I just love when God connects the dots. We saw that first-hand a few weeks ago in Erica’s move back to Ft. Hood in Killeen, Texas.
The first week of August, Mark and I had the privilege of speaking at the MOPS convention. While having a casual conversation with the volunteer in charge of speakers, I asked her where she lived. When she replied that she lived in Texas, I told her that we would be moving our daughter to Texas within just a few days of the convention.
When we mentioned we were moving her to Killeen where her husband would return from Iraq to Ft. Hood, she replied, “You have to connect her to one of my best friends, Elizabeth! Elizabeth and her family are missionaries for Cadence International and they run the Hospitality House at Ft. Hood.
I’d never heard of Cadence International or the Hospitality House. However, I came home and told Erica about the conversation. She found Elizabeth on Facebook and made an online connection.
When we arrived in Texas a few days later, Elizabeth sent Erica a Facebook message during our last two hours of driving. “Do you need anything?” she asked. Erica told her we had a very heavy upright piano to unload from the moving truck and we could use a couple of strong men to help with that.
Two hours later we arrived at Erica and Kendall’s new home and began to unload the truck. A few minutes later a carload of 7 people pulled up to the house. It was a youth group from Kansas City that was on a mission trip to help paint the Hospitality House. Elizabeth sent them over to help us unload the whole truck. We were done in 20 minutes! Considering it was 108 degrees outside, that was a huge gift from God! I told the youth group that day that “I love it when the church is really the church!” Believe me…that youth group was the church to our family that day.
Before Mark and I and our two teenagers left Killeen, Erica and I went over to learn more about the Hospitality House. Elizabeth and her husband, Chris, gave us a tour of the house and we learned so much about their ministry.
Cadence International ministers to military men, women, and families. The Hospitality Houses are designed to be a home away from home. They are also designed to be a safe place for enlisted men and women who live in the barracks to have a place off-base to go to on the weekends. Without a place like the Hospitality House, the options for getting off base are limited and many fill their time with partying, strip clubs, and other less than healthy environments. There are actually dorm-like rooms at the Hospitality House where they can sleep on the weekends. Bible studies are offered, family style meals, and just a fun place to hang out and play games, ping-pong, or watch movies.
The Hospitality House has already become a home away from home for Erica. Elizabeth has become a great friend to her. The pictures you saw on my blog yesterday of Kendall’s homecoming were snapped by Elizabeth at a 2:30am ceremony…thank you very much.
I love this story from their recent newsletter:
While serving at the house this past fall, one soldier came in for a meal and Bible study. He asked “How much do I owe you for my dinner?” “You don’t owe us anything, it’s free,” I answered.“But who paid for my meal?” he questioned.“All over the world people give money to missionaries like myself to care for you. Someone gave us the money to buy you this meal, because God loves you.”“You mean someone loves me that much?” he asked. “Yes, God loves you.” He smiled, and I saw that he got it. God is using His people to share His love with our soldiers.
Isn’t that powerful? I wanted to share this story with you for two reasons:
First, if you know of anyone in the military or if you are a military family yourself, please spread the word about Cadence and the Hospitality Houses. They can be found near many military bases all over the world. You can find specific locations HERE.
Second, Chris and Elizabeth May are still raising their support as missionaries to the military. They still need $1500/month of support to be fully released into the ministry they are already so good at. If you have a heart for the military and would like to invest in ministering to the military, I can tell you from first-hand experience that this investment will bring about kingdom benefits to many military men, women, and families. Mark and I have decided that we will be supporting them. You can learn more about Chris and Elizabeth HERE and HERE.
I love it when God connects the dots. And it all started with a simple conversation at the MOPS convention.
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This is so great! I’ve never heard of Cadence International, either. I’m going to make sure my Women’s group at church is aware of this wonderful ministry! Also, I’m from Kansas City, so it was especially nice to hear how the youth group blessed your family! Thanks for making my morning! 🙂
Thanks for helping to spread the word, Cindy!
Jill – thank you for this post. I just clicked through to the Cadence Int’l website and made a connection with a couple who runs a retreat center here at Ft. Jackson for Soldiers in training. I am an “old” permanent party Soldier, stationed here at Ft. Jackson, and hope to be able to contribute in some way to their ministry. Connections are, indeed, fun AND a blessing.
Sarah, that’s wonderful!
I love it when that happens~ It seems lately I have been seeing God in so many things that are orchestrating in my life… He is showing up and working things out in ways that I never could have dreamed. He is so GOOD!!
Jill, when Phil and I were stationed in Italy we had a similar experience with the Ministry to the Military through Church of God (http://www.mttm.org/common/content.asp?PAGE=137) They had missionaries there named Kaye and Owen Martin (http://www.mttm.org/common/content.asp?CONTENT=958&PAGE=354) who became a surrogate family for us there in Italy. They hosted church services that gave us all another English option other than going to the Chapel on base. All of us that attended the services became an extended family together as well and a lot of us still keep in touch even though that was 8 years ago already. Thanks for sharing this and supporting a ministry to the military.
I just sent this link to my friend who’s in the military!
It’s truly lovely to have these real sisters and brothers in Christ! =)