LARSON: Woman walking in faith wants community to ‘Bloom’

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.

— Psalm 128:1

Some people might think Jeff Foxworthy is a tough act to follow, but for Bobbi Pack, he just set the stage for the whole community to get in on the act.

It was in 2008 that Pack spotted Foxworthy at a gas station and asked if he’d do a benefit show for House of Joy, which will be the first emergency women’s shelter in Gwinnett County.

Foxworthy gets countless charity requests, but he said saying no to Pack was not an option. He performed a charity event at Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross and people have been following along ever since.

“God will provide for everyday needs if you are obedient and walking according to His will,” Pack firmly stated. “And I know the House of Joy is part of God’s will.”

Pack, whose ministry is known as Love in Action, likes to make clear the uniqueness of her proposed project. Even though Gwinnett County is the only county in the state with a cooperative ministry that serves the entire community, and even though we have many services such as Rainbow Village, The Gwinnett Children’s Shelter and Butterfly House, there is still no place in Gwinnett where women and children can go for emergency shelter.

“Most shelters have prerequisites and ask people to make long-term commitments,” Pack said. “At the House of Joy, we would just do a background check, drug and medical screening, and then reach out to them at their point of need.”

The City of Norcross recognizes this need and is researching zoning codes to help Pack find a suitable place to locate the House of Joy.

Jim Ellis Automotive Dealerships and other local businesses and foundations have pledged support with cash contributions and help with fundraising.

Pack’s next charity event, “It’s Your Time to Bloom,” will take place on May 7 at Zoar United Methodist Church in Snellville, facilitated by volunteers from United Stationers in Suwanee and featuring inspirational speakers and musicians. Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen is providing dirty rice and French bread while Honey Baked Ham on Medlock Bridge Road is donating sliced ham. Desserts will be compliments of the Centerville and Scenic Highway Krogers and Hilton Atlanta Northeast is assembling goodie bags with toiletries to be distributed to women in need.

Tommy Phifer, a minister at Fresh Start Church (Senior Pastor is Marquis Boone) in Duluth where Pack worships said of her mission, “It is a passion, an unstoppable passion. She’s been working for seven years and I told her seven is the year of conclusion. God has placed this on her and I feel in my heart she is going to get it done.”

If you’d like to play a lead role, or just be a “walk on,” call Pack at 404-513-5683 or visit www.houseofjoynorcross.org.

Susan Larson is a free lance writer who lives in Lilburn. Email her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.