JoDee and Pete Herschend
JoDee and Peter Herschend are no strangers to reaching out to families. As co-founders and co-owners of Herschend Family Entertainment, they own and operate wholesome family fun theme parks throughout the United States. However, the Lord had a special job for JoDee in mind that would wake her up one night with a powerful dream.
A Powerful Dream
It began in 1997 with prayer, a vision, and a specific mission statement. In a dream, the Lord gave JoDee a vision of a walled city. There were no gates in or out of the city, and the people inside were listless, milling about with no vision, purpose, or strength. Then God showed JoDee two holes being punched into the walls by a fist, and the people began climbing out over the rubble. They were now full of joy and happiness!
The Lord woke JoDee up one night and told her to start a company with the specific mission statement “to create an awareness of and a desire to meet Jesus.”
When coming out of the city, the people were like children at recess. They were purposeful and full of joy. JoDee knew these were believers coming out of the church and going into the world with the Gospel. JoDee asked the Lord for more. Again, JoDee woke up with a specific mission statement in her mind “to create an awareness of and a desire to meet Jesus“, and in 1997 the Caring People was born. She knew it was a mission statement and that HE wanted her to start a company to reach the lost and hurting. She knew Single Moms across the world were hurting and needed Jesus.
Understanding Single Moms
JoDee understood that before she could begin the work the Lord had called her to, she had to understand what Single Moms felt. At the advice of her husband, Peter, she enlisted the help of well known researchers, Kenny and Associates. Their task was to unlock the key to the mindset of Single Moms so they could better be served and loved. What they learned provided the insight needed to form the core beliefs of the Caring People, Single Moms desire unconditional love, acceptance, and friendship. In 2002, after several pilot programs in San Jose and Fresno, California the organization sharpened its focus to train Christian women to lead Christ-centered “Care Groups” for Single Moms. Springfield, Missouri birthed the first Care Group. Caring Women began to really reach and impact Single Moms.
The Caring People Today
Today, hundreds of women have attended one day workshops in cities throughout the midwest and internationally in El Salvador to launch city chapters and open more Care Groups. Single Moms and their children are attending these weekly Care Groups led by strong, loving Caring Women in new locations each year. Over 60 Care Groups meet worldwide and the ministry continues to grow. Caring Women are “breaking through the walls” and going out into the world. We believe we can’t wait for Single Moms to come to church, but must go to them – must love Single Moms where they are and invite them into safe, loving Care Groups!
JoDee’s dream has turned into reality! You may contact JoDee at [email protected].