Remember last week I talked about God’s perfect timing with this blog, and how His timing worked out what I thought was my delay so that we prayed for Aspire Movement at the same time they were the highlighted ministry of the month at The Garage in Pelham AND when their director, Jason Williams, is recovering from a bicycle accident? Well, there’s more! Mission Birmingham is helping to organize a summer prayer tour of our non-profits. Every Friday morning, at 7am, everyone who loves to pray is invited to join them at a different non-profit location each week to pray for that ministry, its staff, and clients. In conjunction with that, City on its Knees will be praying for that week’s non-profit here on the blog. You can join us in person and/or on the blog here! How cool is that?!
The first ministry on our journey is The Jimmie Hale Mission. (Yes, it’s “Jimmie”, not “Jimmy”.) Jimmie Hale was known as the town drunk until he received Jesus as his Savior, and it turned his life around. He had a desire to share God’s life-changing love and to open a mission where homeless men could receive help and hope. In March 1944, Jimmie and his wife, Jessie, founded The Jimmie Hale Mission. Sadly, in November of that year, Jimmie died from health complications. Jessie worked for the next ten years to keep the mission opened. Then, in 1954, the Lord brought Leo Shepura to help lead the ministry, and they worked together for the next 36 years. In 1990, Tony Cooper became the executive director, and still is today.
The Jimmie Hale Mission has seen thousands of lives transformed by the Gospel over the years, and has grown to include many components to their mission, such as Shepura Men’s Center, Jessie’s Place (for women and children), Regal Pines Centers, Stewart Learning Centers, Discovery Clubs, and Mission Possible Bargain Centers. Find out more, including how you can get involved, by visiting their website.
Heavenly Father, the verse that comes to mind right now is Job 42:2, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” When Mr. Hale died just a few short months after starting this mission, no one would have blamed his wife for closing up shop, so to speak. After all, she as expecting their first child when he died. Instead, You have allowed this mission to continue for 71 years now(!), and have grown it to be so much more than it was in the beginning. Your purposes for The Jimmie Hale Mission, and for all those whose lives have been touched by it, were not thwarted. Praise the Lord!
We pray for Tony Cooper and the leadership team at the Jimmie Hale Mission to continue to be humble men and women led by Your Spirit in all that they do. Give them grace and capacity to minister to each person that comes into their mission. Protect them, Lord, and strengthen them so that they do not become weary in doing good. Encourage them with the eternal fruit they see harvested in the lives of the people they are investing in. Give them wisdom, counsel, and discernment to know and do Your will in the operation of this ministry and in their own personal lives. Show Yourself faithful on their behalf. Please continue to bless and prosper this ministry.
Father, we lift up the men, women, and children who come to the Jimmie Hale Mission for help and hope. Lord, we know You have a good plan for their lives, because Jeremiah 29:11 says You do, but the enemy has tried to steal, kill, and destroy those plans and even their very lives. (John 10:10) Father, because of the blood of Jesus Christ, tear down the strongholds in their lives and bring them into relationship with You. Give them grace for all their sin, and let them know that they are wrapped in righteousness and dignity. We pray that You would restore fathers to their children. Restore children to their parents. Restore women to places of dignity and safety. Restore mothers to their families. We declare, in Jesus name, that the Lord’s plan for them will not be thwarted, because He can do all things. (Job 42:2)
Heavenly Father, You can do all this and so much more, and so we trust how You are going to answer, and how You are already working through this ministry. We give You all the honor and praise for it. Amen.