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  • Jillian Kittrell

A Small Group Making a BIG Difference



Once every couple of months my family of teenagers looks forward (yes, that’s what I said) to waking up 2 hours earlier than normal on a Sunday morning to make the country drive to an old Grange building in Albion, Idaho so my husband can lead the worship service for the small, faithful group of God’s people who meet there. On the drive Sam, my 14 year old Haitian son, reviews his latest drawings so Carol, an art teacher, can give him some pointers. Alto and Holly are in the back seat deciding between the All American Slam or the Salted Caramel and Banana Cream Pancake Breakfast when the church takes our family of 8 out to share a meal all together afterward. The others sleep. My family loves visiting this older congregation of about 10 people (if everyone is healthy.) This group always makes us feel nurtured, loved, and accepted and we all thoroughly enjoy time spent with them.

A few years ago, Albion asked me to tell them about Emmaus House. They were immediately enthusiastic about the work and committed that very day to begin praying for us and supporting the work financially. Since that day, they have continued as a church and as individuals to sponsor, pray for, and support our youth. Every time we visit there, they ask tons of questions about the program, want updates on the youth they sponsor, and give lots of encouragement for me personally as I continue my work in Haiti. Emmaus House is always on their heart. At the age of 75, one member and his wife, after long being retired, wake up every morning and return every afternoon to drive the school bus (not exactly a relaxing job) so they can help the church in Albion contribute more to the work of Emmaus House. He contemplates going with me to Haiti to see Emmaus House. He always regrets not being able to do more, but the difference he is making is greater than he knows!

Groups like the church in Albion may not be our biggest financial donors, but they represent the heart and soul of what keeps Emmaus House going. Their prayers and support for our students in university and sponsorship make a brighter future possible for our youth. Not only are they making a difference to our youth, but their example of sacrifice encourages me, builds my faith, and inspires me to continue the sometimes difficult work I do in Haiti.

I sometimes hear people doubt their ability to help Emmaus House because their donation would be too small, they don’t feel skilled enough, they are too old, or too young, etc. But this is simply not true! Your contribution or your congregation is never too small to have a really large impact!

Tanya Pirtle

Executive Director

Emmaus House


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Emmaus House is a licensed non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

All donations made to Emmaus House are tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by the law .

EIN: 46-2945431 | PO Box 3224, Johnson City, TN 37602 

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