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From the Desk of Chandler Means: Summer 2016

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The last several months have brought a bit of transition to AGAPE: retirements, changing career paths, and the addition of new leadership bringing new ideas to build toward the future. No doubt, this has been an exciting and challenging season for AGAPE and, quite frankly, the executive director. I remember confronting my father once with a difficult situation in my early career and he reminded, “Son, just remember, be faithful.”   

A few years ago, while teaching the book of Hebrews in a Sunday school class, I found a simple verse that helped me understand faithfulness as it relates to God’s people in a way I had never thought of before: “All those people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them from a distance” (Hebrews 11:13).

After verse 13, the writer then takes us through the hall of fame of faithful people: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Rahab, you are familiar with the list. At the end of chapter 11, the writer reminds us again, “[N]one of them received what was promised. God had planned something better …”

I’ve been at AGAPE for almost four years. I walk the halls of the Justiss-Kirby Center each day. My office is the Harpeth Hills Church Executive Office. Our board meetings and foster parent trainings are held in the Estelle Ezell Conference Room. Each office is used to provide Christian counseling, social services, and administrative support to children and families. Every room is named in memory or honor of a person, family, congregation, foundation or company that has made a significant contribution to the lives of those AGAPE serves. Daily, I review and pray over those who support the AGAPE mission with their generous gifts, and I remember the faithfulness demonstrated in Hebrews 11.

I only mentioned a few of the engraved names throughout the halls of AGAPE’s offices. There are too many to list, and many have gone on to “something better”. Through 50 years of serving children and families, their faithfulness has led to more than 5550 children served, including more than 1050 adopted into Christian homes. Each year dozens of marriages are strengthened, hundreds of family relationships mended, and many suffering from abuse and brokenness begin healing.

Those who support the ministry of AGAPE, much like the faithful in Hebrews 11, are demonstrating their faith in God’s work through AGAPE. Many will never know the face of the child, or see the family their support rescued, or meet the men and women who experience healing from their abusive past. But their faithful support and yours will continue to change lives through agape love. Thank you for your faithfulness to the ministry and mission of AGAPE.  Please continue your support for the work of AGAPE!