“The LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.”Isaiah 61
Each year we recognize four individuals who represent Water Street Mission’s values, uplifting the most vulnerable, and turning their own hardships into grace and love for the Lancaster community.
Like Jack Crowley, President of Water Street Mission explained last Friday night, “It’s about coming alongside those that the rest of the world will overlook, and sometimes reject, bringing hope to them in the midst of their circumstances, whatever they may be, and then walking with them on a journey of complete restoration where their lives bring hope to others.”
Four people stood out this year as embodying the ideas behind Isaiah 61, using their lives as an example of how God can use each of us to repair everything from our Towns and Cities, to the mental, spiritual and physical well being of each person who lives here.
The Marlin and Doris Thomas Servant Leader Award
Brent Kreider humbly received the Servant Leader Award last Friday. A man whose father and grandfather taught him that your business is a testimony not just to your skills, but to your faith. “The model that my grandfather left, with the business, it was more than just making money, really were supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus.” Not only does Brent show his servant heart through his business, but he genuinely cares for people who are experiencing poverty in Lancaster County, volunteering much of his time over the years with organizations like Black Rock Ministry, Tabor, and our own property committee.
The Restorer of the City Award
“No one is home, until all of us are home,” is one of Jen Koppel’s favorite expressions, the recipient of the second award of the night, the Restorer of the City Award. Jen shows her heart for caring for those experiencing homelessness as the Director of LanCO MyHome, working to bring collaboration to organizations across the county. Over the last several decades, she has worked directly with families and individuals facing poverty in Lancaster, as well as spearheaded initiatives that have brought together hundreds of local organizations to more effectively care for those most in need.
The Oak of Righteousness Award
Ms. Nikki was Water Street’s very own award representative, as Curriculum Director of Wonder Club Early Learning Center. Our Oak of Righteousness Award recipient didn’t always see herself as someone who could help restore others. Growing up, Nikki experienced homelessness while both of her parents battled ongoing drug addictions. Even though she didn’t know if she would even graduate high school, God had other plans for her. Not only did she graduate, she went on to work for Water Street for over 20 years, becoming a foster mom to six girls, and going on to adopt four. “Every experience that I go through, whether it’s good or bad, I understand that God wants to use it that lives might be saved,” expressed Ms. Nikki.
The Good News Award
Our final recipient of the night, Ruby Jones, received the Good News award. More than anything, Ruby passionately reaches out to those who are suffering in our community, who are at their lowest point, and walks with and cares for them through their pain. From her own struggle with addiction, she knows the power of God’s love and grace to transform those she care for. In her video testimony, Ruby spoke to those going through a hard time saying, “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that every single person is created by God for His good pleasure…And because you matter to God, you matter to me.”
Thank you to our sponsors for making this Virtual event possible and sticking with us through the changes to our yearly event. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped us celebrate restoration and these incredible Isaiah 61 heroes!
Thanks to Our Sponsors
We wouldn’t be able to celebrate such amazing individuals without the help of our sponsors. We want to give a specific shout out to our Platinum sponsor Willow Valley (www.willowvalley.com) who played a massive part in making this night possible.
We also want to thank all our award and silver sponsors.
Meadia Heights Golf Club: www.meadiaheightsgolf.com
Thread Creative: www.madebythread.com
BCF Group: bcfgroup.net
Dominion Pest Control: www.dominionpestcontrol.com
Simon Lever Business Advisors & CPAs: www.simonlever.com
Berger Rental Communities: www.rentberger.com
Members 1st Federal Credit Union: www.members1st.org
B.R. Kreider & Sons: www.brkreider.com
Without each of our exceptional sponsors, this evening wouldn’t have been possible! Thank you!
If you would like to watch this year’s Short Films featuring each of our award recipient’s or the event in its entirety, please visit our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfXVDN76zyod2umyikxGBiw.