On Tuesday, November 18, the streets of Falcon, North Carolina, were filled with floats, clowns, trains, and candy…a lot of candy! Children lined the streets carrying pillowcases and bags in anticipation of the parade rolling through town. Visitors from around the country gathered to bring Christmas joy, gifts, and commodities to Falcon Children’s Home. For many, Harvest Train serves as a reunion as they return to the Children’s Home where they once lived and reunite with friends.
The parade culminated at the J. A. Culbreth Memorial Auditorium for the annual program. This year, the entrance was adorned with balloons and guests were welcomed with popcorn and peanuts for “The Greatest Show of All!” As Director Joey Leggett welcomed the crowd, he explained that this show was dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Virginia S. Williams, a faithful friend and supporter of Falcon Children’s Home.
The show opened with exuberant song and dance, and viewers were introduced to P.T., a young boy who was searching for his purpose and identity. As he dreamed about a circus, P.T. discovered that true purpose is found in living for Christ. The ringmaster challenged him, “Are you going to continue to live in a fantasy world? Or are you going to live a life that the creator has designed for you?” Realizing that the greatest show of all was Christ’s love for us, P. T. decided to follow Jesus.
As an extension of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, Falcon Children’s Home and Family Services (FCHFS) exists to provide a safe, healing journey for hurting children and families. By providing residential care, education, and support services, the Children’s Home seeks to cultivate an environment that encourages each child to be successful. Through Royal Home Ministries, young pregnant mothers receive care, counseling, and education in a nurturing, protected atmosphere. Children can also receive care at the new campus in Turbeville, South Carolina.
In his greeting, IPHC General Superintendent Doug Beacham shared, “Falcon Children’s Home embodies the vision of the IPHC. Every day you are a place of hope and a people of promise.” It is through ministries like FCHFS and Royal Home Ministries that the church shows a commitment to its 2019 core value, We Prayerfully Value Justice. “Every child is a gift of God. We will stand to protect those children,” Beacham concluded.
IPHC Women’s Ministries has been a vital partner in the annual Harvest Train since its inception. In 1947, Women’s Auxiliary President Lila Berry helped organize the first celebration for Falcon Children’s Home. This year, vice president Brenda Grasty and conference Women’s Ministries directors presented $348,729 cash and over $108,000 in commodities to Falcon Children’s Home.
Mission:M25 is also a staunch supporter of the Children’s Home and Royal Home Ministries. Throughout the year this ministry raises awareness through the 50CC Diaper Run and the Toys for Life motorcycle rides which cross the United States collecting diapers and toys. This year, Director Gary Burd presented over 350,000 diapers and baby wipes along with 108 cases of formula and $15,000 cash.
As the service concluded, Director Joey Leggett honored his late father, Bishop James Leggett, for his love and dedication to Falcon Children’s Home. Following a video tribute which highlighted Bishop Leggett’s involvement in Harvest Train, Mr. Leggett presented Mrs. Faye Leggett with a beautiful vase in honor of her husband.
At the Royal Home Ministries’ Night of Celebration held the previous night, the Emmanuel College Singers led the crowd in a spirited night of thanksgiving and worship to the Lord. Rev. Phillip Bland, chairman of Royal Home Ministries, honored Rev. Marysol Martinez for her faithful service to the ministry. Martinez has impacted the lives of numerous young ladies during her tenure as director. One young mother expressed, “I was scared. Everyone welcomed me. They taught me how to love my son and how to know God. My life is forever changed.” Interim Director Donna Jackson expressed her appreciation for Mrs. Martinez and shared her desire to see the Royal Home flourish as a place where ladies can find safety and choose life. “I know this is the heart of the Father.”
Written By: Janese Bennett
Photos Courtesy of: IPHC Ministries