About two months ago, Matt and I were packing up the vehicles to take a huge load of furniture to a single mom.  She was about to lose her children to CPS if she did not have the appropriate household items to make a home (beds, table, crib, couch, etc).  I was being careful not to lift anything, due to a couple recent back injuries while working.  I guided a heavy coffee table down to Matt for him to grab, when my finger was crushed under the weight of it and badly broken.  I was very discouraged as this was another obstacle in front of me to delay the work that seems to pile up quickly these days.  We receive about 3-4 calls a week from agencies and case workers who are needing help from Bridge of Hope, – this in addition to new families arriving to America and those the Lord puts in front of us daily. 

The next day, after I broke my finger, I was crying out to the Lord, “What am I to do?  How can I continue?  It is just not working out with my volunteers for this part of the ministry, I cannot do this, every time I do, I get hurt”.   What is your will?  After praying and pouring my heart out to the Lord, I went to my email, and what I read, took all my despair away. It said, “We have the kids! The battle is over, they are safe.”

About three and half years ago, I met five wonderful children in the neighborhood of BOH.  They were  2,3,6,8,11. They would come to see me and hang out at the storehouse all the time. They were always hungry, needing a bath, on their own no matter what time of day or night, and looking out for each other.  They lived in an abandoned house with their father, with no running water. Mom was in prison.  We taught them about Jesus, led them to the Lord, taught them scripture, loved on them every chance we could.   We became very close – even became a part of their lives in school, with the counselors, their Principal, CPS, and all that goes along with these types of situations. My dear sister Deanne and her husband Kip starting spending time with the children and long story short, ended up bringing the two year old into their home , as the dad let her ‘stay” there.  None of this done in court, just two servants willing to be used by God. They said yes to jumping into a deep, uncertain, heavy situation for the sake of this little girl to be saved.  The other children were bounced all over town, CPS cases continued being opened by all who saw and called, the children in constant heartache and turmoil, dad went  back in prison (3rd time since I had met him), but still, the children were not removed by the State but shuffled to different family members who were not able to care for them- the situation darkening. When he was released from prison, the court overlooked all and said the children were to be reunited with him, even the youngest was to go back after being with Deanne and Kip for two years.  They were released to Dad and were homeless within a week.  We continued to pray and cry out to the Lord for justice- calling CPS for help.  The darkness became darker just before the dawn, when finally, after years, God uncovered this to a certain school counselor- she got involved and CPS made a move to remove the children.  I am overjoyed and relieved to say that three of them are safe and thriving with Deanne and Kip- one is with another wonderful amazing family, the other is with a grandma.  Deanne and Kip have all rights for the children- the judge even honored them in front of all recognizing their hearts to serve and give so much with no pay.  God turned the whole thing around. The children are doing fantastic, able to focus, being healed, eating well, learning God’s word. Please continue to pray for them and their healing. Pray and hold up Deanne and Kip as they are working hard to parent them and make life long decisions. Pray for Mark and Kelly and they have opened their heart and home to  raise and love the oldest daughter.

After reading that email. I started sobbing, completely blown away by the goodness of God.  If the last 6 years was all for this one family, it was worth it.  The only reason we even met the kids was because we were there and started a conversation. God was all ready working in their lives, he saw the abuse and despair, His eyes were upon them, He just asked us to join Him to say yes to being their friend. They now have a beautiful mom and dad who love them and love Jesus. Thank you Kip and Deanne for giving your hearts, laying them on the line in love. For staying in there, not giving up. I love you both so much. Thank you Kelly and Mark for giving your hearts and laying your life down for her.

I went to my mailbox  two weeks ago. I never check the mail at BOH, but did this time. it was a letter mailed to me from Christmas time.
It was from the kid’s mom. it said a lot, but I will share this, ” thank you for all you have done for my children and the community. i want to thank Deanne and Kip for all they have done for my family, especially for taking my youngest into their home and raising her for the last couple years.  i want them to know how grateful I am and what a wonderful job they have done. i am in prison paying the consequences for my actions and for a drug addiction that i have had for the last 18 years. I am glad to say I have been saved. I am getting baptized Christmas day and I am so excited people can change and their is Hope.”

Love the one in front of you. Love is the key.

 Sheri Briggs,

Bridge of Hope