Happy Fourth of July! How is it that we are already in the middle of summer? I hear frequently from teachers a certain cry of lament that July 4th marks the half-way point of summer, but I can hardly believe how quickly it arrived this year. Perhaps some of the glorious weather in July has something to do with that!
We have some exciting events planned for tomorrow night. The families are currently staying at First United Methodist Church, and they have arranged for some extra fun for the 4th. First, and probably most exciting for the guests, they are going to be able to sleep in tomorrow morning (past 6:30!) and then are to be treated to a 4th of July Breakfast celebration! In the evening our van driver, John, will be shuttling everyone over to the west campus of First Church, for a grill out and watching fireworks! We are so grateful to our brothers and sisters at FUMC who have worked hard to make this a fun and special holiday for the guests.
We are running full at 4 families, but with only 9 individuals. Two of the current Moms are working full time and ought to be able to save quickly to move out into permanent housing within the next month. One Mom has already signed a lease for August 1st and we are all very excited for her. One single Dad and a single Mom are looking for full time work, and they are hitting it hard. Please keep them in your prayers during this often frustrating job search time.
We were given a very thoughtful Father’s day gift from a generous anonymous donor, who purchased gift cards for each family for dinner and movie. There was overwhelming gratitude for this fun evening for all the families. What a rare treat to take your family out to a restaurant and catch a show. I think Superman, Man of Steel was the clear winner of the movie of choice!
I’m sure many of you have bumped into Joe Williams, one of our van drivers and a graduate of the program. We are about to bid a farewell to Joe, as he is heading back to Mississippi to live with his daughter. Joe is a regular fixture at the day center, and at many of the congregations. He is always one for a story (or 10!), a smile, a bit of advice and a hug. We will miss him tremendously. Please keep Joe and his family in your prayers. You are well loved Joe!
All the kids in the program this summer are enrolled in either boys and girls club, some summer camp activities, or are in child care, so the current feel of the day house thus far this summer is actually very quiet. This is highly unusual! I may have to start working Saturdays to get my kid fix! We have used up all our pool passes, so if you feel so moved, and would like to contribute to helping these children burn off some summer energy, we certainly can find use for some pool passes!
We are so pleased that families are moving in and graduating more quickly this year than last, primarily due to the amount of employment opportunities that have opened up in town. So far this year, we have been able to serve 12 families in the rotation. That said, it is still very tough for families in Douglas County. We have received 11 referrals today alone from families inquiring of our services. The need is so large and sometimes feels overwhelming.
However, the people of Lawrence, the network of congregations in the Family Promise rotation, the generosity and abundance of God’s family all leads to some wonderfully creative options to problems. Stay tuned later this week for another note which I will describe one response to this serious issue that Family Promise of Lawrence has launched over the past 9-months – Temporary Housing!
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”. Ps. 34:8-10 (niv)
I pray as I am writing that you each have a safe and wonderful summer holiday. Enjoy, laugh, taste and see… The Lord is indeed very good!!!
Thank you for your support and prayers for Family Promise of Lawrence.
Blessings and only through Grace,
Day Center needs:
Hand soap (the liquid type)