This past week, the We Will Go family celebrated the birthday of a favorite brother. I know, I know...you shouldn't have favorites in families. But I gotta be honest, Chris Howard is a favorite.
A year and a half ago, Chris became our brother. He didn't get that way through adoption or physical birthday. Chris became our brother because he was completely born again through Jesus. Once a hate-filled criminal with an infamous past, Chris was overwhelmed by the unconditional, dogged love of the We Will Go missionaries, especially ministry founder Amy Lancaster.
My daughter Betsie recently wrote an essay about Chris and the inspiration he is to her and so many others. Whenever we get discouraged here at the ministry and think "what's the point, so-n-so will never change", we look at Chris and a handful of others who have turned to Jesus. Chris not only became a new man because of Jesus, but he is now doing what he can to help others become new in Jesus. God is teaching him to serve others and the Holy Spirit is using him to love in the same way that he has been loved. Chris is determined to do everything he can to bring the light and love of Jesus to the neighborhood where he first introduced crack decades ago.
Last week, Chris came over to hang out with us while we were painting pictures to raise money for Patrick's mission trip to Swaziland. He created this powerful painting that is a beautiful reminder of the amazing and transforming work of true love. The frame was later painted by Bronwyn Baker, a missionary from South Africa.
Today, I am offering this painting to be bid on. The auction will last til 9:00 next Sunday evening. That means you have a little over a week to get your bid in. Due to the size of the painting, the amount of time put into it, and the awesomeness of Chris Howard, the bidding will start at $25. To bid, simply leave a comment with your name, the bid amount, and how I can contact you if you are the winner. You can also bid via facebook by messaging me or commenting on the link back to this blog.