Ella Formby was a gift from e beginning; sparkling eyes, a delightful personality, and a special child for her parents who were beginning to think they may never have children.
“I was 39 when she was born,” said her mother, Julie
There was a full moon the night of January 25th, 2014. The Formbys were driving home in their antique car, Ella in her car seat looking out the rear window at the moon.
“All she remembered was Ella sitting in the back saying the moon was following her. You know, ‘The moon’s following us home.’ I said ‘Yes baby. The moon’s gonna dance through the trees all the way home,’” said her father, Lourie Formby.
About that time the Formby’s were rear-ended by a speeding car and Ella didn’t survive the accident. And then shortly there after Ella’s Light Ministry was born, when Temple Baptist Church of Hattiesburg offered to start a fund to help pay the Formby’s medical expenses.
But Ella’s dad had another idea instead.
“Our medical bills are covered. We have insurance. But if you’d start a children’s ministry that would be great,” said Lourie Formby.
A children’s ministry in Ella’s memory wasn’t that far-fetched. Ella loved going to church, even on days when mom and dad would rather have slept in.
“And she would just say, ‘Oh no. Mommy, I have to go to Sunday School,” Julie remembered.
So now funds are being raised through Ella’s Light to help small churches implement Children’s ministries that can do the kinds of things that meant so much to Ella, like have Sunday School, even helping build facilities for them.
“Children’s activities like vacation Bible School, Bible camps, whatever activities that would interest the children in that community and draw those children in,” added Julie.
Nothing can ever take the place of little Ella for the Formby’s. But with Ella’s Light Ministry, her youthful exuberance and love for life will be the springboard for many more youngsters to sample what she considered so important, and will Make A Difference for lots of families in the process.
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