One of the most encouraging people in my life is John Raymond. I’ve known John since I was a young boy in Southern California. Over the years we lost track of each other, until one day in 2004 I received an e-mail from John informing me of an opening for a position as executive director of Hope Now For Youth.
I had been employed with Berean Christian Stores for nearly 25 years and was the company president, living in Ohio. The corporation decided to sell the bookstore chain, and we amicably parted ways. Hearing that news, John contacted me.
It wasn’t long before I met with Rev. Roger Minassian and the board of directors and determined that God had orchestrated my leaving Berean and coming to Hope Now For Youth. The board asked me for a two-year commitment. That was 10 years ago.
John helped and encouraged me in my new position. I watched John in awe as he performed his job at Hope Now. He was the executive associate and job developer and had placed over 1,000 young men in jobs. While John was on staff, he was passionate and persistent in getting young men into jobs. I used to say that John lived and breathed Hope Now For Youth. When he retired from active duty on staff there was a void that had to be filled by two men.
After retirement from full-time work, John became an active member of the board of directors. He has brought a rich historical perspective to the board having been connected with this great organization for nearly two decades. He does what a good board member does, focuses on the outcome of helping young men getting jobs and leading them to Christ.
Last week, John was honored with a gift from the board of directors as he has now retired from that body. He was presented with a beautiful engraved clock commemorating his two decades of service to Hope Now For Youth, along with a night on the town with Edith, his wife of 55 years!
Thank you, John. Hope Now For Youth owes you a debt of gratitude for your faithfulness and hard work. “Well done, good and faithful servant.”