The mission of the Rye Foundation is to make a life-changing impact on North Carolina children
by providing grants in the areas of Religion, Youth, and Education.
News from the Rye
When a representative of the North Carolina Museum of History contacted the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, it came as quite a surprise to leaders of the international ministry. A subsequent meeting resulted in a simple question: would the BGEA be interested in designing a special exhibit on the noted evangelist for the Museum of History in Raleigh?
Their answer was a resounding “yes”, and staff members began to formulate plans for an informative 5,000 square foot interactive display.
The Rye Foundation joined with other philanthropic organizations in providing major support for the project. It reminded some of the Rye Foundation’s very first charitable gift, a $25,000 investment in 2001 for the work at the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville.
Rye leaders joined Franklin Graham at the opening night tour. They saw exhibits on the dairy farm where Mr. Graham grew up, as well as his Crusades throughout the country. A special console allowed visitors to punch a button and hear testimonies from well-known business leaders and entertainers.
In 2013, our state legislature voted to name Billy Graham as “North Carolina’s Favorite Son.” The exhibit was a strategic effort to help citizens learn about the life and ministry of our famous citizen.
When the exhibit ended its 8-month run, a total of 92,000 people had traveled to the Museum of History for a tour. Over half of these visitors were school children and their teachers.
One donor asked this question: “Where else can we have such a positive impact on thousands of North Carolina children?”
Jean Davis and Sherry Reeves shared this unforgettable story in a recent meeting with several leaders of the Rye
Times were hard at Ebenezer Christian Children’s Home in Wilkes County. One night, the houseparent noticed that there were only three potatoes in the pantry, and a total of five children waiting for supper.
At that point, the staff members got down on their knees. They thanked God for the chance to work at the Home, and prayed that He would send what the boys and girls needed.
That same evening, three different people felt the need “to bring taters for the children.” All told, over 600 pounds of potatoes were delivered in that one night!
Jean and Sherry emphasized that the staff did not make any phone calls or send any text messages or e-mails. They also emphasized that God really cares about little children.
Annie Murray was right.
You may remember that the Canadian-born singer produced a hit single that contained these words, “We sure could use a little good news today.”
If your local newspaper is like mine, most of the news is very bad. As I write this column, our lead story in Forsyth County involves the arrest of two 12-year-olds for shooting a 15-year-old. In other news, a public official had to resign because she sent inappropriate text messages. On the sports page, another pro athlete failed a drug test.
Amidst this backdrop of malfeasance and mayhem, the Mount Airy News printed a human interest story that left me smiling. It is reassuring to know that positive things still emanate from Andy Griffith’s hometown.
Featured in the Mount Airy weekly were two people named Ray and Wilma Yoder, who live in Indiana. This married couple embarked on a very ambitious journey: they wanted to enjoy a meal in every Cracker Barrel restaurant in the United States.
That’s right, all 637 of them.
The Yoders traveled to Mount Airy, and when they finished their Surry County meal, they had dined at 635 Cracker Barrel establishments!
I believe we can learn several important things from these traveling Hoosiers.
1. Ray and Wilma set a goal.
It all began in the 1970’s, when Ray’s job entailed delivering vehicles to dealers across the entire country. Wilma always accompanied him, and they often stopped at Cracker Barrel for a hot meal.
2. Ray and Wilma did not use age as an excuse.
They are both 79, and their goal is within sight. The remaining two restaurants are located in Idaho and Mississippi.
3. Ray and Wilma shared a lot of laughter.
According to the feature article, they have traveled over 5 million miles together on life’s highway. In 2015, she experienced a health crisis. Still, they enjoy each other’s company and the prospects of another quality meal.
4. Ray and Wilma respond quickly to their own mistakes.
After being interviewed and posing for photos with staff members, the couple left Mount Airy and realized they had forgotten to leave a tip. Ray promptly made a phone call, and promised to send a generous tip in the mail.
The next time you pull off the interstate and head for a Cracker Barrel restaurant, look for an elderly couple from Indiana. Chances are, they won’t be sitting in the rocking chairs out front. I would look for them in a corner booth, enjoying their meatloaf and making memories. What kind of legacy do you plan to leave?