About The John 3:16 Center

We are guided by our Christian faith to address the impact of poverty and trauma on families with children in Halifax, Northampton, and Warren counties. We do this through advocacy, education, empowerment, and community collaboration.

To build a safe community, free of poverty and trauma, where the Love of Christ is shared, families are supported, children are happy, they can dream, and they are encouraged to live out God’s purpose for their lives.

Many families in Halifax, Warren and Northampton Counties are living in generational poverty or under economically stressful conditions. As a result, the children of these families are at an increased risk of becoming victims of poverty-induced neglect. C.A.R.E. works with children and families to provide resources and programs to enhance and encourage education, healthy living, and family development through mentoring and support thus leading to an independent lifestyle free from dependency.  With the support of independent donors, corporate sponsors, and community foundations we aim to strengthen the family as whole.

Why We Are “The John 3:16 Center”

After building the Center, we had a difficult time finding a name. Then someone shared this story with us, and the name “The John 3:16 Center” became evident.

One cold night a young boy was selling newspapers on the corner while everyone else was in their warm homes, out of the cold. So cold, the boy walked up to a policeman and said, “Sir, do you know where a boy like me could find a warm place to sleep tonight?  You see, I have no home.”

The policeman looked down at the boy and said, “Go down the street to that large white house and knock on the door. When they answer you just say John 3:16, and they will let you in.” So off the young man went. He walked up and knocked on the door. As the woman answered, he looked up shyly and said, “John 3:16.” Much to his surprise the woman invited him in. She sat him down in a rocking chair by the big old fireplace.  The boy sat there for a while and murmured to  himself, “John 3:16? I don’t understand it but it does make me warm”

The woman asked him “Are you hungry?” He hesitated and then said, “Well, a little.” It had been days since his last meal and his stomach growled loudly,” She brought him into the kitchen and sat him down to a table filled with more food than he had ever seen. He ate until his stomach was full. He mumbled, “John 3:16? I still don’t understand it but it sure cures my hunger”

As he finished eating the kind woman took him upstairs to a bathroom where a large bathtub was filled with warm water and bubbles. As he soaked in the bathtub, he couldn’t recall the last time was truly clean. He thought, “John 3:16? I still don’t understand it, but it makes me clean”.

After his bath, the woman showed him to a room where she tucked him into a feather bed, where she hugged him goodnight and turned out the lights. As he lay warm in bed, in the stillness of the dark, he watched out the window as the snow fell to the cold ground. He thought about his day, the kind woman, the warm fire, the clean bath, the delicious food, and the soft bed. He still didn’t understand what John 3:16 meant but he was thankful all the same.

As he awoke the next morning the woman took him downstairs to breakfast. After he ate, she brought him back to the fire. After he ate, she took him back to that same chair in front of the fireplace and picked up an old bible. She sat  in front of him and looked into his young face. “Do you understand John 3:16?” she asked gently. He replied, “No Ma’am, I don’t. Last night was the first time I heard it, when the policeman told me.” She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to tell him about Jesus. It was then, in that kind woman’s home that he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat in the warmth and thought: John 3:16…don’t understand it, but it does make a lost boy feel safe.

We don’t understand it either, how God was willing to send his Son to die for us, and how Jesus would agree to do just that. I may never understand the agony of the Father and every angel in heaven as they watched Jesus suffer on the cross but I am thankful for the intense love of our God. I may not understand it, but it does make life worth living.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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