Unexpected Hope

slide-0031I knew we had a reason to celebrate when we had our Grand Opening for the Community of Hope. I didn’t know the positive impact it would have for one family in our program. Mom and kids were very excited to greet our guests, helping to prepare the space and dressing their best. They eagerly welcomed guests and were happy to share their gratitude for the opportunity to have a safe place to stay. The volunteers, donors, board members, partner agencies, press, and government officials were charmed by them.

Then the unexpected happened.

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Preparing our Space

2014-01-17 21.59.16During the past weeks we have been transforming rooms into a welcoming space for our residents. Many volunteers have spent hours working. Generous donors have provided us with most of what we need. Community minded businesses have given us discounts or donations to help prepare.

There are three spaces we have worked on.

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Joy and Thanksgiving

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We are in the middle of “the holidays.” Thanksgiving is the time we celebrate how thankful we are, and during the Christmas season we are supposed to be full of joy. It is wonderful to take special seasons to focus on these things, but in reality, thankfulness and joy are not always evident in our lives, especially when we go beyond surface “happiness” and “I get what I want” to the deeper experience of true contentment. I have been thinking about how thanksgiving and joy are connected.

Our greatest joy comes

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Justice

Justice-DANCE
I’ve probably been guilty of all the relationship-wrecking behaviors that I’ve occasionally seen in others. When hurt, slighted or offended, we want the offenders to get their “just deserts.” We want to be right. Maybe we just want what’s fair, for ourselves or for others. We think we want justice. In either case, we might believe we need to fight to protect ourselves from hurt and to get what we think we or another needs or deserves.

I’ve learned that justice is more about restoring God’s order. It’s about …

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Water Bottle Sandals

water bottle sandals

I got this picture as I was starting to work at the Community of Hope, a friend sent me this picture. It symbolizes for me the resiliency of people who have limited resources, but use what they have in creative ways.

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