That’s the prayer of Jerry Haag, he told Florida Baptist Children’s Homes trustees April 24 in Jacksonville.
“Because there are children out there that need help. And God is going to call and God is going to allow people to be a part of meeting their needs,” he said. “And my prayer is really simple: God, let it be us. Let me have the privilege. God, let us have the privilege of being able to reach out and meet the needs.”
Meeting for the first time since its February special-called meeting to re-elect Haag as president, the FBCH board of trustees heard a report from the president, ratified a staff promotion, approved various recommendations, and heard reports of progress in various ministries during its April 23-24 meeting in Jacksonville.
Haag previously served as FBCH president, 2007-2011, leaving in April for a senior position at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, his alma mater. When the FBCH presidential search committee reached out again to him early this year, Haag and his wife, Christi, became convinced they were to return to Florida.
The Jacksonville meeting of the FBCH board included many expressions of gratitude from trustees and staff for the return of the Haags. He began service again as president in March.
Haag praised the board and staff for the agency’s progress in his absence, particularly noting the “fearless and wise” decision of the board in going ahead with a corporate restructuring begun by Haag.
He commended the staff’s work during his time away, praising Steve Johnson, vice president and chief financial officer, who served as acting president.
Calling him “salt of the earth” and the “glue that’s held the Children’s Homes together,” Haag thanked Johnson for his “unselfish and untiring and many, many hours of work.” The board responded with applause.
Citing 228,000 children annually in the state who are reported as abused and neglected, 1.1 million Floridians who will be hungry this year, and 88,000 homeless—25 percent children, Haag said the needs are many.
“We have the opportunity to reach out and serve [children]. We have a great organization to do that,” he said.
“I can’t imagine anything more humble or more wise than helping children,” Haag said, citing the verse: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (NIV).
Partnerships will be a continuing theme of FBCH ministry, Haag told the board.
“That will continue to help us to grow and open new doors to have people join our ministry,” he said, citing various examples of how FBCH is moving away from an institutional approach to care to one of helping people in communities, often through local churches.
Haag said he will bring to trustees in the future a “comprehensive campaign” to raise funds for endowment, capital, and operating needs of FBCH and bids from prospective consultants to help with the campaign.
Thanking the board for calling him back as president, he said, “I look forward to years and years and years of fruitful ministry here with you on behalf of kids and families.”