My dear brothers and sisters, stay firmly planted—be unshakable—do many good works in the name of God, and know that all your labor is not for nothing when it is for God.
1 Corinthians 15: 58, The Voice
Most pastors have weeks when we wonder about our congregations, “Is there anything happening here? Are we making a difference? Are we leaving a footprint for Jesus?” Thankfully I don’t have many days when I’m wrestling with these questions and concerns. I see that God is plenty of good through you and through me. These weekly reflections of mine are called Grace Notes because I’m continually looking for what God is doing in and through the people of Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church. Every now and then, I have to look a little harder but I always see it. I see that God is alive and well among us.
Last Friday I was invited to attend the annual banquet for the Good News Home for Women. (See their website at https://www.goodnewshome.org/) If you don’t much about this wonderful organization, here is their statement of purpose: The Good News Home is a residential treatment center for women desiring to break the bonds of alcohol/chemical addiction and co-occurring disorders. We offer a holistic approach to healing the total woman - mind, body, and spirit - through a comprehensive treatment program without regard to race, religion or the ability to pay.
The main reason I was asked to be a special guest at last Friday’s banquet is that the Good News Home wanted to recognize TMPC’s twenty years of partnership. Actually, no one knows how long we’ve been helping out at the Good News Home, but it’s been at least twenty years.
It was Dave Koppes who pulled (or pushed us or kicked us, any of those three verbs works) onto the grounds of this unique mission outside of Flemington, NJ. When Dave moved to our area, as a newly retired guy looking to keep himself out of trouble, Dave found himself spending hours at the Good News Home serving as a Board Member and overall handy man. As he did throughout the course of his life, Dave Koppes showed up at the Good News Home ready to help out in any way that he could. He did that for close to two decades.
Once Hank and Sandy Langknecht found TMPC a few years later Hank heard about the Good News Home from Dave. Hank drove over once a week to a lead a Bible study with the women. His two most popular studies were “Bad Girls of the Bible” and “More Bad Girls of the Bible.” Through Hank’s loving leadership a number of women who considered themselves “bad” discovered Jesus Christ who loved no matter where they had been or what they had done.
Dave Koppes joined the Church Triumphant a few years ago. Hank and Sandy Langknecht now live in Lancaster County. These days, TMPC supports the Good News Home through Marcia Koppes and Amy Brewer as well financially through our Missions Committee. We always send a team each fall for Church Has Left the Building.
On Friday night, Marcia Koppes and I watched several videos testimonies of women from the Good News Home. We heard stories of women who had lost family, jobs, and self-respect from their drug addiction. After a stay the Good News Home, these women are now sober and living lives that can only be described as new and blessed. As I listened to those testimonies I thanked God that we get the chance to do something wonderful for His sake and His glory alone.