What a difference a week makes in this organization! The beginning of this beautiful fall month we had 4 families, and 15 people. The children made up 10 of those, and consisted of 3 babies, 2 in elementary and 5 teenagers! Fast forward 1 week: 3 families graduate from the rotation, 1 family moves into the program, we still have 12 people, 3 adults and 9 children, consisting of 2 babies, 3 in elementary, 3 preschoolers and 1 at the middle school.
Little people are filling the day house with shrieks of excitement and curiosity. The “why” question is asked of me at least 323 times each day (note: probably a slight exaggeration). I actually used the “why” model of questioning in my years in the business sector as a way to find the root of a problem…now as it is asked, I am reminded of my own children, and how many years ago that was (my oldest is applying for colleges now). The “why” question makes me smile and is quite a challenge as I try to give each question some reasonable answer.
Why do you write so many emails? Why do we have to do chores? Why do we have to log off the computers? Why do you have to go to another meeting? Why can’t I go to school yet? Why do you take so many notes? Why can’t I play soccer in the house? Why can’t we go upstairs to the teen room? See WHY I smile!…
Actually this has helped me think we don’t really change much as we grow older and wiser. I still ask some of the same questions, “Why do I write so many emails?, Why do I have to go to another meeting? Why can’t they go upstairs to the teen room?” But I also find myself asking, “why can’t this family catch a break? Why is there so much generational pain and trauma in this world? Why can’t these children have a home to have a birthday party in? Why do some seem to be stuck? Why does this mom or dad have to suffer through depression on top of the stresses of raising a family in a homeless situation? Why God do you allow these things to occur?”
And let me say I certainly do not have the answers, so even if you read ahead, you will not see some theological brilliance! You won’t even see the answer to why I write so many emails! But I can say that even though there are days when I am fatigued beyond anything I’ve experienced before on the job – including doing business in multiple time zones…that I see God’s brilliance, his care, his details and his immense love for the family. I see daily, including on those days when I’m wiped – God’s family coming together to serve and provide before I am even aware of the need. I see his care, his love, his peace, his healing presence. I see love in action through God’s people loving God’s people. Why? Just because He Is.
Why so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Ps 42:5 (NIV)
Transitional Housing News:
We have generously been given the use of 2 single family units for transitional housing. One family has already moved in and out. This was a gradutate family who was needing a place between homes. They got their new place to be move in ready and were in and out in 6 weeks. What a blessing to this family to have a safe place to stay for those 6 weeks. They moved in furniture from the Lawrence Family Promise Furniture ministry and stocked the kitchen and bedding from the Helping hands closet at First Christian Church.
We are about to do the same for the 2nd property, which has been offered to LFP for use by one of our partner churches, Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church. We are so blessed by this additional property and are preparing it for move in ready this weekend. Someone kindly donated a carpet cleaning service that they purchased at our silent auction (talk about a win/win!). We are cleaning and painting the inside of the house on Saturday. Please read below for information on the workday, or check our family promise of lawrence facebook page! We will then fill the home with furnishings, and kitchen items. We are so blessed and have hearts of gratitude to our brothers and sisters at Grace EPC for their generosity.
One of our current families in the rotation will likely be moving into the Grace house later this month, and 2 graduate families are in need of some transitional options, so will be in the 2 bedroom home also later this month.
Another example of God’s provisions and answering our “why” questions!
Work Project for Transitional Housing:
If you would like to help Family Promise prepare the 2 homes for new gradutates of the LFP program, please consider giving a portion of your weekend Saturday, October 13th between 9 – 2. We are needing cleaning help and interior painting help. If you have interest in helping, even if for an hour, please email dana: firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have put this on our facebook page as an event, so you can respond there as well. Thank you for considering giving a bit of this beautiful fall weather to make a house a home for a future graduate of family promise.
October 23, 2012 6:30 PM at Eudora UMC
November 4, 2012 at 9 and 11:15AM at Lawrence Wesleyan Church
November 7, or 8 (TBD) at Plymouth
Interested in hosting a training at your congregation? Please let me know: email@example.com
Blogs and Facebook:
I am going to float this idea past you again! Please send me your Family Promise story. Each of you has a story to share. Don’t worry about being a blogger or an expert facebooker! We want our blog on our website to be the voice of family promise – and that voice is your voice – the voice of the volunteers, guests, graduates, coordinators, donors, sponsors, clergy, tutors, coaches, teachers and friends. Please send us your story, and we will get it on our webpage. The stories shared thus far have been a delight. I hope some of you have been logging in to read them.
Day Center Needs:
Garbage bags (30 gallon)