MAGI On A Mission

April 22, 2024

At Healing Hands International (HHI), it’s frequently said that we operate best when our programs are intertwined together. Each program serves a specific purpose, and yet, lends itself to effective collaboration. We often see positive change exponentially multiplied in the lives of the people we serve when our programs work together. But that phenomenon is especially celebrated when it touches our family of volunteers. 

Chip and Sharon Burke are shining examples of the cross-connection model that we strive to instill. Sharon enjoys attending our annual Women of Hope Weekend, which has been held in her hometown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the past several years. These events offer a beautiful display of the remarkable projects conducted by our Women of Hope Program, and true to the HHI style, our other programs have a platform to inform and create potential interest. 

It was at a Women of Hope Weekend that Sharon first heard about the MAGI Program. The purpose behind MAGI touched her heart, and she acted on that calling. She took the initiative to request more information about volunteering with HHI, and since then, she and her husband, Chip, have developed one of HHI’s most successful, ongoing MAGI collection initiatives.

The acronym behind the MAGI name speaks to Sharon: “I like what MAGI stands for – ‘Making A Godly Impact’ – I feel that is what I am called to do.” 

Not only have Sharon and Chip answered their calling, but others have joined them in their mission. They are active members of the Kingwood Church of Christ in Murfreesboro, where a fellow member, Billye Nance, had already initially brought the idea of MAGI to the church. With Sharon’s newfound excitement and Chip’s outstanding 110% effort, this team put a fantastic MAGI plan into place.

Kingwood now sponsors an annual MAGI event, and Sharon recruits volunteers from the Ladies’ Bible Class there. With a room at Kingwood dedicated to MAGI, they have replicated the Nashville office MAGI assembly room. They publish information in their church bulletin and announcements, and set up MAGI tables in the foyer with posters, sample boxes and items. They invite the congregation to contribute in ways that work for individual families. Some people prefer to fill their own MAGI boxes, while others donate money or requested items. The ladies who sew make dresses, and the fifth grade girls make bracelets. One group of members shops for items with donated funds, and another group packs the boxes. 

Kingwood’s special ingredient for success is in their combined approach to accomplish one goal–to fill as many MAGI boxes as possible, for the ultimate purpose of bringing joy to children around the world. Sharon praises her Kingwood MAGI volunteers with great confidence: “We have a very cohesive team of volunteers who are all in, and work very well together.”

Chip and Sharon saw their efforts come full circle when they helped deliver MAGI boxes to children in Honduras in 2023. Sharon recalls the details of an unforgettable trip where they indeed blessed others, but were undoubtedly moved by the Spirit that is in the hearts of the recipients. “Most of the locations we visited had uneven entrances, where steps had been roughly cut into the rocks.  At one location, a little 2-4 year old with no shoes was standing by the steps, holding out his tiny hand to help us down the uneven steps. He was so sweet and totally captured my heart.”

At another location in Honduras, Chip made fast friends with a rambunctious group of boys, excitedly awaiting their MAGI distribution. He struck up a conversation with them, ignoring any language barrier, and the comradery that ensued set the tone for the entire experience. Chip connected with one young fellow in particular, and thereby dubbed him, “Superman.” After the group received their MAGI boxes, everyone dispersed to walk the miles back to their homes deep within the jungle, but there is no doubt that Chip empowered Superman that afternoon, planting the seed that he is loved, cared for and seen, and Superman was lifted to the Father in prayer for his future.

Sharing a powerful Bible verse that continues to feed her family’s MAGI involvement, Sharon refers to Mark 9:36-37:

He took a little child whom he placed among them.

Taking the child in his arms, he said to them,  

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me;

and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Chip and Sharon, you represent the goodness and selflessness of our family of volunteers. You exude the genuine love of Jesus Christ, not only for the MAGI mission, but also for the children who receive these boxes. You are an example for so many, and your footsteps leave a special imprint on the heart of Healing Hands International. We are so deeply grateful for you both, for the Kingwood Church of Christ, and for its army of members who make time to make things happen. Your tireless efforts fuel the MAGI Program, and inspire us all to carry on.

And to all of our volunteers: you are the lifeblood of Healing Hands International. This entity was born out of a challenge to help others, and with every task that you accept and accomplish, you are aiding, equipping and empowering our beneficiaries, all for the great glory of God. We love you all, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We celebrate you not only during Volunteer Week, but with every dawn that allows this mission to continue. God bless you all!