Calling All Hinsons

"…that they should seek God…" Acts 17:26-27

Another piece of the puzzle


God just amazes me. I know He is in control and I know He orchestrates things, but my little mind cannot begin to comprehend all that He has planned and even how He plans to accomplish His purpose.

Isaiah 14:27 ESV

For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?

Proverbs 19:21 ESV

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

In His great kindness, He revealed a piece of the puzzle to us last week and my mind was overwhelmed at all that He has done to reach the hearts of these people. God loves Countryside! He loves each individual life in here–from the newborn to the eldest. Oh how He loves them–even in their brokenness and sin. Even in their addictions. Even in their anger and hate. He loves them and “…he is patient with [them], not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.

And guys, please hear me when I say this. HE LOVES YOU JUST AS MUCH. He is in hot pursuit of you as well. He wants to use your life to bring His name the glory it deserves. Understand today that the God of Heaven and Earth is in pursuit of your life and your heart. Oh, how He loves us!

The local elementary school that educates most of the Countryside children is Brooklyn Springs Elementary. Their principal happens to be the music director at New Hope Baptist, Tonya Hunter. This is her second year as principal of this school that is labeled a “high poverty” school. There are also a number of teachers at the school that attend NHBC. Because Brooklyn Springs educates a great number of poverty-stricken children, their testing scores are not as high as the staff would like and their behavior issues are numerous.

My relationship started with Mrs. Hunter during VBS this summer as we taught the Kindergarten class together along with another teacher from Brooklyn Springs. Mrs. Hunter’s ability to get those children to listen to her stories by using such a soft tone was compelling to me. I know they could sense the love she had for them.

Last week, Grant and I wanted to sit down with Mrs. Hunter to ask her opinion on the best way to distribute the school supplies for the Back to School Bash we were going to hold. Little did we know this meeting with Mrs. Hunter would be such a worshipful experience.

During that meeting, Mrs. Hunter shared her heart with us. As tears flowed from her eyes and mine she explained to us that she took the job as principal because she wanted to make a difference in these kids’ lives. She wanted to see them excel. She wants to get to know them and love on them like Jesus would. She didn’t take the position for the money or fame–because it’s not there. She took this position to bring Glory to God through impacting lives in a positive way. When we left we were given a shirt that said Brooklyn Springs Elementary…Best School Ever!

One neat way Mrs. Hunter is impacting lives is through home visits. With her entire staff of teachers on board, she had them visit every one of their students and families at their homes the week before school started. Her idea was to allow the parents to be familiar with their child’s teacher and to begin a relationship of trust between the two parties. The teachers were to share their expectations with the family. Grant was allowed to go with a teacher to a home in our neighborhood and he reported how much the family respected the teacher for taking time to show she cared.

This initiative also was paired with a field trip for the teachers. Mrs. Hunter loaded up a school bus full of staff and took them to the highest poverty areas in their district. Some had never ventured out to these places. Eyes were opened to the conditions their students were coming from. She stopped at a wall covered with graffiti and asked what the teachers saw. Some said “trouble” while others said “disrespect”. Mrs. Hunter encouraged them to change their mindset and to see a future artist.

So, this past Sunday at church it all came full-circle in my heart. As I was surrounded in the pews by ten children from Countryside, Mrs. Hunter and her family sat directly behind us. We stood to sing and the words made my cup overflow…

There is power in the name of Jesus

There is power in the name of Jesus

There is power in the name of Jesus

To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain!

Yes, there is. And as I sat there with those children who come from places I never can imagine a child being, I saw the full picture. I saw that Mrs. Hunter was placed in their school to work with them for 180 days. To make a difference in their lives and impact their education. To believe that they can succeed. To show them that they don’t have to paint graffiti on walls when they can paint art on canvas. She was placed in that school by God the Father two years ago to make a difference.

When we came along at the beginning of summer we had no idea about Brooklyn Springs. We had no idea who Mrs. Hunter was. We had no idea that God would pair us together for His work.

You see, it is important for Grant and me to work alongside Brooklyn Springs. These teachers are investing so much in Countryside. It is imperative that they don’t grow weary and give up hope. God has placed Mrs. Hunter there to encourage her staff that their job is so very important.

Monday school started back. I haven’t been so excited and nervous for the first day of school since I was a student myself. At church Sunday we gathered all students and teachers at the altar and prayed over them. We prayed they would have a good and productive school year. I prayed for strength for the teachers and for the children to excel.

God just amazes me! He placed us in the same church with the principal of the elementary school that educates our kiddos…who has the same heart and love for them that we do. I can’t imagine with my little human mind what good will come out of this relationship. I can’t imagine the partnership He has planned for this. I can’t imagine the improvements in the scores and the behavior that will be evident at the end of the year because He has worked in the hearts of the people in Countryside. I can’t imagine it, but I know He is gonna show up in mighty ways!



2 thoughts on “Another piece of the puzzle

  1. Oh Amber!! Your posts always bring so much joy to my heart!! The work you guys are doing for The Lord and for Countryside is amazing!! The children and families there are so blest to have you guys as neighbors!!

  2. Amber, I always look forward to your posts. They fill my heart, spirit, and soul. I want God to work through me like He has with you and your family. You are such a wonderful role model for me, in so many ways! It bothers me that I don’t make more $, have a bigger house, etc but you remind me on daily basis that’s not what life is about and you don’t even realize the impact you have on my life. I’m so thankful for you and your family!

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