110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
DeLand ministry steps out in faith to Belize — Heart of Excellence fundraiser dinner set for Sunday, Feb. 16
By Pat Andrews
posted Feb 11, 2014 - 2:43:48pm
A DeLand youth ministry that reaches out to others, even as it makes a difference in the lives of its members, is asking West Volusians to help during Valentine’s weekend.
The 20 members of Heart of Excellence will host a fundraiser dinner at the DeLand Artisan Downtown at 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. The evening will feature an entertainment program by the young ministry members, called the Heart of Etiquette. Dinner will cost $20 per person and proceeds will fund the group's ministry work in Belize.
Heart of Excellence, an unincorporated ministry in Spring Hill headed by Rox-Anne Grant, engages teenagers who live in Spring Hill in activities that help them learn how to take care of themselves, how to stay away from drugs and how to grow spiritually and in leadership.
Their efforts to stop prostitution and drug deals on Spring Hill street corners involved the young people taking to those corners, singing gospel hymns, and showing concern for the women of the street. If has had some success in keeping potential customers away and leading the women toward new lives, Grant said.
The group also takes meals to homeless camps around West Volusia, and as far away as Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. Renewed Vision Outreach church and ministry in Orange City supplies the food.
During the Christmas holidays, the Heart of Excellence reached out of Central Florida to the small country of Belize, where poverty is rampant.
Why Belize, on the northeastern coast of Central America?
Rox-Anne Grant (formerly Rox-Anne Williams) has a heart for the country, and God led her to take ministry there, she said.
"I went to Belize when I was very young," Grant said.
Her great-grandmother, who lived there, planted the seed of faith that grew in Grant.
Grant said wanted the young Heart of Excellence members to learn how much they have and appreciate it, and at the same time, minister physically and spiritually to those who have so much less. In Belize, the group helps children with no shoes and not enough to eat.
The youths learned how much they could contribute to another person's life, Grant said.
As a result, a chunk of land in Belize was donated to the group to build a distribution center. That effort is what the Feb. 16 event will support.
Grant is calling it the "Joseph Store House" from the story of Joseph in the Bible.
Joseph, in exile from his family, served the Egyptian pharaoh, and interpreted the pharaoh's troubling dream. The dream prophesied that seven good years with plenty of food would be followed by seven years of severe famine.
Joseph was put in charge of Egypt, and had food stored during the good years. When the years famine came, Egypt had food, while the surrounding countries had none.
Grant said witnessing the extreme need of the people of Belize ignited a passionate determination among the young Heart of Excellence volunteers, to return to the country and do more to help.
Grant said she is thankful for the $7,000 in donations that fueled the first trip to Belize. Donations came in great and small amounts, and she hopes for continued generosity.
Grant also said she wants to thank Artisan Inn owners Sarah and Hina Patel, who have gone the extra yard to make the fundraiser work. Heart of Excellence will serve a chicken and fish dinner during the event.
To reserve seats, call Grant at 386-873-2110.
Read The Beacon’s earlier story about Heart of Excellence.
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