Phil and Grant Cobb: Missions For All Ages

 Phil and Grant Cobb getting ready to hop in the car and deliver for Meals on Wheels

Phil and Grant Cobb getting ready to hop in the car and deliver for Meals on Wheels

After being heavily involved in missions pre-Grant, I knew that I wanted to continue to be involved with serving in Jesus name with Grant. The catch was how do you involve a 21 month old child? I certainly wasn't going to put a Habitat hammer in Grant's hands. He is awesome an active little boy, so anything that didn't allow me to wrangle him effectively wasn't going to be very safe. I was left with a a bit of a conundrum.

However, an idea hit me as I sat in church one morning. I had just listened to a minute for mission asking for volunteers for the Meals on Wheels program. The last part of the announcement emphasized the ability to try it out and serve as often or as little as you could. Hmmm. This could be an opportunity. I contact Henry at the church and asked about the opportunity. He put me in touch with Sky Keating who coordinates the program for James Island Presbyterian. Sky is also profiled on this same blog in an earlier entry.

We decided to give the opportunity a try. Sky met us at the church on a Friday morning and showed us how the program works. We would pick up six meals from the church delivered in coolers. The meals are similar to the ones you receive on an airplane, packed very efficiently for easy transport. All of the meals are delivered to residents of a local apartment complex. The residents are homebound and living on a very low and fixed income. They rely on this service to help them eat every day. 

I discovered on this trial run that I could put Grant in his stroller and carry the six meals in a cooler on my shoulder. We could within about 20 minutes, walk with the stroller and deliver all the meals. This was a very doable mission project! We committed to the deliveries twice a month. 

What a great experience it has been. We started in October of 2014 and have made deliveries ever since. All of the residents happen to be women and they all learned mine and Grant's name within two visits. As the weather has warmed up and Grant has gotten older we now walk together to each house. Grant loves to walk around the neighborhood and we briefly step inside each little apartment to deliver the meal and say hi. The ladies are quite taken with my little sidekick. One recent visit was special for Grant because one of the ladies had specially purchased a box of animal crackers just for when Grant came by. He danced with joy as I placed the box in his hands. 

We've also gotten to know the pets of the various ladies including a few dogs, Peaches the cat, Webster the parrot and some fish. Grant likes to make the noises of each animal and it thrills the owners each time.

It hasn't always been convenient or easy. It's rained and been really cold a few times, but we've made it work and been better for it. It's our way of bringing a little bright spot to each resident. It's been a great shared experience for Grant and I to express Jesus love to some ladies that could use some extra love at this stage of their lives.  


James Weatherholtz: Supporting the Global Kingdom

JIPC: Where have you been focusing your work and what are some of the needs you are focusing on in that area?

JAMES: Taryn and I had been financially supporting a Campus Outreach director in Raleigh, NC for a few years.  A couple of years ago, he invited me and a friend to join him and 5 college students on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya.  The purpose of the trip was to make advance arrangements for those five students to spend 2 years in Nairobi ministering to African students at the University of Nairobi.  Their goal is to spread the gospel, disciple students, and teach the Bible, but to do that through meaningful relationships forged with those students over time.  Since that trip, Taryn and I have been financially supporting one of those same missionaries during his time in Kenya. 

While there, we spent time working with Uhuru Child, a charity that creates sustainable businesses in impoverished communities.  In Limuru, about 25 miles outside of Nairobi, Uhuru Child helped to build housing, install a well, and establish a lettuce farm that provided local jobs.  The staff works closely with Africans in that community, teaching them agricultural and business fundamentals, personal finance, and parenting skills.  Most importantly, they share the gospel and teach discipleship once a relationship has been formed through their love and care for others, spending time and laboring together toward a common goal.  

Uhuru Child uses a portion of the proceeds from the farming operation to fund scholarships for a girls' school nearby, one that it created, which further involves the community in the joy of helping others.  The charity isn't based on helping others through giving money, food, or clothing; instead, they give of themselves, their time, talents, and love.    

JIPC: After your initial introduction to this ministry was has kept you involved?

JAMES: Our involvement is passive, but we remain committed to these missions because we've seen firsthand the value of this approach and the material changes in the lives of others.  I met Africans whose lives have been irreversibly changed in so many ways, not only (but most importantly) spiritually.  

JIPC: What have been some of the biggest challenges you've come across?

JAMES: There are no real challenges on our end with respect to the mission work of others in Kenya.  The constant challenge for me personally is to take up my cross daily, love others more than myself (no matter who you're talking about), and to simply, but truly, follow Jesus.  Being inspired by the commitment of others helps in that process, but the "haze" of our American lifestyles is sometimes hard to see through.  

JIPC: How have you been blessed through this process?

JAMES: I'm inspired every time I read an update or watch a video from the mission team in Nairobi.  I'm also reminded that not everyone can or should leave civilian life and pursue mission work in a foreign country.  But we can be involved in that type of work, we can support it, and we can share in the joy of it, and it can change our hearts toward feeling for similar needs in our own communities.  We change through trying to make positive change in the lives of others.

Brynnan Frye: "Refreshing" Love

 Brynnan Frye is following God's call to be on mission every day by raising resources that she donates to great ministries. 

Brynnan Frye is following God's call to be on mission every day by raising resources that she donates to great ministries. 

Brynnan, a freshman at the Charleston County School of the Arts (SOA), has been a part of the James Island Presbyterian Church (JIPC) family all of her life.  Brynnan’s parents, Mark and Julie, joined the JIPC in 1996. Brynnan’s older sister, Cameron, and younger brother, Brady are also a part of this church family. In 2010, while a 5th grader at St. Andrew’s School of Math and Science, Brynnan felt called to do something positive to help change the world. So she started by helping to impact and change her community.

Brynnan developed a nonprofit business called ‘Drink-Up’. She basically purchases and then sells beverages at various venues, donating any profit to specific charities.

Brynnan’s good friend, Katie Oswald, a 6th grader at SOA, is also involved in this mission project. Recent places where they have sold beverages include the ‘Seeds of Hope Farmer’s Market’ on Saturdays, located in our church parking lot, and in front of Staples in the South Windemere Shopping Center.

Charities that have received donations through ‘Drink-Up’ include ‘Water Missions International’ ( and the Ridgeville, South Carolina, based ‘Horses in Service Ministry’ (

Brynnan is active in church youth and music ministries and has been a part of three JIPC youth mission trips to CROSS, an urban outreach ministry of Myers Park Presbyterian Church of Charlotte. She loves to play the flute and is a part of the current confirmation class of JIPC.

Impacting and changing the community….one beverage at a time!

Sky Keating: Meals in Memory

 Sky Keating coordinates the Meals on Wheels program in loving memory and to continue the work begun by his late wife Geneva.

Sky Keating coordinates the Meals on Wheels program in loving memory and to continue the work begun by his late wife Geneva.

Originally from Massachusetts, Sky has lived on James Island since retiring here with his wife, Geneva (Cookie), in 1985 following a career with Allied Signal and Honeywell. Sky and Geneva became members of the James Island Presbyterian Church (JIPC) in 1986.

For many years, Geneva coordinated volunteers from JIPC who delivered meals, daily, to homebound persons living on James Island. Originally, these meals were first taken to St. James Presbyterian Church from the Charleston Area Senior Citizen Center where volunteers would then package and deliver them. About 10 years ago, the distribution site for James Island meals-on-wheels was transferred to the JIPC. Geneva continued to coordinate the meals-on-wheels volunteers until her sudden passing in April of 2009.

In memory of Geneva, their 52 years of marriage and in tribute to her servant heart, Sky began coordinating the James Island meals-on-wheels program a month later; and five years later, Sky continues to make sure that the James Island homebound persons who are enrolled in this program receive a hot meal, Monday-Friday.

Sky…a loyal member of the chancel choir, an active church member and a faithful mission volunteer who also witnesses his servant heart. 

Susan Forrest: Sharing Treasures

 Susan Forrest has found her calling at Closet Treasures Thrift Store.

Susan Forrest has found her calling at Closet Treasures Thrift Store.

Closet Treasures Thrift Store (CT), a mission of the James Island Presbyterian Church & Foundation, is located in the Folly Road Shopping Center. Susan Forrest is usually the first person you will see…or hear when you enter the store.

Susan, 77 years young, has been a part-time employee of CT for fourteen (14) years. A former nurse at MUSC and an active member of Greater Bethel AME Church, she is involved in their weekly worship services, Bible study and senior ministry. Susan also is a part of her church mission team that visits patients or residents in area hospitals and long term care facilities each week as well as makes monthly visits to inmates of area, regional and state penitentiaries.

Although Susan’s job responsibilities at CT include greeting customers, receiving donations, and performing general housekeeping tasks, her real focus is customer service and ministry. When walking into the store, you almost immediately hear her infectious laughter. If you don’t hear her voice or see her smiling face and look around the store to find Susan, it is pretty common to see her sitting or kneeling in prayer with a customer.

People come to CT for all kinds of reasons: a mother purchasing clothes for a child, a new college student trying to find a bed frame & mattress, a collector looking for ‘a deal’, etc. But many people come to see Susan. To share a concern about a loved one in the hospital, to celebrate a healing, to seek advice and a listening ear, to pray together.

Susan knows her real job and calling at CT is to minister to and with people. Susan Forrest…a real blessing. The real deal!