“We always thank God for all of you…We remember before our God and Father for your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” 1Thes 1:2-3 (niv)
This passage been working on me all week. It comes alive through the stories I hear each morning about the kindness and service from the previous night – a kindness repeated nightly through the gentle hospitality of strangers which results in people having hope restored.
These daily stories are so numerous and varied. These stories involve hundreds of different people through each year. They function as a clear illustration of the key differentiator of success of the program; which is we are all a vehicle of God’s love being poured into his people through sacrificial service and beautiful hospitality. This past couple of weeks, these stories have been about a simple ride offered out to work – over the 3rd shift. About a hug offered through understanding, about a man willing to listen to another Dad, about offered prayer, a shared understanding about being a parent, support from other parents, someone offering to drive so parents can run some errands, a special birthday celebration, a photography session, a meal shared, lunch prepared for one Dad heading across country to visit a father who has taken ill, hair cuts provided for all kids, Easter egg hunts, Bingo games, bowling competitions, pizza parties, Easter dinner menu’s prepared, and multiple stories about barriers and walls crumbling down, and of course, stories of guests giving to volunteers and turning the tables of kindness and hospitality through hope restored in the other direction. There are stories of work projects, help on homework, attendance at children’s concerts and athletic events, Call to Community partners walking alongside families, taco bars, salad bars, baby showers, graduation celebrations…and on and on and on.
All of these stories remind me it is clearly not any one of us that makes this program work, move, roll, and work towards successful outcomes. It is all of us together helping people in a situation of homelessness move to sustainable and permanent housing. It is a job for hundreds of us, in mission, side by side, prompted by love and inspired by our faith and hope. It takes vulnerability in allowing yourself to be known, a bit of discomfort, lots of learning, growth, challenge and stretching, and a humble heart of service, devoted to loving well.
One of our graduates at a recent training one evening answered a question from one of the participants, “What do you need volunteers to understand most, so they can be good hosts?” The answer was beautifully stated, “Make sure you are doing this in love…because we can tell the difference.” And that is one of many stories where the recipient of the services is indeed the one who does the giving!
I thank the Lord for all of you and all the moving parts, and all those that help with logistics, transportation, availability, preparing meals, setting up and taking down rooms, hosting, playing games, reading to kids, opening your hearts and especially for all the love that is shared together in this good Kingdom work.
“clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Col 3:12-14 (niv)
May you each find blessings and God’s abundant grace during this Easter week.
Would you consider becoming a Call to Community Partner?
Call to Community is a Family Promise initiative designed to establish committed and caring relationships with individuals and families of current Family Promise guests, providing a link to the larger community and help accessing and identifying community resources.
Every new family enrolling in our program is assigned a Community Partner–or if the family is headed by a couple, a couple of Community Partners–the day they join the network. There’s progress in that assignment: one more person (or couple) knows that family’s name and stands in their court as they work to find and keep housing.
The requirements to become a Call to Community partner are pretty basic: Community Partner Volunteers must complete the basic LFP network volunteer training and have a heart for forming a committed and caring relationship with a graduated guest and their family.
The time commitment is flexible: While the term of a Community Partnership can be extended indefinitely if all parties desire to continue to participate, the initial minimum time commitment is three months, with face-to-face meetings at least two times per month.
The possibilities are endless: Community Partners hang out. Eat dinner. Throw Frisbees. Hem pants. Play catch. Run 5ks. Watch movies. Talk. Laugh. Cry. Plan. Pray. Worship. Study. Budget. Bargain hunt. Be.
And you won’t be your partner family’s only support: Call to Community partnerships will exist in addition to the case management that LFP staff provides each week for families in our network.
Please contact Katherine Dinsdale, email@example.com for more information.
Save the dates!
Wayne Simien Free Throw Challenge: April 19th, Allen Field House – benefiting both Called to Greatness and Family Promise of Lawrence. For more details, please see our facebook page or the FPL website, www.lawrencefamilypromise.org.
Imbibe: May 7th -Charity Dinner 6:30 Eldridge Hotel and May 9th Tasting event; 2-5 Abe and Jakes Landing. For more details, please see our FPL website, www.lawrencefamilypromise.org
Home Run 5K: May 25th, South Park, Lawrence – benefiting both the Lawrence Community Shelter and Family Promise of Lawrence. For more details, please see our facebook page or the FPL website, www.lawrencefamilypromise.org.
Family Promise silent auction party and golf tournament: September 20th – Auction Party at Maceli’s and September 21st – Golf Tournament at Alvamar Country Club
Day Center Urgent Needs: