To celebrate a year of love, growth and partnership with Johnson County residents, businesses, churches and other organizations, Crazy8 Ministries on Tuesday hosted a dinner banquet for more than 400 people at the Cleburne Conference Center.
During the event, more than $30,000 was raised through silent and live auctions.
C8M Founder and CEO Lisa Schwarz said the donations will be a great help to the ministry, which has experienced tremendous growth this year, particularly in the area of their housing program.
“Our housing programs our designed to come alongside men, women and children and attack the suburban poverty barriers that are keeping them from moving forward in life and walking in the fullness of Christ,” she said.
In January, C8M launched its integration housing phase on the main campus in Joshua.
“This phase, affectionately referred to as the ‘Stay to Save Program,’ is designed to help transition residents into a place of housing sustainability by offering affordable housing while simultaneously accumulating personal funds as well as establishing a consistent payment history.,” Schwarz said. “We opened the Beulah house on Jan. 18. as our first Stay to Save home. It is currently the home to three women, four children and one disabled young man.
Schwarz said the ministry unexpectedly began to grow.
“During the launch of our Stay to Save program, we were presented with a new venture that would provide the opportunity for us to grow our ministry and our services into Cleburne, and also provide a community counseling center there as well,” she said. “After much prayer, we decided to move forward and became the owners of the north and south campuses of what was formally known as the Johnson County Christian Lodge.
“Both of these campuses are now where we help residents who are in triage or in the empowerment phases of our program. These phases are designed to provide the basic needs as well as removing poverty barriers while we come alongside each of the residents. The programs are choice based and encourage each resident to set their own individualized goals.”
During the banquet, a video message from U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, was played.
“I want to take this time to remind you of how important this work is that all of you are doing,” he said. “Because of your selfless contributions tonight, and in the past, Crazy8 Ministries is transforming the lives of thousands of people in poverty who need our help. These individuals are in need of mental, emotional and spiritual stability, as well as the necessary tools to overcome hindering hardships and barriers.
“They are searching for a sense of direction in their life and a way to heal from our wounds. When they feel lost, and like they have no one else to turn to, Crazy8 Ministries is there to help and give a hand. Together this community is equipping its neighbors with resources to feel empowered.
“You all are reminding them of their purpose in life, and reminding them that God will always be there for them to turn to. It is evident that Jesus Christ is working through each of us to help those in need, whether it is listening to their troubles, providing them a temporary home or teaching them the word of God. You are restoring faith in the Lord one person at a time.”
State Rep. DeWayne Burns, R-Cleburne, expressed similar sentiments.
“At this time [of the year] we think about giving and we think about sacrifice,” he said. “I think, in my mind, we are drawn to the heroes we see in the community. We can easily identify heroes sometimes because they wear uniforms.
“They may wear blue uniforms. They may wear the uniforms of our country — Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. They may wear uniforms that allow them to fight fires. Sometimes those uniforms come in the form of an apron. They may come in the form of a suit or in the form of blue jeans. They may come in the form of a cowboy hat.”
Burns said a hero is a person who builds faith within others and provides the foundation for success.
“It puts words into action that leaves no doubt that they love you,” he said. “A hero is selfless, even among the selfish. It does the job nobody else can do or will do. It seeks the betterment of others and keeps his or her word.
“A hero glorifies God and draws people into his kingdom. Has the uncanny patience to deal with the failure of others, yet knows the importance of the accountability of helping others grow. A hero knows and demonstrates that God is greater than the things of this world. A hero prayers sincerely for others and a hero holds the ladder for folks when they are up there and need support.”
Burns said there is a ministry out there for every person.
“God has prepared a ministry for you that he wants you to join him in,” he said. “And it is shaped like you. And so, look for it and walk into and join our father in ministry, which is what I believe the folks at Crazy8 Ministries have done.”