Dr. Kyle Morton -President/Director
Kiffany Stubbs – Vice President
Dorothy Morton – Manager of Compliance and Curriculum
Whale of Hope – Based on a true story
Whale of Hope is based off the biblical story of Jonah. The story begins with God giving Jonah a special task to deliver, which entails going to the city of Ninevah and encouraging the people to refrain from their wicked ways. But instead, Jonah ran away from God because he didn’t want to complete the task. He did not feel he could be obedient to the will of God. As Jonah fled, he boarded a ship to get further away. God then sent great winds on the sea, and such great storms arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to their god, and they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
While this was taking place, Jonah was below the deck, where he laid down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain of the ship then came to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your God to save us!” Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, and let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.” So they questioned Jonah, asking, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?” Jonah answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” This terrified everyone and they asked, “What have you done?” because they knew he was running away from the Lord, since Jonah had already told them so.
The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked Jonah, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man.” Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.
Next God provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. From inside the fish Jonah prayed to God for forgiveness, as God then commanded the fish to vomited Jonah onto dry land. Jonah then goes to the city of Nineveh to carry out Gods task. As Jonah words changed the people from their wicked ways, God spared the city from destruction.
But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to predict by fleeing. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”, “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
God taught Jonah many lessons in this story. For we all are children of the most High God. We are called to his purpose and have a responsibility to help others find their way. We sometimes fail, or run from our purpose, yet Our God’s mercy gives us opportunities to repent and his grace allows forgiveness and for us to be faithful servants of him, so that we can complete our purpose. It is the mission of Whale of Hope to lead lost souls to new opportunities. We are called to lead our youth out of the belly of the fish and into a new found awakening, so that they are able to follow their divine purpose and acquire love for all things, for one day they are able to be someone’s Whale of Hope.