Hephzibah62:4, a Wesleyan subsidiary organization, continues to take steps toward a full launch, targeted for fall 2019. A new financial model provides for all administrative costs to be funded by interest earned on investment from the March 14 sale of the former Hephzibah property in Macon, Georgia. This sustainable funding strategy ensures that every dollar donated will be used directly for grants and resources to equip God-inspired, available Wesleyan people and local church ministries committed to transforming the lives of vulnerable children.
The new Hephzibah62:4 board, under the direction of Jodi Lewis, met on June 20, 2019, for orientation, initiating the following grants and resources:
- Hephzibah62:4 Adoption Fund: Three Wesleyan families have been awarded grants to help make adoption affordable and provide a child in need with a loving, Christian family. Adoption grant opportunities will be ongoing, as funding allows. Local Wesleyan church staff as well as attendees for a minimum of one year, with a completed adoption home study, are eligible to apply for adoption grants. Current Wesleyan adoptive families may apply for grants to help with post-adoption counseling costs (not covered by insurance).
- Hephzibah62:4 Pilot Church Partnership Grant: Mosaic Midtown Church, Detroit, Michigan, was selected to receive a one-time Hephzibah62:4 Church Partner Grant and a one-year commitment from Hephzibah62:4 to seek and facilitate secondary Wesleyan support church partnerships, in order to build strong and sustainable ministries. The pilot initiative is aimed at equipping and mobilizing local Wesleyan churches in under-resourced areas of North America to transform the lives of vulnerable children and providing an opportunity for resourced secondary support churches to partner through prayer and financial support, a variety of projects and opportunities for short-term work teams.
- Orphan and Vulnerable Child Essentials Online Course: Six Wesleyan university students have been equipped with a scholarship to take this unique course, providing a great resume-building opportunity, insights and best practices on the care of vulnerable children from a Christian worldview to apply to their current and future ministries, careers and families. This course is offered three times annually. Scholarship opportunities are available for Wesleyan university students, Wesleyan pastors and lay leaders.
- Christian Alliance for Orphans’ (CAFO) Summit: Hephzibah62:4 has chosen the CAFO Summit as an annual gathering place for Wesleyan pastors and lay leaders to be inspired, encouraged and gain insight into best practices in caring for vulnerable children. The first Wesleyan/Hephzibah62:4 shoulder event occurred in Louisville, Kentucky, at CAFO2019 on May 8, 2019, with 32 people attending. Save the date for CAFO2020 (May 6-8, 2020 in Dallas, Texas) and watch for the Hephzibah62:4 shoulder event details, as well as scholarship opportunities for key Wesleyan pastors and lay leaders.
“We are standing on the shoulders of many who have faithfully served Hephzibah in the past and appreciate your prayers and support as we continue to do the work through our new mission, to equip and mobilize local Wesleyan churches to transform the lives of vulnerable children,” said Lewis.
“God is clearly leading Hephzibah62:4 into a bright new future. He has given us a vision for a new ministry model that has the potential to transform the lives of vulnerable children across North America by inspiring and equipping local churches to invest in hands-on work in their communities.”
Board members pictured, front row: Angel Metzger, Rev. Kim Gladden, Jodi Lewis (director), Rev. Darrell Williams. Back row: Janelle Vernon, Dr. David Babb, Arlynn Ellis, Dr. Rev. Anita Eastlack (board chair).