidson Farms opens. So much has been accomplished in the last year with renovation, policy, procedure, and finding the right team members and getting them in the right seats on the bus. (btw… that’s one sentence encompassing many a sleepless night:) Our site visit is set for the first of July and we hope to #BringOurGirls home by the end of the month so they can start school in the fall. There are struggles everyday… someone recently said to me “God gives the hardest battles to the strongest soldiers”…. He must have a lot of faith in us. Our team has worked to not only meet the new challenges of Davidson Farms, but continued to maintain our KTECH program we launched in 2016, all while continuing the established programs that Kids to Love provides year round to our families.
A team member took this picture of the turkeys at Davidson Farms yesterday. I’m not sure when I will see the turkeys again… but you better believe whether I see them or not… I know they are there and I’m busy about the business of getting my turkey’s in a row!