I want to use this first blog to tell a little about our history. For the Sake of One is an orphan care ministry that has been operating out of Beech Street FBC in Texarkana, AR for the past 3 years. A group of friends and I dreamed of how we could help the foster care community in Texarkana and came up with 5 areas (recruiting foster parents, encouraging current foster parents, having a resource room, encouraging case workers and mentoring biological parents) in which we felt we could have the most impact. We have been working at this for the past 3 years. The people on this committee were all parents of small children and had many other responsibilities, so we couldn't fully commit the time that was needed to hit all five of these areas.
One way that we did meet these needs was by having a free parents' night out for foster parents in Texarkana. In 2016, we had one event. We had big plans to have more events, but life happened and we forgot to schedule them. In order to avoid this in 2017, I planned out four parents' nights out for the year. Our nonprofit story started on February 24, the night of our first parents' night out.
I got to the church early and was walking around preparing. I put supplies in each room that would be used and made sure that workers were coming. As I was walking around the church, alone, I felt like God was telling me "Angela, this is what I created you to do." It was a strong feeling, but I brushed it away because I didn't know what to do with it.
Two days later, I was at St. Andrews Anglican church in Little Rock, Arkansas and the sermon was on Matthew 13:18-23 which is the parable of the sower. The priest was talking about the different seeds and how the seeds would grow. He said that for the seed to grow well, the ground has to be plowed, which is usually painful. He said it won't be easy, but the results are abundant.
The following Wednesday (March 1) I was at our small group class at church. Our lesson was on Amos 4 and a lot of the discussion was about how God hates injustice so we should fight against injustices.
And then, the next day (March 2) this is what the devotion I read from Genesis 7 said, "With the building project completed, the boat is filled and God closes the door. Until the rain begins to fall, Noah is doing everything by faith. Noah is listed as a hero of faith in Hebrews 11:4 when it says, 'It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.' How would you react if God told you to do something this crazy? Generally, what God asks us to do is much simpler, but still we find it hard. It seems everybody else is ignoring God and doing fine, why should I do the hard things? It’s because it is God who is asking and he will do everything he says he will do."
At this point, I was thinking, "Ok, God...I get the picture...You want me to do something big with For the Sake of One." I started talking to some friends who had more experience with non profits than I did and looked in to what it would take. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was following God in faith that He was leading me.
On March 5, we sang Holy Spirit by Francesca Batistelli at Beech Street and I was given a vision of all of Texarkana bonding together with FSO. As a non profit, we could go around to recruit other churches and have a spirit of God helping the fatherless in ALL of Texarkana
On March 12 our pastor preached on Luke 10:28-31 - being a Mary in a Martha world. He said that Martha finds herself weighed down by being distracted by many things and she drags them from place to place with her. I realized that his was what I have been doing with school and FSO.
At this point, I had a clear vision. God was telling me to quit my job as a teacher (which is a job that I absolutely LOVE), turn For the Sake of One in to a non profit, and expand it to include/recruit churches ALL ACROSS Texarkana so that we could make a bigger impact on the foster care culture in OUR city. So, I started meeting with potential board members. They were all quick to join me. One lady didn't feel like she should be on the board at this point but she connected me to a lawyer who connected me with a man who had just finished creating a non profit. This man has never met me, but has talked to me on the phone several times to tell me the steps to take to form the non profit. God has worked out all the details and I have been amazed at how easily things have fallen into place.
We had our first board meeting on May 3 and I submitted my application to the IRS to become a 501(c)3 tax exempt non profit incorporation on May 4. Many people told me that the IRS is slow so I shouldn't expect to hear anything back for a while, so I tried not to get my hopes up. My last week of teaching was May 22-26 and it was a week full of emotions for me. I was excited to be starting me new journey, but so sad to be leaving my students and coworkers. I LOVE teaching my bilingual babies and am going to miss them greatly, but I know that I am doing what God has called me to do.
Throughout this week, I had this feeling deep down that we would receive notification from the IRS on my last day of work. I hoped and felt like I would close one door and open another one on the same day. I can't explain this feeling except to say that God is in Control. After my last day of work on May 26, I came home and when the mail came, I had a letter addressed to For the Sake of One from the IRS. My heart skipped a beat and I was excited and nervous all at the same time. As I opened the letter and read the words, "Were pleased to tell you we determined you're exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code section 501(C)3." I felt like it was my final confirmation. For the Sake of One is God's plan. He will use it to reach people in Texarkana. He will use it to unite churches to partner with CPS and DHS to care for abused children in Texarkana. Although I'm nervous about this journey, I have no doubt in my mind that I am right where God has planned for me to be.