Meet the President: Jay Johnson
This month we are excited to introduce you our new president, Jay Johnson. While Ike Elliott will remain the chairman of the board, Jay has stepped up as a volunteer to guide and strengthen our organization. This is a direct answer to prayer! Jay comes with many years of business and mission experience, including two years on our own board of directors. Get to know Jay Johnson!
GH: What has been your favorite mission location?
Jay: India has a special place for me. I have been to many countries in Asia and Africa, but for many reasons India has captured my heart. I have established many friendships there and I really see God moving in this country through His dedicated followers. India has many different people groups, cultures and religions. This diversity really appeals to me and it is very encouraging to me to see all that is happening to bring the Gospel to each of the regions of the country.
GH: Will you share your favorite mission trip story?
Jay: I had a chance to travel to Uganda to visit two of the boys my wife and I support there. One of the boys, Silver, was orphaned at a young age and lives with his aunt and uncle. The village where he lives is in the middle of a banana grove, has no electricity, no running water, wood burning stoves and very small living quarters. As I visited with his family, the aunt suddenly disappeared only to show up few minutes later with a live chicken in her hands. She had gone out into banana grove and caught one of their free range chickens and presented it to me as a gift for supporting Silver. I was truly humbled by this expression of gratitude and after some prodding by the missionary I was traveling with, I accepted the chicken. I really could not do anything with a live chicken and I certainly did not want to take one of their chickens. This was a huge sacrifice for this family and it symbolized to me the huge importance of the very small amount of support my wife and I are able to provide to them each month. I will forever remember this act of gratitude and it will always remind me of the importance of allowing God to use even the seemingly small gifts we are able to share with others. (By the way…I gave the chicken to our missionary family, who affectionately named it “Dinner”!)
GH: How has the mission of Global Hope impacted you?
Jay: The Bible is full of teachings and comparisons related to children. As Jesus was teaching, he commanded his followers to let the little children come to Him. We are instructed in scripture that true worship is expressed through the care of orphans and widows. We are also told that unless we have the faith of a child, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
As I meet with the children under the care of Global Hope, I am reminded of the importance Jesus placed on children. I am also reminded of the many blessings God has provided to me and my family that I so easily take for granted. Many of these children have never had a loving home or the many creature comforts we enjoy every day. Global Hope has forever changed the lives of many of the children under its care by not only meeting their physical and emotional needs, but most importantly, by meeting their spiritual needs and leading them to a faith in Jesus Christ.
GH: How have you seen it impact others?
Jay: It is amazing to watch as people are introduced to Global Hope and the children under its care. I am convinced that God is using the plight of these children to draw BOTH the children AND their caregivers closer to Him. Time and time again, I have seen those that are exposed to Global Hope desiring to see how they can make even more of an impact by going on a mission trip, volunteering or sponsoring a child. The plight of these children, combined with their genuine gratitude for the care being provided mixes in a unique way with God’s plan for our own lives and the outcome is truly amazing. I have witnessed “skeptics”, “nominal Christians” and “strong believers” radically changed by their exposure to these children and the ministry of Global Hope.
GH: How would you encourage others to get involved in orphan care?
Jay: My encouragement to anyone that has even the slightest urge to get involved in something that is much larger than themselves is to prayerfully consider learning more about orphan care and children-at-risk. More specifically, I would encourage such a person to become involved with an organization like Global Hope, even in a small way and just see what God does in return. He is faithful and tells us in His word that we will be blessed beyond our wildest imagination if we will just trust Him and step out in faith. I can honestly say that allowing God to work through me through my involvement with Global Hope has deepened my relationship with Him and allowed me to serve my fellow man at the same time. What a blessing!