"Practicing What We Preach and Teach!"
“Practicing What We Preach and Teach!”
By: The Rev. Dr. Andrew D. Hagen, Lead Pastor of Advent Life Ministries Boca Raton and Lantana; Boca Helping Hands Board Member
Jesus has an abiding concern for those in need and wants us to be his "helping hands" to them. He encourages us to offer water to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, and food to the hungry. This can be done in countless ways - but my heart gives thanks that by supporting Boca Helping Hands (BHH), I know that I am being obedient to my Lord. As a pastor in Boca Raton for nearly 15 years, I have been very blessed to make numerous connections with BHH’s incredible work.
- I have preached about Christian responsibility for those in need at Advent Church for many years. But it can be hard to figure out how to do that well. Church food pantries and soup kitchens are hard to manage. While we try to help those who stop by in need, it can be difficult to address their many concerns. That is why I am so grateful to Boca Helping Hands: a partner that helps us practice what we preach! We hold annual food drives, our members serve as volunteers, and we budget annual support for the work we cannot do on our own.
- Advent School's 400 students are taught to have compassion for those in need as well. They collect food for Boca Helping Hands every year. Our Junior Honor Society students also volunteer six times a year as a way to develop a sense of responsibility toward making their community a better place.
- I have been honored to serve on the Boca Helping Hands Board of Directors for several years. It is exciting to work with such wise and supportive community leaders to plan out the strategic direction for this great organization. Although Boca Helping Hands started out as a modest community food pantry, it has now branched out. In addition to our excellent food programs, we now provide medical care assistance and job training programs. The Board's vision for 2020 is that Boca Helping Hands will be "the essential community resource helping people cross the bridge from basic need to independence."
- Through program development grants, my family's foundation, The Hagen Family Foundation, has also supported Boca Helping Hands’ work for a number of years. We are thrilled that our support played a key role in developing the job training programs for hospitality, truck driving, and information technology – and that BHH now has its own job training facility across the street! We have loved being a part of an organization that provides more than a "hand out;" it offers a "hand up" to a better life.
The work of Boca Helping Hands continues to grow and expand thanks to generous support, incredible staff and volunteers, wonderful community partners and people like you reading this article. I give thanks to God for all of us working together to offer a helping hand to those in need in this community.