Saturday, August 28, 2010

Behind Every Door Acquires New Property

August 27, 2010
Behind Every Door Announces South Dallas Acquisition

DALLAS----Behind Every Door is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Village Oaks Apartment Community at 3550 Overton Road in South Dallas. Village Oaks is a 488-unit complex situated on 29+ acres.

“We hope to bring gifts like art, music, athletics, tutoring, and mentoring. We look forward to parties, activities and special events, too,” said Behind Every Door President Dean Wilson, “Our vision is to make Village Oaks a better place to live…any way we can.”

In conjunction with the acquisition of the property, Wilson announced the formation of “The 3550 Commission.” The newly formed commission will be made up of individuals interested in serving. The Commission will focus on safety and security, community partnerships, and improving overall life for the residents of Village Oaks.

Behind Every Door’s plan for Village Oaks includes the creation of an on-site Community Center, which will help launch the Village Oaks Kid’s Club. The Village Oaks Kid’s Club will focus on education and character building. Behind Every Door has additional plans to improve buildings and common areas, refurbish basketball courts, install a Community Clothing Closet, improve the Boxing Center, build a new playground and develop a Community Garden.

Behind Every Door looks forward to working with the City of Dallas’ Gateway Program (which currently houses 80+ friends at Village Oaks who have recently emerged from homelessness). The Gateway Program provides permanent supportive housing—supervised by on-site Case Managers. “The Gateway Program is a gift for so many friends without homes,” said Wilson, “We are thrilled to partner with the City of Dallas in providing housing and support.”

Wilson: “We invite all of our friends to join us in serving and making friends at Village Oaks. We believe we can be a part of bringing about transformation over time--and eventually impact the entire neighborhood.”
Behind Every Door invests in apartment communities for the purpose of improving the quality of life for the residents. Serving, blessing and encouraging their residents, Behind Every Door creates a sense of community and caring to ultimately transform lives and neighborhoods. More information can be found at or by calling the Behind Every Door Corporate Office: 972-861-5217.

--Will Dowell

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thankful for the Journey

Behind the door of the Willow Pond Community Center on weekday afternoons you will find Rickey Fanning (Rickey works with Suzanne Wallace at the Community Center). Rickey is a Kingdom worker. He is humble and strong.

Rickey pours his heart and soul into his work at Willow Pond.  Loving and mentoring kids is his primary mission.  He calls it his "dream job," and he thanks God for the journey that prepared him for this work.

He thanks God for the journey. It reminds me of a breakfast I had with two friends a few weeks back. They were telling me about a young man they both know who loves to travel.   I realize that isn't uncommon.  However, when most people say they love to travel they are most likely referring to the destination.  Not the journey.  This young man loves to travel.  As in...he likes the plane ride!  He literally will fly somewhere, and in very short order, fly somewhere else.  It isn't all about the destination.  He enjoys the journey.

Being thankful for the journey is a lesson we could all learn from Rickey.  It is even more inspiring when you learn his story.  I won't do it justice but I'll give you some significant points:

* Mother left when he was one...after attempting to take his life

* Father was murdered when he was 11

* Spent most of his teen years in foster/group homes or other facilities

* By 16, he was using and selling hard drugs and at 19 was living in his car

* Went through difficult marriage...which ended

* Had an altercation with his wife's brother--resulting in his arrest (he prayed in the police car for God to get him out of his situation)

* Again he turned to drugs

* Moved to Dallas to be near his brother--and soon he was living in his brother's car

In Dallas, he heard about a place called The Father's House--and the Blood-n-Fire ministry/church led by John and Suzanne Wallace. He entered a one-year, rigorous discipleship program at The Father's House before being trained at an equipping center in Atlanta led by the Wallaces.  He then spent time in ministry in the Czech Republic.  Next he began to pray about what he was going to do times becoming discouraged and depressed. The Lord led him to join Behind Every Door...and we are privileged and thankful to lock arms in Kingdom work during this part of Rickey's journey (a part I hope lasts a long time!).

Next thing you know he is sharing his testimony - his journey - at a Christmas party with 100 friends, including President George W. Bush!

People have asked in different contexts: "How do you find the people who work in the Community Centers?"  The short answer is: "We don't."  God does. And in this case, He brought us Rickey Fanning. 

Miraculously, by the grace of our good God, Rickey is thankful for his difficult journey.  And we are thankful for him.

--Dean Wilson

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WOMEN OF WISDOM Meeting Every Tuesday!

The Women of Wisdom meet every Tuesday at 5:30 in the Willow Pond Community Center.  All women and girls are welcome.  See you there...

-- Behind Every Door Ministries

Monday, August 23, 2010

REAL MEN Meeting Every Monday!

All men and boys are welcome!  Please join us on Monday's at 5:15 in the Willow Pond Community Center.  See you there...

-- Behind Every Door Ministries

Friday, August 20, 2010

Learning How to Cheers

We had 6 of the "Real Men" for a BBQ and sleep-over recently.  It was a great time!

Later I asked for their favorite part of the sleep-over. One said "A family dinner!" Another said, "We learned how to cheers!" Toasts are big at our family dinner table. Celebration and thankfulness.

Celebration was big with Jesus. I once heard someone teach about Jesus' first miracle (water to wine at the wedding in Cana). They said that Jesus probably would have been the best candidate to perform the wedding ceremony. But Jesus didn't do the wedding. Jesus did the wine! Can you imagine being at the wedding celebration when the wine ran out? "Well it is a good thing we invited God!"

Here is Jesus...using His power to keep the party going! There is a lesson in "learning how to cheers." The celebration of life. The cultivation of thankfulness, of gratefulness. Can you be thankful for thankfulness? If so, I am. And I'm thankful for these Real Men and the chance to be thankful together.

-- Dean Wilson

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Commitment to Help Each Other

We recently started a Community Emergency Fund (CEF) at Willow Pond, which we plan to start at each Community we are involved with.  The fund is set up to allow community members to help one another with small emergency needs, such as bus fare.  Assuming funds are available, a resident can take out their first loan up to $10.  Repayment of the loan is on the Honor System, out of respect for one another.  If the first loan has been repaid within 2 weeks, future loans can be obtained up to $25.

We have 3 loans out at the moment, and the first two have already been repaid.  One of these loans was taken out by a good friend in the Willow Pond Community.  She paid back her loan in full and decided to include a matching donation to express her gratitude.  Thank you to her for her responsibility and generous contribution to the Community of Willow Pond!  We are thankful for you and glad to call you a friend!

-- Suzanne Wallace

Monday, August 16, 2010

Great Moments from VBS at Willow Pond!

Vacation Bible School at Willow Pond was incredible!  Rickey, Suzanne, Jayda and Will did such a great job.  Thanks also to Father's House volunteers Jimmy, Eddie and Clayton.  Colin Peters, a Pastor at New St. Peter's Church, came over to help on Friday afternoon as well. On Thursday, one of the young girls told the whole group that she had decided to follow Jesus (Will actually caught the moment on camera - see the video below).  Good news

The kids enjoyed lots of arts and crafts, puppet shows, and being out of the heat for a few hours.  Thanks to all of the kids who came!  During Friday's puppet show, "Peter" (who sounded a lot like Rickey Fanning) gave a great presentation of the Good News.  Will then presented an open invitation for the kids to talk with any of us if they are interested in following Jesus.  I had a conversation with Dane and asked him what he thought...he told me he had been thinking about it since Thursday--when Rickey and Suzanne presented....and that he wanted to follow Jesus! 

So, Will, Colin, and Charles (who recently declared himself a Christian) joined Dane and I as he prayed to receive Jesus into his heart, pledged to follow Jesus, thanked Jesus for paying the price, and told God he loved Him.  We then expressed our desire to be in Dane's life as much as he would like...and I shared with Dane how special he is and voiced hope for his future in Christ.

Please join us in praying for Dane and Erika, and supporting them however we can.

Good news indeed!

-- Dean Wilson

Thank You Max Fincher

Max Fincher was the head coach for our most recent Finish Strong Basketball Camp, which finished last Saturday, August 7th.  Max did an incredible job coaching and leading the camp, and made the camp a total blast for the kids.  He even provided the winning team with trophies!  We are grateful to him for his patience and experience.  Thank you Max!

-- Will Dowell

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Snapshots from Willow Pond VBS!

Willow Pond VBS is underway this week as we travel on the High Seas of Willow Pond, from one biblical port to another.  Yesterday, we traveled to the disciple Andrew's port.  The kids are having a blast and the crafts have been very fun.  Rickey Fanning and Suzanne Wallace are doing an incredible job - thank you!  Enjoy the pictures below-

Come join us in the Willow Pond Community Center from 3pm to 6pm this week!

-- Behind Every Door

Jesus in Disguise

"The dying, the cripple, the mental,
the unwanted, the unloved
they are Jesus in disguise."

Mother Teresa

Monday, August 9, 2010

Finish Strong Bar-B-Q

We held a Bar-B-Q on Saturday for the kids who finished strong this summer.  There were plenty of opportunities to participate in activities this summer: 2 Basketball Camps, Art Camp, Reading Club, Math Champs, Flag Football, and Vacation Bible School.

This Bar-B-Q honored those who finished the activities with a positive attitude.  20 kids from Willow Pond were celebrated, and we had a great time grilling and swimming.  Enjoy the photos below!

Congratulations everyone, we are proud of you for finishing strong!  Next time, we want to see more of you there!

-- Will Dowell