My husband and I named our firstborn son Joshua, which means “God is Salvation,” because we love and admire the example and character Joshua displays in the Bible. I spent the last few month of 2021 studying the book of Joshua and the one truth that resonated with me above all else was this - the heart of a warrior is an unwavering devotion to a righteous cause. The book of Joshua recounts the Lord bringing the people of Israel into Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The Israelite army, led by Joshua, takes city after city, eventually ruling all of the land in Canaan and dividing the territory among its twelve tribes. Before every battle, the Lord tells Joshua that He has already given the city into the hands of the Israelites, but the battle still must be fought. Joshua knew the outcome, the Lord promised a victory, but Joshua still had to lead his people to fight the battle in faith. Joshua had a worthy cause. He had been chosen by God to finally lead the Israelites into the Promised Land and see the fulfillment of a promise God made to Abraham hundreds of years before. God promised to conquer the enemy and He called Joshua to be obedient in faith, devoted to the cause of the Lord.
Reading about Joshua, seeing his tremendous and unwavering faith in the Lord and thinking about how he might have struggled to not worry or question how God would fulfill His promise made me think about our mission and how we can apply the heart of Joshua to the work God has called us to. A lot of times children born with a heart defect are called "heart warriors." If you've ever met or been around a child with CHD, you know this is a fitting description. These children, and their families, are committed to seeing their care through to healing, no matter the cost. Children born with CHD typically go through a lot - treatments, surgeries, hospital visits, traveling to receive specialized care, medications, monitoring, expenses, shifted lifestyles, fear, unknowns, appointments with specialists, etc. - and there is no way their family could continue with the endurance needed if they weren't devoted to their child being healed. Just as Joshua would frequently gather his people and give them a battle plan, I want to gather you, our people, and share our plan to continue moving forward in our mission in 2022. We want to come alongside those children and their families who are warriors themselves and support them with unwavering devotion. Our vision for 2022 is to cultivate the heart of a warrior so we can continue to fight for and support children from all over the world who need life-saving heart treatment. I want to paint a clear picture of what you will be a part of when you commit to supporting, sponsoring and giving to The Will King Foundation and how our unwavering devotion to this cause will continue to change lives, families and communities all over the world.
What is our cause? Our mission is to supporting children from developing countries receiving heart treatment in Jacksonville. I think of our mission as the practical and tactical side of what we do. There are children all over the world who are born with a heart defect, but because of where the live they do not have access to the specialized care they need to be treated. We believe every child deserves a chance at life and helping them gain access to the care they need is a huge part of that. However there’s something deeper behind our mission, the true healing that comes when the eternity of the child shifts. Just as there are children born all over the world who need heart treatment, there are also children all over the world who have never heard the Good News of the Gospel. There are areas of the world that church planters called “unreached,” meaning areas where the news of the Gospel has not yet been shared with the people living there. Oftentimes, areas where children don’t have access to heart treatment tend to overlap with areas that have the highest concentration of unreached people groups. When we bring one of those children to our city for heart treatment we also get to share the Good News of the Gospel - that even though we have all sinned and deserve to be separated from God, He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross, taking the full and final punishment for our sin and giving us the opportunity to be in a right relationship with God for all of eternity. This is our cause - to support children from developing countries receiving heart treatment in Jacksonville while taking the opportunity to show them the love of Jesus. Imagine the ways God will use these children to reach those unreached peoples!
What has the Lord promised us? Joshua had a very clear promise from the Lord. God had promised the land of Canaan to the Israelites and for Joshua’s whole life he had been faithfully taking steps to see that promise fulfilled. God makes many promises to believers, but here are some I want us to specifically claim as we commit to our cause:
1. God promises to use us to help others and proclaim the Gospel (Isaiah 61:1).
2. God promises to use our prayers to make the sick well (James 5:14).
3. God promises to be with us as we go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
What are God’s instructions to us? Jesus' last words to his disciples are recorded in Matthew 28: 18-20. He says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Jesus instructs us to share the Gospel and make disciples. He calls us to love our neighbor (Mark 12:31). He calls us to care for the sick and bind up the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1).
How can we respond in faith? We believe that God is good no matter what and we are fully convinced that God is able to do what He has promised. We are committed to responding by loving, supporting and sharing the Gospel with children and families who come to our city for heart treatment. We will continue to provide King Kits that include items the family may want or need during the stay. Each King Kit will always include a Jesus Storybook Bible that the child can take home with them. We will continue to invite each family to church and spend time with them in our home, taking them meals and showing them the love of Christ by caring for their physical needs during their time here. Above all, we will continue to pray, committing each child to the Lord and trusting Him for their care.
Joshua didn’t defeat the Canaanites and conquer the land alone. He had an entire army of Israelite soldiers fighting and serving with him. At the end of his life, Joshua reminds Israel that their call is to serve and honor God, which cannot be done casually or without divine assistance. He challenges them. “choose this day whom you will serve,” (Joshua 24:15) and warns that if they chose to serve the one true God that it will require their complete devotion, obedience and trust. The battle is already won, but we still have to fight in faith that God will fulfill every promise He makes. I want to invite you to continue fighting for this cause with us. Each year there are thousands of children born all over the world who need heart treatment. There is no way we can reach them all, but we can reach one and then another and then another. Each child that comes to our city goes home with a heart that works physically thanks to the exceptional care of the amazing doctors and nurses at WCH. Each child that comes to our city is loved, cared for and prayed for. Each child that comes to our city is given a chance at life and God is given a chance to use each of those lives for His glory. This year we are looking ahead with the heart of a warrior, unwavering in our devotion to the cause that our God has given us.
Our mission is to support international children receiving heart treatment in Jacksonville, FL.
My name is Courtney Hughes and I am Will's mommy. I am happy that you are here to read Will's story and make a difference with us!