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Winter Newsletter 2018

What should we do then?

The question was asked to John th Baptist by the crowd, after he first began preaching his message of repentance and forgiveness of sins. He had emphasized that the crowd should " produce fruit in keeping with repentance." John answered: "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none and the one who has food should do the same". As we launch into a new year, should we change the label and find any reason not to share clothing or food? I think not. The advice from John is a life changing now as it was then. John's legacy is summarized in Luke's gospel account: "A voice of one calling in the dessert, prepare the way for the Lord... so that all mankind will see God's salvation." So, what should we do then? We should produce fruit in keeping with our own repentance. We should share clothing and food. We should prepare the way for the Lord, living out our Tree of Life Purpose - " reaching out to the poor and needy in our community with the love of Jesus Christ. " Blessings, Paul Smith Executive Director, Tree of Life Ministries



Ben Hekman

Mr. Hekman has serviced as our Volunteer Work Force Connections Ministry Leader for over a year. He has been instrumental in rejuvenating our job coaching team through LifeSkills workshops.  His experience is reflected in his own words: "I've been familiar with Tree of Life since it started, but like many I had no real idea of the need in Loudoun County for these types of services.

Growing up internationally to missionary parents I viewed the need as mostly 'out there', not 'right here'.  At the same time,  God used  the heart for internationals  that He instilled in me through my foundational year to bring me to TOL.   Their partners are people just like me, with the same desires to better themselves and support their families, the same needs for shelter, health, employment, the same need for God.


I reached out to volunteer, and within a few weeks I was coaching job seekers through the LifeSkills branch. What I've enjoyed the most about TOL has been the LifeSkills classes - we've had great groups of partners and the small class sizes have allowed personal discussions and the chance to hear their stories. I've seen several get jobs after going through our classes or coaching. It was a privilege to be able to reach into their lives at a time of need and I trusted that God will use that in His own way.

Upcoming Events



Volunteer Introduction Program (VIP)

Dates: March 17th  | 9:00AM - 10AM



TOL Volunteer Academy

Dates: April 21st  | 9:00 AM - 12PM


Walk for Tree of Life

Dates: June 16th 8:30AM - 10:30AM




Annual Clothing & Furniture Giveaway

Dates: April 28th





Annual Clothing & Furniture Giveaway

Dates: May 12th




Easter Meal of Blessing

Dates: April 1st 6PM-7PM


Our Tree of Life Academy is extended

volunteer training which covers Tree of Life policies, values and sharing our faith with others.  Our next Academy will be held on April 21st at the Purcellville Tree of Life Center.


Recent graduates include:


Kay Rudy

Jaqueline Whalen

Jim Whalen

Diane Winter






Beth Smouse

Ms. Smouse has been a key leader for our Leesburg Region since its start up in the fall of 2016. She leads the Community Kitchen ministry on Tuesday nights at our Tree of Life Center where she supervises the many host groups who volunteer to serve the meal to the hungry partners.

Beth is instrumental in making sure the church is transformed from a worship sanctuary to a dining hall and back again within the same week.

 She does this with the help of many volunteers and a lot of winning smiles and grace. Here is her take on what she experiences.  "I'm thankful for the opportunity to express what TOL does for others and the benefits to me personally: For me, TOL  has been a wonderful experience since jumping on board in 2016. The orgaization and communication between leaders and volunteers has made the kitchen run smoothly. In my fellowship with the partners, I have observed their eagerness to learn English, but most important, how our gathering together has brough us closer to Jesus Christ.



Jenna York


Ms. York was accepted into our transitional housing program in 2017. She and her son Levi have actively participated in many Tree of Life activities since they arrived. Jenna understands the concept of reaching out and walking alongside those Tree of Life who can assist in her achieving the goals and objectives she has set for her time in the housing program.  Her comment below reveals the progress she is asking in the first few months of Tree of Life:


"My mother always told me " When God closes a door, he always opens another". I believe that finding Tree of Life was a door that God opened. He knows what you need long before you do. TOL has been the biggest blessing for my son Levi and myself. In the few short months that we have been with TOL so many great changes have blessed our lives. We found our home chruch Purcellville Baptist. I have re-instilled my faith with Jesus, we have consistency and a safe place to call home. Without TOL I'm not sure where we would have ended up. God knows what he is doing and he is working through TOL and it's members. Thank you."







Christmas For Others (CFO)

In December, Tree of Life hosted 8 separate Christmas events impacting 450 partners that we serve in our community:


The Purcellville Region hosted a Christmas for Others pageant and banquet for 80 participants. The gathering was blessed with the gospel message through a production of Christmas Story by a group from Purcellville Baptist Church. Each family was overjoyed as they received a bag of wrapped presents for each child. The Region also hosted two Crowns of Glory events, one at the Purcellville Home - an assisted living facility for senior adults and another at the Carver center.

Wrapped shoe-boxes filled with 'senior goodies' were distributed to the elderly at each location, who expressed much gratitude!

The Leesburg Region hosted two Christmas for Others banquets for 130 partners, also with play performances by a group from Bethel Presbyterian church. Parent also expressed thanksgiving for a bag of gifts they received for each child. The Region additionally hosted a Crowns of Glory event at Madison House on Christmas Eve, which included shoe-boxes, donated by members of Leesburg Church of Nazarene, who also blessed the residents by singing  carols.


The Winchester Region hosted their Christmas For Others outreach by providing  a delicious ham dinner and a Christmas message. The celebration continued as each child opened their presents; their appreciation glowed in their eyes for bringing joy to their house of needs. The Region also hosted a crowns of Glory event at Evergreen Health & Rehab, with each resident of the Alzheimer's Unit receiving shoebox gifts (including dolls and stuffed animals), carols and Christmas message.


A special thank you to Toys for Tots, a program run by the US Marine Corps Reserve, for supplying toys for our Christmas for Others program.








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Tree of Life Center

210 N. 21st., Street., Unit D Purcellville, VA 20132

Operation Hours:
Monday - Friday:
9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Tree of Life Center

850 Edwards Ferry Rd NE,

Leesburg, VA 20176



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