In August of 2009, our life mission took an unexpected turn when our son Josiah went to Heaven due to a single car accident. In those initial days of great sorrow the Lord began speaking and showing us things that we never imagined. As we inquired to the Lord with many questions, He surprised us with very clear answers. What he has spoken and continues to speak has brought life to our family, Josiah’s friends, and our church community.
Our mission now is to encourage Christians to walk through sorrow leaning on the Truth of God’s Word. Do not get caught up in what culture dictates, as it will bring you into despair. Be immersed in Gods perspective. Jesus Himself said to His friends, “If you loved Me, you would be glad when I say I go to be with My Father. For My Father is greater than I. (Jn 14:28). Paul later writes, “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21). If that is true, we need to receive and live in that hope.
Secondly, we would hope that all this talk of eternal living will increase in you a love for Heaven. That as followers of Christ we all would be less and less attached to this world and more ready and excited about our eternal dwelling place. Heaven after all is not a question mark. Heaven is a exclamation point!
— Steve & Sarah Berger
Why “Have Heart?”
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Our son had a saying that has come to mean even more to us since his passing: “Have heart”. Josiah lived his earthly life to the fullest. He enjoyed being a young man, and he loved Jesus. He encouraged others to have heart when life threw obstacles into their path. Wherever you’re at in your journey, we encourage you to have heart.
Our son wanted a tattoo placed over his heart that simply said, “Have”. It would have been his way of encouraging himself and others to constantly, no matter the circumstances, have heart and keep going. Although Josiah never received that tattoo, many friends and family members remembered his desire and now have those words tattooed on their bodies to continue the message and share Josiah’s story. In a spiritual sense, many more have this written on their hearts. Through this life-changing experience we’ve had to remember our son’s wise counsel, and we encourage you to do the same, in spite of all the pain, anger, frustration, and hopelessness you may be feeling right now. Have heart, Christian— God loves you, His Word is true, and He is very good. Have heart— one day you’ll be reunited with your loved one. Have heart— your loved one is more alive and more joyful than ever. Have heart— your loved one’s legacy will continue to live here on earth. Have heart— you are not alone. God is in control, and He is ever present and the Master of turning sorrow into joy. God has given us all a gift—the reality of eternal living in Heaven.
Josiah's House is a ministry of hope for homeless and destitute boys living in the impoverished community of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. Upon completion, Josiah's House will be a complex of four homes housing a total of 32 boys. In each home, eight boys and a married couple (house parents) live and grow in a family setting. Our mission is to give each child an education, Biblical guidance, life skills, and daily affirmation of God’s love for them.
Josiah’s House is the extended heartbeat of Grace Chapel in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, and is named in honor of Josiah Berger, the son of Grace Chapel’s Pastor, Steve Berger, and his wife, Sarah. Josiah’s love for missions and his enthusiasm for life continue to inspire those desiring to pour hope into the lives of these amazing boys.
Proceeds from the book “Have Heart” will go toward the building and support of this ministry.
Dedication & Current Updates
Josiah's House was formally dedicated in July 2012. Over 100 people from Grace Chapel, including the Berger Family and several of Josiah's friends, attended the dedication. We were honored to also have SCORE International Founder Ron Bishop and President John Zeller in attendance as well.
If you have any questions or would like to receive monthly updates, please email Lauren George at Lauren@gracechapel.net.