Honeymoon trip led to missions calling

Won Without Borders provides Hurricane relief and Christmas present distribution on Turks and Caicos Islands. (Courtesy Photo)

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Candice and Darrell Powell returned home to East Texas from their Caribbean honeymoon with a calling and a mission from God.

Candice and Darrell Powell

When they traveled to the Turks and Caicos Islands, southeast of the Bahamas, the newlywed couple learned the islands serve as a refuge for immigrants from Haiti. Many lack food, and trees provide their only shelter.

After witnessing the impact of poverty, the Powells knew they had to do something to make a difference.

“We prayed,” Candice said. “We asked God, ‘If this isn’t what you want, tell us.’ Back in Texas, we’ve had natural disasters. We understood the hardships these calamities cause. However, these people do not have the government support we have in the States.”

The couple founded Won Without Borders, a Huntsville-based Christian nonprofit organization that seeks to meet needs and make a difference in Texas and globally.

Showing love after a hurricane

When Hurricane Irma hit the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2017, conditions in the island quickly grew much worse. Won Without Borders responded with food, clothing, generators and medical supplies.

With the help of other Christian ministries in the United States, Won Without Borders also sponsored a Christmas party for children whose homes had been damaged or destroyed by the hurricane.

“We just wanted to do something good for them and help as much as we can,” Darrell said.

The Christmas event included free meals and drinks. Each family received bags of rice, beans, toiletry items, toothbrushes, shampoo, and shoes and socks both for children and adults. Santa Claus even made an appearance, distributing toys and gifts to children. Five pastors attended, representing the Haitian and Dominican communities.

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‘Not here to cry, but to work’

Missions and ministry beyond the borders of the United States has inspired the Powells to take action both globally and locally.

“When you are outside the United States—this is especially true in some countries—there are no food banks for the hungry or poor. There are no safe houses when domestic violence occurs,” Candace said.

“If God doesn’t show up—meaning Christians who are trying to help—situations can become desperate. Sometimes we have to leave our comfort zone to serve others. We’re not here to cry, but to work.”

Closer to home, Won Without Borders seeks to assist the homeless—many of them veterans—along with senior adults, single mothers, indigent individuals and others in need.

Won Without Borders provides food and necessary items to help with Hurricane Relief in Lake Charles, La. (Courtesy Photo)

The ministry responds to natural disasters, and it works in cooperation with other local and global Christian groups to meet needs.

“We want to make a difference in Texas and on a global basis—no matter where you live,” Candice said.

Seeking to encourage Christian unity of mission is one of the organization’s goals: “To inspire Christians and all people to unite, to give and serve others, and practice paying blessings forward.”

Meeting spiritual needs

Won Without Borders not only meets physical needs, but also aims to lead people to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and to encourage church participation.

It takes Matthew 25:35-36 and Hebrews 13:2 as its biblical basis for ministry—seeing ministry to “the least of these” as service to Christ and showing hospitality to strangers.

Church leaders and local agencies in Walker County contact Won Without Borders when they encounter people who need food or other support.

The ministry has delivered hygiene supplies and other essential items to low-income senor communities in the Huntsville area—particularly when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its worst.

Twice a month, Walker County citizens receive groceries distributed by Won Without Borders and made possible in part by gifts to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering.

“It’s all about paying it forward and helping people,” Candice said.

Carolyn Tomlin of Jackson, Tenn., writes for the Christian market and teaches the Boot Camp for Christian Writers.

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