March 16, 2020, Beacon of Hope closed and locked the front door of our Holland office to allfoot traffic. This was an unprecedented maneuver to begin a phased plan to keep our staff, clients, and community safe. This was the same day that all schools in the State of Michigan were ordered closed. March 23, 2020, Beacon of Hope made official all work would be completed from the homes of our staff. March 30, 2020, our ministry began researching online platforms that would be compliant with HIPAA regulations and provide a video counseling option. April 6, 2020, the staff at Beacon began to implement a telehealth counseling program. April 14, 2020, the board of directors of Beacon of Hope vote to postpone our Annual Golf Event, originally scheduled for April 28.
During all of these changes, our staff did an amazing job, sticking together, helping each other, and providing the necessary service to our clientele. All of these changes did not come without cost. We had estimated that the initial month of changeover was going to add $2,400 to our overall budget. But God already had that figured out! March 31, 2020, Beacon of Hope received $5,000 from the Emergency Human Needs Fund, comprised of a collaboration of the Holland Zeeland Community Foundation, the Grand Haven Community Foundation, and the Ottawa County United Way. Thank You Lord for caring for Your ministry! Our added expenses were met and would carry us into a second month of providing new services. We also received encouraging notes from you with checks attached. One note said, ‘I am certain that you need some extra help right about now – please use these funds to help our community’.
Then we had a family offer up a matching gift opportunity in May, which is still available. $1,662 is still left to be matched by June 19. And more good news: other donors have said that they plan to offer a match this summer, knowing that the need for counseling services is going to rise immensely. We are so grateful for these giving hearts!
In the meantime, while all this changing of service points was happening, our ministry was scrambling to figure out how were we going to have our largest fundraising event? The Beacon of Hope Golf Event has for 8+ years now been our most successful dollar raiser. Last year we surpassed $40,000 for the first time ever and we were planning on that again this year. Now what are we going to do? The event was in major jeopardy of not happening. Our state, nation, and most of the world is or was shut down. No one could’ve predicted this. No, this was not on our radar as possible roadblocks. Reality began to set in, though, and our team was determined to make this event happen within the state regulations.
I had a good feeling about God making a way. After all, He always makes a way. He is the Way Maker! We chose a date, May 19, we prayed, “God make this happen”. God has always made our event happen – even with not so good weather forecasts – our event always happens. Yes, I said always, one of those terms that us therapists tell parents and couples not to use, because most always, it’s never (another word) true. However, when dealing with God, you can be certain that He always comes through. It might not look like how you planned it, but He will come through. We have some amazing stories of how God has come through! So, our new date, May 19; how will this work? We’re playing a marathon of golf and the order at the time stated no golf carts on golf courses (May 14). But, God had a plan and we knew it and we weren’t shaken. We were going to have our event on May 19, and we were going to use carts.
And we did! We had our event on May 19, we used carts, we had a great day, and God blessed it! God was in it from the beginning. And we are only a few thousand dollars away from our $40,000 mark. Praise God for His faithfulness! Thank you to the 18 golfers! Thank you to Clearbrook Golf Club! Thank you to all our supporters!
Our format was different. We couldn’t gather. We had to wear masks. We couldn’t shake hands or even be within 6 feet of another person. We were given tee times, no shot gun start, no dinner at the conclusion. We weren’t even able to secure prizes prior to the event, because everything shut down. Our golfers came, they golfed, and they went home. It felt strange. I host this event, and I participate in this event; never before have I not seen each one of our participants. This year, I’m sad to say that I didn’t even get to see all of our golfers. This didn’t impede the enthusiasm from our group. I heard great stories that all enjoyed themselves and had good laughs. I believe all want to come back and do it again next year! Praise the Lord!! He is already there making a way!
If you didn’t get a chance to support the event, I will still graciously accept your gift. We’re around $6,000 shy of that goal of $40,000. Hallelujah, God is so good! To have raised more than $33,000 for this event shows God is so in this and behind His ministry, Beacon of Hope. Our ministry is needed, possibly more today than in any other time in our history. And we go back 18 years. There is no better time to support a Christ-centered Counseling Ministry than right now! It’s probably safe to say that most everyone has some form of anxiety because of what we’re all experiencing with COVID-19. If you had no anxiety March 12, you probably have some now. If you had anxiety March 12, imagine what that must be like right now. Beacon of Hope is here. We aren’t going anywhere. We do need your help. We need our supporters more today, than we did on March 12. You know what is the same today as that of March 12? The Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is ready, able, and willing to aid you in whatever you need. He will also continue to provide for Beacon of Hope. Will you allow Him to use you? Over the next couple of weeks, let’s finish off that $6,000. Let’s be faithful to the work of our Lord and trust Him to provide. God is watching, and He wants to bless you!
Thanks so much for your support and prayers. God is at work. It’s very obvious that there’s much work to be done. Thank you for helping us get it done.
Please take good care during these uncertain days. Lean on God, because He is strong, and you will stand firm in His arms.
Kyle Thompson EdD LPC