“Where you are sitting right now was the parking lot for the service men and women who worked on the air base,” explains Chip Williams, the speaker at the recent Orange County Rescue Mission fall graduation. Sitting in our beautiful chapel, brimming with excited people as we celebrate the life change of so many people, it is a stark contrast to be reminded of what once was before Village of Hope. But I cherish the memories of how far we have come, and the amazing work that God has done from our humble beginnings here.
Village of Hope, as Chip describes it, is a poignant metaphor for restoration. Chip Williams, Principal and Managing Director at Gensler, is the designer and architect of Village of Hope. He and his associates at Gensler created for us what I had envisioned – a place for families and individuals to be restored to what God had intended for them.
But like life restoration, there were many challenges along the way, to restore dilapidated barracks into a campus that is safe, beautiful and has an essence of life giving hope, and meet the needs of over 300 individuals! For fourteen years, challenges were met and overcome with God’s provision and guidance. Along with so many generous partners and contributors, Chip and I were rewarded the gratification of seeing a big dream fulfilled.
The restoration of old barracks into the beautiful Village of Hope pales in comparison to the joy of restoration of men, women and children, who were desperately in need of hope, and found it here.
Thank you Chip, for sharing some of our history at graduation, and for helping to make Village of Hope a possibility.