This email went out to our donors and supporters last night. We are posting it here as well to make sure everyone sees it. -HH
I wanted to tell you about some upcoming changes that will affect Love Wins Ministries and me personally.
A small Mennonite church in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Jackson, Mississippi reached out to me. They want to be intentional in engaging and doing ministry to their neighbors. They don’t have any money (I mean, none!) but they do have a decent sized building on several acres, and they want to turn it into a community center to do deliberate outreach to their neighbors – similar to what I have done here. They have asked me to move there and start a new nonprofit to help them do that, and I have accepted.
In June, I will resign as pastor at Love Wins Ministries, and Love Wins Ministries will close. The Community Engagement Center will continue operations with MaRanda Kiser as its Executive Director. I will continue to serve on the board of the Community Engagement Center for at least another year to provide continuity and institutional memory. I plan to begin work in Jackson on July 1.
I have outlived my usefulness here. I am a starter by nature and have tons of energy around the creation of a thing, and not much around the maintenance of that thing. In other words, I am just like virtually every founder, ever.
I have done good work here. I feel good about the work I did helping Raleigh change how it addresses homelessness. I feel good about the thousands of lives I have impacted along the way, and the way I have done it. But my role is over. It’s time to hand it off to someone else.
MaRanda will continue to do a fantastic job. In her first six months on the job, she has added a peer support specialist position that is filled by a person who was formerly homeless, increased the meals we serve here from one a week to 10 a week, drastically increased our volunteer engagement and amount of in-kind donations. In short, she is taking what I built and is making it better, and the best thing I can do is get out of her way.
The move to Jackson is good for us as a family as well. My wife Renee and I are in the process of selling our house here and buying a home there. The cost of living is much less there, so we will have a better quality of life there than we do here. We both have close family a few hours away from Jackson, and being closer to them than the current 12-hour drive is important to me.
As we wrap things up here, I am astounded by all the good that was done here the last 11 years. My feelings around all of this are complicated – excitement about what is to come, and sadness about what I am leaving behind. I hope you will continue to hold my family and me in your prayers as I take the “Love Wins approach” to another southern city.
I hope you will continue to support the work of the Love Wins Community Engagement Center after I leave in June – even in the best of times finding sufficient funding to keep the center going is a struggle. As we get closer to the end, we will provide regular donors to Love Wins Ministries with the information they will need to do that. In the meantime, the information you need to make a donation to the Community Engagement Center is here.
If you want to stay in touch and learn about what I am going to be doing in Jackson, I will be periodically sending emails about our progress there. If you want to make sure you get those, you can just fill out the form here to give me your contact information.
Thank you for all you have done to make the last eleven years of ministry here possible. I am grateful beyond words.
Love Wins. Always.