Giving Tuesday

March 19th

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These shoes provide comfort for the soul


Upbring board member Terry Kieschnick and 70 other pastors’ wives donated 111 pairs of shoes to Bokenkamp Children’s Shelter in Corpus Christi. Rev. Mike Coppersmith of Zion Lutheran Church in Walburg blessed the kids shoes before Terry and her husband Jerry delivered them.

It was the boy’s eyes that caught Upbring board member Terry Kieschnick’s attention. They were beautiful, brown and “big as quarters.” Next, it was his smile, so radiant it lit up the room.

But then Terry heard how the boy arrived at Upbring Bokenkamp Children’s Shelter. The shelter provides a safe, temporary home for children who make the dangerous journey across the U.S. border from Central America.

“He only had on a pair of socks, and he had blisters on his feet,” Terry said. “I was overcome with compassion for this innocent child, and I wanted to help him.”

A unique way to make an impact

Oneida Alegria, Bokenkamp program director, said the children were excited about the shoes and the chance to visit with Terry and her husband Jerry.

So Terry, whose husband, Rev. Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, currently serves as CEO of Legacy Deo, called on her network of servant-hearted pastors’ wives.

During the group’s annual retreat to Camp Lone Star, 70 women of God delivered 111 pairs of shoes, along with teddy bears, for the kids we serve at Bokenkamp.

Sally Krueger, wife of Rev. Larry Krueger, senior pastor of St. Paul Lutheran in Waco, was one of them.

“I never had children of my own,” Sally said. “So it filled my soul with joy to make an impact in so many children’s lives in such a unique way.”

Showing Jesus’ love

In 2016, Upbring provided around-the-clock attention to more than 1,000 children at Bokenkamp until their families could be located.

Our compassionate team delivered medical care, educational services, recreational opportunities, spiritual care and therapy to help children heal from trauma related to their difficult pasts.

Lynn Davenport, whose husband John is senior pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Walburg, knows that for frightened children in an unfamiliar place, shoes provide more than protection from the elements.

“This gift is a powerful opportunity for us to show Jesus’ love by blessing children who come to us with so little,” Lynn said.

They are children like that little boy with the quarter-sized, brown eyes and blisters on his feet. Terry prays the shoes will lead him and his friends toward the bright futures God has for them.

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