April 2014

A Repurposed Mother’s Day

I could hardly breathe walking into my first Mother’s Day worship service after my mom died. My heart was broken with the reality that I’d never see my beautiful momma’s angelic smile or hear her infectious laughter again. Her name was Joyce, meaning joy, and with her death, I had lost my joy and my purpose in life.


As I sat in my seat and looked up to hear the sermon, I was surprised to hear Dr. Jerry Haag, president of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, speaking instead of our pastor. As he spoke, I saw the faces of little ones in need and heard the stories of abused and neglected children finding hope and healing at the FBCH. Even in my grief, I could almost hear a still, small voice whisper to me, “Will you help children that don’t have a mom to care for them?” Reaching into my purse to financially support the offering going to Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, my first little wave of joy returned to my heart as I thought, “Yes, Lord, I will help!”

God has a special purpose for us, even in our deepest pain.
Has there been a time when you knew God was using a deep pain in your heart to prompt you to help others?


About three years after the loss of my mother, I received a phone call to be the speaker for a Mother’s Day event! Mother’s Day? You have got to be kidding me!


I think I spoke out loud to God in that moment and said, “You have got the wrong girl! I am the one who lost her mom, not the one who can encourage others on Mother’s Day!”I slumped down on my couch in the same spot I met with God each morning. This time, after three years of talking to God about my hurt, He spoke back. In my spirit, I heard, “I have repurposed you! I am not going to resurrect your mother, but I have repurposed your heart to help others. ”


As I thought of the meaning of a “repurposed heart,” my eyes fell on all the things I have repurposed in my home. Now, my broken, beaten up heart, was the very thing God was going to use for His glory. At that Mother’s Day event, a gift for $4,000 dollars was given to complete our Freeride 836 fundraising event to help Orphan’s Heart build an orphanage in Tanzania.

God is in the business of using our stories to inspire others to help children, too!
At our Women of Compassion “God Sized Dreams” event this year, I found out many women have been repurposed, too. Whether these women are volunteering at their local FBCH cottage, going on international mission trips, or assisting at their churches, their passion to serve comes from God changing their pain to purpose.

It is my deepest prayer that you will live “repurposed” this Mother’s Day as a reusable treasure for God’s glory!


For children,


Tracey Russell

Women of Compassion Council


Tracey Russell is an active member of the Women of Compassion Council.  She is an advocate for children and has a blogging ministry attraceylynnrussell.com.

Mother’s Day Offering
Mother’s Day is a joyful time to uplift and honor all that mothers do and celebrate the love of family.

Unfortunately, not all children experience the nurturing love and care they need. At Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, we are privileged to minister and care for hurting children who crave belonging, security, acceptance and love.

You can help us care for ONE MORE CHILD this year bygiving now to our annual Mother’s Day Offering!
For resources for your church and to change your own profile picture on Facebook in support of the Mother’s Day Offering, visit FBCHomes.org
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: 
The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor 5:17 NIV)
Impact Lives in Guatemala This Summer
Make a big difference in the life of a hurting child this summer! Join other Women of Compassion members at the Malnutrition Center in Guatemala, Saturday, June 14 through Friday, June 20.


For more information on how you can sign up for this mission trip today, contact Kristen Hitchcock at 863.687.8811 or  Kristen.Hitchcock@FBCHomes.org.


Tracey Russell with her mom, Joyce 

along with friends who served on a mission trip together at the Malnutrition Center in Guatemala

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She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
Proverbs 31:20
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