On Friday, December 29, 2017, Clean Socks Hope celebrated 10 years as a ministry. When I walked in to our community room at 8th Street that morning, I truly didn’t know if this was it for us, if this was our goodbye. Like he had done so many times before I knew God would get me through it, because he had called us to it. I had been praying all week simply that his will be done and that there would be an obvious next right thing.
It was a night of incredible praise and worship and as those things you pray for would have it, Stephen McWhirter began to intro a song. He said that our ways always fall short of the glory of God and that our faith in him is rewarded in kind, by God being faithful to us. Then God answered my prayer as Stephen said, “In my walk with God I never know what tomorrow will bring, but what I do know because God is in it, it will be beautiful.”
All I could do was sob. I realized we had just turned the page on the next chapter of our life with God and Midtown.
In looking back on what we have accomplished by simply being faithful to God and being present, it is amazing what a small group of back to basics believers can do. Trusting in him, we have somehow seen our Christmas Store impact over 806 families, 869 local children largely from the Midtown community and dignity for parents that no other organization can claim.
Our low-income food cooperative (Midtown Neighborhood Network) which began its humble roots on July 5, 2012 with 6 families. To date, its impact has seen over 200 families participate in the Midtown Neighborhood Network Food Cooperative totaling 2,108 men, and women, 1,864 children, 556 seniors for a total impact of 4,528 family members from the community. As a Dare to Care agency partner we’ve provided 35,557 individual meals for those in need in our local Food Desert over the last 6 years.
We can take no credit for any of this and God gets the glory for all of it and our friends, family, and partnership with Northside Christian Church and dozens of volunteers and dozens of youth groups, schools from at least 3 different states did most of the work.
And yes, we’ve donated some 11,000 pairs of clean socks to the homeless, the underserved, jails, and schools in 11 counties in and around the Louisville metro area.
So, as we stand at the precipice and official birth of the 8th Street Mission, God is already filling our calendar with new friends and new beginnings. A formal partnership and house build with Habitat for Humanity, Southeast Christian and the city of New Albany. We are hosting a voter registration drive with the League of Women Voters and the NAACP in January, and our partnership with a coalition of churches is now officially in the books and growing.
For Shelly and I, this has been a year of retrospect and new beginnings mainly due to a little boy named Byron. He has forever changed our lives.
All I can tell you is that in my walk with God I never know what tomorrow will bring, but what I do know because God is in it, it will be beautiful.
Join us at 8th Street—You will never be the same.
A special thank you to my wife and behind the scenes partner in the ministry. Every decent thing that has ever been said about me is because of you. You loved me when no one could and you reintroduced me to Jesus and that has made all the difference.
“Now Papa go to bed now, it’s getting late, nothing we can say can change anything now; because there’s just different people coming down here now and they see things in different ways, and soon everything we’ve known will just be swept away.”
~Bruce Springsteen | Independence Day