Showing Up


“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?

Tell me, if you understand.

Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!

Who stretched a measuring line across it?

On what were its footings set,

or who laid its cornerstone—

while the morning stars sang together

and all the angels shouted for joy?”

Job 38

I’ve loved reading what people have written about their dads today. For the best dads, one common theme shines through:  they show up. They show up at baseball games and recitals and to fix the car and move them into the dorm room. They show up when someone’s hurt or lonely or just needs a hug. They catch lightening bugs and spin them on the swing and run behind the bike with the training wheels off.  I’ll bet that’s what hurt so very much for Job: for a while, he felt fatherless. But clearly the feeling was not reality because just when Job is at the end, the Lord speaks up and for 4 jaw dropping chapters, the Lord makes it clear He’s not only present, He’s in charge. So for all of you today that didn’t have that ‘perfect’ dad, that never knew the joy of having an earthly father so loving and so gracious, please remember you’re not fatherless.  You have the greatest father of all, who knows every single cell of your being and loves you so completely, He died for you that you might be with Him forever. Amen and Amen.


WOW.  The Lord just continues to clear every obstacle in this endeavor and bring servants to help.  This place is perfect and filled with so many generous donors, including Gurley Baptist who is allowing us to use.  We have a few final needs which I’ve listed below at the very bottom.* Thank you – we’re so excited about this ministry and the opportunity it provides to live and breathe the Gospel to our kids.  We’re finalizing our policies and procedures and then we’ll be ready to open the doors. The Refuge is a home-like place for kids after school and Saturdays where they can be safe, feel loved, get a hot meal, help with homework, take a shower and just relax and have fun.  This has been a HUGE step for us, requiring more of everything: more volunteers, more money, a bigger board, more bold and audaciousness. It is alternatively scary and exciting but mostly scary so we covet your prayers. And suggestions, thoughts, ideas: whatever the Lord brings you, WE NEED YOU!!

Farm To Table 2019

Save The Date!!!  We’re hosting our annual Farm To Table Dinner fundraiser under the stars here at Hereford Farms on Thursday, September 12th this year.  We can’t wait to see you there!

Backpack Ministry

Special thanks to Carrie Robinson and Cove Methodist Church for once again providing backpacks to many of our kids and school supplies to the teachers.  You are so appreciated!

Jacob’s Ladder

What happens when a group of fathers commit to serving some high school boys without fathers in the home?  More than I can possibly explain. In the last 6 months, these dads have taken their mentees to lunch, to camp, to the lake, to a basketball game.  They’ve invested and loved and fostered and disciplined. They have been the Gospel to a group of kids that are worth every bit of this and more. And honestly- they are my heroes.  So to all of you: Nick and Rob and Heath and Gordon, to their wives and children who sacrifice so they can show up to kids that need them so desperately- you are simply the best this world has to offer.  You inspire all the rest of us. And if the thought of this stirs something inside you, if you’d like to know more about mentoring a child that needs you, please reach out. We have several kids waiting on you!

Each one of these initiatives above represents one person prayerfully stopping, identifying a need and stepping into the gap to serve.  You have a gift we need. In fact, we’re not complete, our joy is not complete, without you here. There are so many people I want to tell you about:  the mom that travels from Madison to Gurley once a week to specifically help one child she’s gotten to know, the former educator that puts everything on hold to have a child in need stay with her when she’s needed, the civic leader that drives a family back and forth from Birmingham and back when a child’s in the hospital, the family that helps an elderly man with groceries and transportation every week.  These are my neighbors. We need you here and you need us too: we’re fun, we’re smart and we walk in the shadow of the Lord. Please come join us

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:14-19  

I am so very thankful to be walking through this life with you all.  

Sweet blessings,  Sue

Emily Matthews