Women of Compassion

November 2012

By November 28, 2012 No Comments


Have you ever had an idea, but didn’t know how to make it a reality? Well, Ecclesiastes 4:9 says that “two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor“.

I’m Connie Aplin, and the Lord showed me the truth of this scripture when a group of ladies recently teamed up together to host, “An Evening with Chef Randal.” The primary goal for this event was to raise money to complete the much needed kitchen remodel at the Emergency Shelter located on the Lakeland campus. We also wanted to raise awareness of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes (FBCH) and it’s ministries while enjoying a fun evening. And, of course, our desire was to honor the LORD in all of our plans.


This event featured a cooking demonstration by Randal White, Executive Chef at the Ocala Hilton. He prepared the dinner and showed guests how to make some of the items on the menu. The food was proudly served by teenagers from FBCH.

Our venue was the lovely home of James and Laz Smith. The hostesses transformed the Smith’s backyard into an elegant outdoor dining experience complete with twinkling lights, candles and perfect weather. And, the LORD answered our prayers graciously in providing the cool, dry evening.


Guests enjoyed conversation, cooking class, great food and even made their own dessert. After dinner, guests  viewed a video of the Emergency Shelter kitchen. Jerry Haag, president of the Florida Baptist Children’s Home, explained to our 100 guests more about the ministry and the needs. It was indeed a unique benefit event.

So, back to Ecclesiastes 4:9, we actually had many more than two people involved and so the result was also far more than “twice as much”. As of this report, this event raised more than $38,000 which is enough to complete the funding for the kitchen remodel and cover food costs for a cottage for a year! This definitely qualifies as “a better return for their labor.”

The details surrounding this event, the people involved, and the monies raised are all evidence of God’s gracious hand and we say, “to God be the glory, great things He hath done!”

Are there some great things God could do if you asked Him how to turn some of the ideas in your heart into a reality? I think Proverbs 31:20 describes the heart of a Women of Compassion: “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Let’s look for more ideas of how we can join hands and hearts together and make a difference in the lives of children.


Thank You!!!!

My personal thanks to the hostesses, Julee Ferreira, Dana Fox, Lori Garrard, Regina Harper, Carolyn Prahl, Tracey Russell, Cheryl Shaffter and Laz Smith. Without their help, this idea couldn’t have become a reality.


To Chef Randal, thank you for sharing your time and talents. I’m looking forward to cooking up some new, tasty treats for the Holidays thanks to your lessons and recipes.


And, to all the other volunteers and FBCH staff, thank you for working together to make “An Evening with Chef Randal” a success.


With Sincere Thanks,

Connie Aplin



Join us Friday, February 15, 2013, for our annual WOC forum. With a Victorian tea-party theme, this dainty day of delightful treats will also serve up a nationally known speaker, Lisa Harper. Harper has spoken at national women’s ministry events such as Women of Faith and Focus on the Family conferences. She is described as a witty storyteller and easy-to-relate-to Bible teacher. Speaker Priscilla Evans Shirer describes her this way: “If anyone can help us to hear, understand and receive the truth of scripture it is Lisa Harper. Her God-given ability to not merely teach the Word but package it in a way that stirs the heart and calls to action is incomparable. When she speaks ears perk up.”

You don’t have to wait, you can register online today!