Grace Foundation of Destin: Reaching out … locally and around the world

Pam Griffin
A medical and dental mission thanks The Grace Foundation in 2009. [SPECIAL TO THE LOG]

The Grace Foundation of Destin has reached out and impacted the world as an extension of the Lord’s work at Grace Lutheran Church since 2006.

When Grace Lutheran Church received a $1 million gift from an anonymous church member in July 2006, the donor requested it be used for under-funded mission work, local or global. Earnings from the principal are distributed through the grant process twice a year, in May and November.

Mike Wind, executive director at Grace Lutheran Church and vice president of The Grace Foundation, told The Log the foundation has given 126 grants for a total of $508,945 since they began.

The recipients of grants given this month are:

1. Mission Love Seeds: Funds to assist in the construction of a worship center facility in the Admiral Village of Antipolo City, Philippines. The facility will include a worship area, bathrooms, daycare facilities, and a worship area.

2. East European Mission Network: Funding for the development of a learning center in Eastern and Central Europe. This request is for the initial phases of development for the first learning center in Saldus, Latvia.

3. Evergreen Lutheran School: To help support the Lutheran School with tuition for the families who cannot afford it and with ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the school.

4. Asha Mission Society: The funds being requested are beginning-of-the-year school expenses. These expenses include annual registration fees, books, book bags, school supplies, uniforms, shoes and socks.

Mission Love Seeds, East European Mission Network and the Asha Mission Society each received $5,000, while the Evergreen Lutheran School received $14,500.

Destin-based Mission Love Seeds has received several grants from The Grace Foundation over the last 10 years.

“The blessings keep on flowing for Mission Love Seeds,” said Barbi Carroll-Hawbaker, founder and president of MLS. “John (Hawbaker) and I are so thankful for all the help MLS has received from The Grace Foundation. We could not have made such a large impact in the areas where the mission works without the help of this wonderful foundation. It's so amazing.”

Other projects they have completed over the years, thanks to the grants, include six water purification systems and medical/dental clinics in the villages in the Philippines; a church, kitchen, restrooms, shower and a grill in the village of Sitio Pantay; homes in Galilee; and concrete walls and steel gates at an orphanage destroyed by the earthquake in Haiti.

“Mission Love Seeds has demonstrated to us the real impact that our grants have had on their ministry,” Wind said. “They are doing tremendous work and have kept us completely involved and informed along the way. We have been made to feel as partners in the endeavors, and not just issuers of checks. Through this process, we have come to know their leadership and have found them to be passionate, honest, hard-working and truly devoted to their mission.”

“Let's roll ... let's build God's house,” Carroll-Hawbaker said. “By faith, we see a worship center, school, and playground in the village. It is so amazing what the Lord does with the funds received from Grace, and how He does exceedingly and abundantly more than what our imagination allows.”

Applications for The Grace Foundation grants are accepted for those who impact an underserved and disadvantaged group of people; programs with clearly defined objectives, qualified and committed leadership and measurable outcomes; programs that connect service-recipients to Grace faith values; and capital projects that support programs and goals as defined above.

There will be another review cycle in the fall of 2017 and applications will be accepted through Oct. 31. To receive an application or for further information, contact Mike Wind at 850-654-1679 or