Kids can say the funniest things and ask the most intriguing questions.
Erma and I are spending most of the next three weeks houseparenting in a couple of resident halls at Tupelo Children’s Mansion. This week we have been taking care of the boys in Parks Hall. We go home to sleep in our own bed over the weekend, and will be back in Parks next week, and then Townhouse for the following weekend.
We have grown so fast in recent weeks with new placements that we are currently short of houseparents. So all of us on the staff are doing our part to take care of the children that God has entrusted to us. Once we are fully staffed again, I will once again be able to give my full focus to my job as President.
Let me share with you something funny that happened this afternoon after school.
I was playing outside with Nick, an11-yr-old boy, who asked me out of the blue, “Do you have any sons?”
I replied, “No, Nick, I don’t. But I do have two grandsons.”
I had no idea where this conversation was going and wasn’t prepared for the follow-up question from this inquisitive little boy: “Well, then, who’s going to own the Mansion after you?”
Needless to say, I about fell out.
We then had this little discussion and I tried to explain to him that I didn’t own the Mansion, and that I was just the President, and sort of in charge of things. Of course, he was persistent in his quest for more information and then wanted to know who did own the Mansion. I paused for a moment as I was thinking of how to respond, and then proceeded to give him the best answer I could come up with at the moment: “Nick, God owns the Mansion. TCM belongs to Jesus. We’re just helping Him take care of it!”
He seemed to be okay with that answer, but he had that look in his eye that told me he knew there was more to the story than this. And there is!
In reality, Tupelo Children’s Mansion is endorsed by the United Pentecostal Church, headquartered in Hazelwood, MO, and there are 33 official “cooperating districts” of the UPCI across North America that have representation on our Board of Directors. So, there is in fact a constituent ownership of TCM, made up of sponsors, supporters, and many friends.
However, aside from the corporate structure, with bylaws and vital matters pertaining to governance, this ministry does belong to the Lord. It’s God’s work! We are just His hands and arms reaching out to these precious children in need. And all the good that happens here “to the least of these” really is done as unto the Lord.
I know TCM belongs to God, because He has never failed to take care of it. This home for needy children is the apple of His eye. Every time there’s been a need, whether it has had to with finances, staffing, or the placement of children, He has proven to be so very faithful! Truly, TCM is owned and operated by Jesus Christ! And that’s my final answer.