An Opelousas native, Jonathan has been Loren’s ministry teammate from “way back in the day,” and we are so thankful to have him on staff now! Here is a little bit about HFO’s newest addition:
My name is Jonathan, but most people call me Fish. My favorite part of HFO is being able to pursue a relationship with God in my work. By being in ministry, it helps keep that my priority--God reminds me that life is not about money or other pursuits but rather pouring myself out for these kids, helping them learn about the most valuable thing they can have in life: a relationship with Christ. They may not have money or lots of relationships but if they have that, they have everything.
Working with Loren reminds me of a college ministry we started called the Prayer House. We had both just graduated from a Christian rehab in Mississippi called the Home of Grace and wanted to reach out to our college peers. We rented a house near UL on the McKinley St. Strip where all the bars were, and would grill out and talk to people about Jesus. We also had a season where we set up a 24/7 prayer room in the house and had people praying continually. It was a formative time in all our lives, and HFO reminds me of that, pouring yourself out for other people and trying to put others first.
I love HFO because over the last few years as I’ve watched it grow, I’ve seen it not only add kids, but deepen relationships. There is plenty of time spent getting to know the kids, not just in the after-school program, but with Saints games and adventure trips. It is encouraging to see people who care about the community and are giving kids a chance for success who may not have had that without the work being done at HFO.
Over the last few years, I have been a part of HFO from a distance volunteering, doing work projects and attending events (like KAA...YOU KNOW!), but I am so glad to have the opportunity to do it full time. I love working with these kids, and they need a lot of attention. I have a past where I didn’t always make good decisions, so I can relate to what the kids are going through; and having gone through drugs, alcohol, and addiction, I know the importance of having a Christian community for support, accountability, and encouragement. You need to have people who really care about your future to tell you the truth, not just tell you what you want to hear. HFO is community for these kids.
I am excited to see the future of HFO, and excited to be a part of it.