We would like to share a few stories from Grant Recipients as they share what they learned through the process, their advice, and what God is doing through Redemption Grants.
Questions and Answers with Ted Willis, Film Maker
Ted seeks to share stories of redemption from the marginalized around the world.
Q: What you would say to encourage others who may be considering a grant?
A: If you have an idea or project that you think may be a fit for a grant, apply for it. The application process alone is valuable regardless of if you are awarded the grant or not. Many times business and initiative ideas need to be edited down to be achievable. Applying will give you a framework to think through the most important part of your initiative and learn what aspects can be cut out. Additionally, it is valuable to distill your project down to an idea that can be quickly communicated for recruiting volunteers, donors, and investors. The application process will help you do that.
Q: What have you seen come about as a result of the grant process?
A: The greatest thing I gained from the grant process was being asked to think through the weak points of my project. I needed to anticipate what things might have blocked my initiative and then come up with solutions. This practice led me to create a prayer support network who I could stay in contact with during my project. Prayer is so powerful.
Q: What is a story that stands out as a result of receiving a grant and what you have done as a result?
A: For my project, I wanted to use video to tell the stories of people from marginalized communities around the world and highlight the aspects of hope in the midst of the brokenness they experience. My hunch was that if I spent time in places where people were hurting, I would witness God’s grace. After filming in Manila with YWAM, I met a group of German volunteers. When I eagerly told them about my hope to learn more about the refugee crisis in Germany, one of the women told me her sister worked with refugees in Germany. In short, this lead me to Erfurt, Germany where I stayed with her sister.
There I witnessed a beautiful illustration of God’s redeeming grace through a Iranian refugee names Sohiel. He has been taking refuge in Germany for 6 years and now works as a social worker serving unaccompanied refugee minors. He hates that people must flee their homes, but through his own experience of trauma he helps others through theirs.
New Hope for Victims of Sex-Trafficking
Abigail Wilhelm received a Redemption Grant on behalf of the initiative Free Ever After. Abigail is involved in leadership at Free Ever After and Redemption Church Tucson. Free Ever After serves the city of Tucson by working to see an end to sex trafficking in Tuscon. Ministering to women who have been oppressed by sex trafficking, Free Ever After provides a mentorship program and support.
“Receiving the grant from Redemption has been instrumental in the growth of Free Ever After this year. We are a young non-profit working to combat sex-trafficking in Tucson. We have a resale bridal boutique that funds our programs. I love that Redemption is a church that supports the efforts of it’s members to make a difference in our cities. Through this grant we have been able to expand our reach to more survivors and connect with other non-profits in Tucson. A year ago we had one staff member who was running every aspect of the non-profit from fundraising to administration to our mentorship program. Because of the grant we were able to bring on more staff, expand our volunteer base and dedicate more resources to our programs. Now we are in the process of finding a bigger boutique space and designing a resource library to help even more women who have been sexually abused and/or exploited in Tucson.”
Biblical Counseling for the least of these:
Kathy Bishop and her team at Biblical Counseling of Arizona (BCA) received a Redemption Grant to help pay for counseling for those who could not afford it, and to train up pastors and leaders in various churches in biblical counseling. Here are their stories:
“We decided to launch our first training for biblical counseling with the focus was toward pastors, elders, and leaders in the east valley, as well as foster parents or anyone interested in the topic of reaching the heart in relationships. I remember us dreaming of 30 people coming to the training. We went to our office trying to figure out how many chairs we could cram in. God had bigger plans and the venue quickly changed! BCA’s September 9th basic training in biblical counseling was attended by 108 people! We had some people attend from outside our little east valley community and thanks to the blessing of the Redemption Grant, we were able to reach many pastors, elders and lay people within the community. From Payson through Phoenix and on to Peoria, more than thirty churches were represented in this training. Leaders gathered to understand how to reach a person’s heart for God’s glory. It was a delight to get to know the attendees and add them to the next series of training!
- A mother of 5 came in to get counseling for her children. This young mom was struggling with alcohol addiction. She couldn’t pay for counseling but knew her children needed help. She was able to invest in 50% of the counseling costs (that’s $20 per session). Three of the children received counseling and things in the home have changed. From mom’s initial concern about her children’s welfare, her investment as well as the Redemption Grant helping this family has new priorities, more Christ-centered habits, and a new concern about the things of God.
- Echo Tung reaches the Chinese community by using her first language, Mandarin, to train in biblical counseling. She had trained at two Chinese Christian churches. She offered this not only to church members but to neighbors who only speak Mandarin. The women were curious about a God of grace who is much different from the Buddhist system they are used to. Four women have come in for further counseling with Echo to understand parenting with God’s grace and the marriage covenant. The changes they are making in their homes have made significant differences in the church body.
- A pastor and his wife in our community have 6 children, three of whom are adopted. The family recently moved in with aging in-laws in need of extra support. The adoptive children experienced severe trauma during their young lives and needed counseling, and the mom desired counseling as well. Difficult realities can plague a family living in this broken world. Tragedy after tragedy has hit this family. A grandfather was diagnosed with ALS and another grandfather died of a heart attack. BCA has been able to go into the home of this family and walk beside them in very difficult times. With the help of the Redemption Grant,, BCA has been like a life raft rescuing a hurting family with God’s truth and hope in Jesus.
To those who are considering the Grant process, just do it! Yes, it was a bit scary but it was worth it and no it wasn’t Shark Tank. It has allowed our center to be known for good, to expand our reach and to provide immediate help to the needy. God be glorified!”
Interested in applying for a Redemption Grant? Click Here