Four years ago we adopted this phrase to keep us pointed toward our goal:  to house our first family before the snow flies.  When we set that goal, it was summer, but we knew the snow would come.  We had a network of congregations, we had money to hire our director, we were on track.

Then the surprises hit:  loud opposition from neighbors of our original day house site; expectations from the city about zoning compliance and fire safety.  As I think about these today, I am reminded of the surprises that have hit our families:  job loss, an ill child, earned V.A. benefits being denied.  Many families have resources with savings, extended family, or community networks and can persevere when the surprises hit.  Ours do not.  That is why we are here.

At Family Promise we also had the resources to persevere:  an attorney who rallied to our defense before the city commission, commissioners who saw the good we were bringing and came to our aid, a local church that said YES we will host first.  We will give shelter before the snow flies, even if it means our people get arrested or fined.

Give thanks this week.  We have been unbelievably blessed, particularly in having a community in which to share thanks.  Remember Family Promise, which allows us to extend community to those who need it but don’t have it—yet.