So thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a mom, a goat farmer, and a pastorÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Rich Stigall
So There’s This Mom, a Goat Farmer, and a Pastor…
“I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Some of my favorite stories are those that obliterate our secret doubts. These stories branch off in so many wild God directions. Let me spot a few in this blog. Here’s the first installment It’s about a mom, a goat farmer, and a pastor.
Cynthia Lewis Pharmaceutical Sales (2007).
She’s 4 foot something of pure energy. Works at Pfizer. Sharp. Gunner. Athlete. A get it done lady.
In January 2007, Cynthia and husband, Adrien, go to Haiti. They leave the worries of life behind to go and help orphans. Many of you know the drill. God turns the tables. They meet children with no material possessions or parents, overflowing with love and joy. The givers receive. Hearts warm. Change stirs.
There has to be something really BIG God’s asking of her to help rescue orphans around the world.
She prays. Indeed, there is something pounding on her, but not what she expects. Cynthia s convicted that she needs to be at home with her and Adrien s two little ones, not bull charging at Pfizer. Leave a career? Stay at home? Our world regards this giant assignment as little, not big. What the heck?
So many moms at home feel overwhelmed, unplugged, and unusable by God. That s a lonely place to be. It sure doesn’t feel like a big, sexy assignment and certainly doesn’t address Cynthia’s heart burden for the children she d met.
Still, she listens. She enlists as stay-at-home mom.
Cynthia Lewis Humbled Mom (2008).
About a year later, God opens a door for Cynthia and Adrien to give their testimony at Christ Lutheran Church in Overland Park. Adrien gets sick. Cynthia goes solo. No longer busting to sell and without a here s how I made it story in the bag, a humbled mom openly shares her heart for what it’s worth.
A week later, a man named Kevin McElyea shows up at our office. He’s an engineer and entrepreneurial goat farmer (if there’s such a thing, Kevin 🙂 ). He heard this lady testify about how God used orphans to change her heart. Gripped, God prompts him to action. He learns more. And his family funds a children’s home in Haiti. (By the way, as I write, Kevin’s in Haiti with GO Project to help launch a new ag development program.)
Kevin McElyea Goat Farmer.
Kevin engages his mom and her small group from Long Hollow Church in Nashville, TN. The small group pitches in to help support the home with the McElyea family. Cathie Simpson at GO Project sends a thank you card to the small group’s church. The card hits the pastor’s secretary’s desk. She’s not sure who The Global Orphan Project is. She takes the card into a church leadership meeting; a meeting where the pastor s exhorting Long Hollow to MOVE to address the problem of orphaned and abandoned kids in this world. But how he wants to know? Secretary plops the card on the table. Church leadership scrambles to the computer and looks up the website. The next Monday, Long Hollow sends 2 pastors to Kansas City to talk global orphan care.
Long Hollow Church of Action.
Long Hollow sponsors a village in Jeremie, Haiti: a huge village. Soon, 300 kids will have homes and 700 a shot at school and a hot meal every day. There’s more. This church is infected. They’re partnering with Isabelle Redford (age eight) to sponsor another village in Port au Prince. 100 more children in homes; 300 more in school.
But wait, there’s more Long Hollow s planning villages 3 and 4 this year with GO Project: 1 in Africa; 1 in Asia. And the church is stoking the fire in other churches. Another Nashville church is taking a village, and a church in Louisiana.
All totaled-up: we’re talking about 800 orphaned/abandoned children from crud to homes and 2,000 kids in school and just getting started.
Humbled Mom ? Goat Farmer ? Church of Action ? Thousands of Children.
Don’t believe the hype of the world; stop looking for the big, sexy thing; and give yourself a break from feeling insignificant.
Walk closely with Christ. Plug in. Stay connected. And watch the fruit burst to life all around you.
A lot of you have Cynthia stories, and don’t even know it this side of Glory. Be encouraged.
Now go out and play. It’s great outside.