Ever wonder how The Connection got started?
Ever wonder where The Connection is going?
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
I’m Mandy Hood. I’m one of the founding members of TC and am currently serving as volunteer Executive Director.
Here’s our Board of Directors: Mary Bender (president), TT Williford (vice-president), me (Treasurer), Carrie Starkey (secretary). In addition to these roles, we also oversee the individual teams that keep TC running. There are teams for Prayer, Welcome, Care, Serving, mentoring, blog, devos, studies, special events, fundraising, marketing & social media. There’s a LOT going on!
“The Connection has blessed my walk of faith so much. I could never have imagined how much God would bless me with my involvement with these amazing women of God!”
“I like having a place to come and learn and talk about Jesus. Not having to worry if my question is stupid or having to fear someone’s reaction.”
“The most welcoming group of women ever!”
“I always feel welcomed. You ladies are a true joy and you are amazing at making sure everyone is included!!!!”
“It’s a complete judgement free and welcoming zone! Super friendly, accepting, wise, compassionate ladies! You can always rely on them to be wearing a smile and giving you a hug when you see them. It’s incredible the friendships I have formed through this organization. I give all the glory to God for laying the connection on these ladies hearts. It has been a huge blessing and me in many, many ways.”
“I believe God has great plans for The Connection and I am proud to be part of this wonderful ministry.”
“I love this ministry so much! God has blessed so many ladies through Connection and I can’t wait to see what else He has in store.”
Women are loving their time with The Connection and it is strengthening their walk with God. In the past year, over 100 women have participated in our events and hundreds more are part of our online community through Facebook, Instagram and this blog.
So, how did all of this start?
Isaiah wrote…”See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Two+ years ago, I was helping plan women’s events at my church along with three other ladies. God very clearly told me to stop that & begin something for all women in the community rather just for those I attended church with. One by one I went to the other three ladies & told them that I would no longer be helping them because God had given me a new mission. And one by one these ladies said that they were feeling the same thing & they were in!
One of the first things we did was to ask a dear lady that was experienced with beginning ministries for some advice. We sat down with her and she told us two things we needed to do.
- Put together a prayer team before we did anything. Ok, we can do that!
- We should incorporate & become an official non-profit organizations & that would cost over $1,000. What?!?
We were stunned by that second “must do”. We had nothing. We didn’t even know what this thing was going to look like. We certainly didn’t know where we would come up with that kind of money.
So, we began redirecting some of our personal tithes into our new TC bank account. After all, we knew this was God’s work and we knew this was where He wanted us serving Him.
That was in 2016. I believe that because we stepped out in faith & have done our best to keep God in the middle of TC, He has continued to bless & grow this ministry.
In just two years, we’ve grown from having nothing to getting that expensive incorporation/non-profit status. Our 2018 budget is about $12,000. Yea, we expect to spend at least $12,000 this year to keep the ministry going.
God has always provided what we need. We know that if God wants this ministry to continue growing and expanding, He will provide.
So, where do we feel God is leading TC?
We have many dreams for the future. Someday we would love to offer leadership training for any woman wanting to grow, college scholarships to grow the next generation of Jesus girls, a program for single moms & to have teams of women serving others in the community.
There are a couple of dreams we’ve had since early on that continue to be reinforced with us.
- Mentor other women’s ministries. Crazy as it sounds, we’ve had that on our hearts since we were just beginning. Crazy that when we were just starting and didn’t know what we were doing that we felt that we were being called to lead others. We don’t know exactly what this might look like down the road but we know that it would go beyond Waynesboro. Maybe it would include selling training materials or books. Maybe it would be conducting training conferences. Maybe it would be one-on-one consulting. God hasn’t provided us with the whole picture yet. But we do know that just since January, two separate women’s ministries have contacted US for advice.
We are part of a group of women’s ministry leaders in this region. And when we attend meetings, other leaders are questioning US about how we do it. At the last meeting, the leader said to the group that TC is the expert on connecting ladies with each other! And there is a possibility of us leading a workshop for other women’s ministry leaders. God is definitely moving in this area.
- We have had the vision from early on that someday, we would have our own building with offices, meeting rooms, a place to stop by for a cup of coffee and chill or to find a listening ear. We could offer trainings there. Host small events. The possibilities are endless.
We believe that someday we will own that building.
We also believe that a stepping stone to that goal is to rent a facility. Possibly a storefront or another space with high visibility. We are setting the goal to accomplish this and rent a space within two years. We have consulted with a realtor and we are estimating the approximate cost for a rental, utilities, insurance, etc. would be $1,200 per month. That’s $14,400 per year in addition to other operating costs – which as I said this year should be about $12,000. So, we would be increasing our annual budget to more than $26,000.
We thought that we needed to share with you where we see TC going. The four of us in leadership cannot do this alone. Already there are many of you that are serving and giving regularly. TC would NEVER have made it this far without you.
We will need regular, sustainable income in order to make this next big step. If you consider TC your tribe, your home, we are asking you to consider giving regularly so that we can work toward accomplishing the mission that God has given us.
If you have questions, you may ask any of the four leadership members. Please let us know if you would like a copy of our Profit & Loss report that shows where the money has been spent this year. If you are interested in regular, automated giving, ask how to set that up. We have a couple of ladies that are already taking advantage of that convenience. Or we can provide you with monthly envelopes. Checks may be made to The Connection Inc., PO Box 84, Rouzerville, PA 17250.
Because TC is a 501c3 non-profit, all gifts are tax deductible.
But whether or not you choose to give now, we would love for you to pray regularly for TC and its leadership. We want to stay inside of God’s will and not swerve left or right. This is His ministry. All glory to God for the wonderful things happening through The Connection!
So, what about you? Are you ALL IN?
Mandy is a board member and executive director of The Connection. She loves to facilitate women connecting with each other and helping them grow in their faith. Mandy and her husband have been married for 38 years and have 2 adult children, 2 in-law children and 3 grandchildren.