GABC To Launch Hope For 100 Ministry
By PATRICK BUTLER
When Rocky and Carrie Gill adopted a 10-month-old girl who had been abandoned in the countryside of China, something happened in their hearts. What started out as a mission of mercy to one of the estimated 143 million orphans in the world, ended up being a lesson in blessings.
"As parents to this little girl, we've received so much more than we've ever given," said Gill on Friday. "I suppose we adopted her out of the goodness of our hearts, but we're the ones who've been the recipient of the blessings."
Little Campbell, now 7 years old, was not even on Rocky's radar in September of 2000, when they ran into friends while out on the town.
"They had adopted and encouraged us to do the same," said Gill. "I didn't know much about the one-child policy in China and how girls were under-valued and often abandoned. The more we looked at adoption, the more we realized we should do it."
The process was long, drawn out and expensive, said Gill.
"Today we have a 'Cinderella' child, a beautiful child and I realized if we could put together something to reduce the obstacles, more people like us would be encouraged to adopt."
On Sunday, Green Acres Baptist Church, where the Gills are members, will launch "Hope For 100," a ministry Gill founded to find homes for 100 children in the Tyler area. Pre-and post-adoption support, foster care, financial and administrative assistance, ongoing orphan care, prayer and awareness teams are set and standing by to assist prospective parents for orphaned children.
Gill, a Tyler businessman, said he hopes the model will encourage churches across America to start their own "Hope For 100" campaigns.
"Adoption is needed in every part of the world," said Gill. "We promote adoption right here in East Texas, not necessarily from China or anywhere else. It doesn't have to be international adoption. We'd be thrilled if all 100 new families were created from orphans right here in East Texas. There are plenty of homes in Tyler that can open their doors."
"I am thrilled with the launch of Hope For 100," said the Rev. Dr. David O. Dykes, senior pastor of Green Acres. "It's a campaign to challenge Green Acres families to obey God's word by providing loving, Christian homes for children through adoption or foster care."
The Rev. Kevin Burdette, minister of Adult Impact for Green Acres will oversee the project.
On January 11, the Rev. Jerome Milton, senior pastor of Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, and founder of Tyler's Martin Luther King Jr. Rally and March, will speak on behalf of Hope For 100.
On Jan. 31, Green Acres will sponsor a day-long conference on adoption, "If You Were Mine."
"At the conference, people will hear from a host of adoption agencies and efforts from all over Texas," said Gill. "We'll be providing practical adoption assistance and hopefully answer all the questions anyone may have about how they could go about adopting a child."
The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. and will cost $20 per individual or $30 per couple, said Gill. Lunch is included.
When Gill looks at his daughter Campbell, many thoughts run through his mind, he said.
"You just can't help feeling sorry for her mother and dad," he said. "I think especially of her mother and how sorry I am that she didn't get to see this beautiful child."
Visit the Web at www.hopefor100.org
for information or to register for the "If You Were Mine" conference. Call the Green Acres Minister of Adult Impact at 903-525-1186.