By Jennifer Johnson
Mike and Enise Grooms didn’t take high-profile, high-paying ministry jobs. After working in Cincinnati’s inner city and then in eastern Europe, the couple moved to metro Atlanta and began leading Tucker (GA) Christian Church five years ago.
“Mike and Enise never owned a house or a nice car,” says Al Serhal, Enise’s brother and executive director of Hippo Valley Christian Mission, a ministry to Zimbabwe with stateside offices in Grayson, KY. “They’ve always just trusted God to provide.”
During their ministry at Tucker, the Grooms could get health insurance and a modest life insurance policy for the first time—an important benefit when Mike was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
“They did a tremendous ministry there,” Serhal says. “It’s a very urban and ethnically diverse congregation, and Mike was great at relating to people from many different backgrounds. He preached right up to the end of his life.”
Mike had also visited Zimbabwe with the Hippo Valley mission and taught at the Zimbabwe Preaching Conference. Once again, Serhal says, his influence was significant; Grooms fell in love with the country and its people, and the preachers gravitated toward him during the conference.
“After Mike passed away last fall, I visited Enise and she gave me a $10,000 check for Hippo Valley,” he says. “I knew this came from the life insurance and represented much more than a tithe, and I tried to refuse it. My sister needed that money. But she insisted, saying again that she knew God would provide.”
Serhal used the money to start the Mike Grooms Scholarship Fund, a “full-ride” scholarship to Zimbabwe Christian College.
“We have to turn away students every year,” he says. “Most of the men who attend the school have a sponsor who pays their $100 a month tuition. So Enise’s gift will be the principal of what we plan to use as an ongoing fund that will bless at least one preaching student each year.”
As people have learned about Enise’s generosity, they have been inspired to donate to the fund, and Serhal hopes to offer additional scholarships in the years to come.
In addition, one donor made a very special gift.
“A young man from Ohio read about this story and sent Enise a check for $10,000, telling her he appreciated her sacrifice and wanted her to view the gift as God’s provision from the body of Christ,” Serhal says. “She tithed on it and sent me a check for $1,000.”