The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

March 7, 2014

Jacob's Gift presentation: 'There's hope'

BLAKESBURG — In a world of circumstances that often make us question God’s motives, a local family is prepared to share a message of hope and peace.

Richard and Debbie Hall’s son Jacob was killed in a go-kart accident in 1999 at the age of 11. He had already given his heart to the Lord, and his dream was to become a missionary. When his life was cut short at this young age, all his parents wanted was for some good to come from their loss.

“We were talking in our Sunday school class about why God would let this happen,” Debbie said. Then a friend said, “‘If you created a foundation for Jacob, he could still be a missionary.’ That’s what he wanted — that’s how he was. He would ask people how their heart was, if they knew they were going to Heaven. He was just caring.”

The Halls were astonished at the amount of the memorials given by the community, and they decided to help make Jacob’s dream of becoming a missionary come true. They established Jacob’s Gift, a fund that assists Advancing Native Missions (ANM), a nondenominational evangelical ministry, in spreading the Gospel and supporting indigenous missionaries in third-world countries.

The purpose of the mission, Richard says, isn’t just to feed or clothe people, but to build buildings, teach them professional skills and share the Gospel.

“We wanted to help kids, but not just send food and clothes. A building costs much more money,” he explained. “The majority of our goal is to give them a church, a hospital, a chool, a dormatory. Whatever their need for a building is, that’s how we want to help.”

Richard and Debbie, along with several other friends and family, planned to go to the Philippines two years ago, but the plans were put on hold when Richard was taken to the hospital with severe blood clots.

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