Hope can be a fragile thing. As we provide hospitality to the poor and marginalized of our community through Grace House, we often hear stories of fragile hope…hope that although still there, is tenuous at best.
Daily, our homeless guests bear the brunt of dehumanizing words when they are referred to as homeless trash, transients, drunks or animals. After the repetition of such ugly descriptors, our guests sadly begin to believe those words define who they really are. Rather than living up to the life-giving potential that God sees in them, they become dehumanized. Many begin to “live down” to the labels that society thrusts upon them. Hope, at such times, can truly be a fragile thing.
How many times have we also found ourselves in a place of fragile hope? Certainly, our hope seems fragile in the midst of a weakened economy, wars in various countries and legislative budget cuts that slash into the very lives of the MOST vulnerable members of our community. Yes, in times like these, hope can be a fragile thing!
Grace in Action offers the shelter of God’s hope and love. The hospitality we offer at Grace House reminds ALL of us that HOPE is still alive and that the Kingdom of God is not far away, or distant…but very, very NEAR! By providing a ministry of presence, we become active participants in Growing Hope in our community. Our hospitality to the stranger in our midst provides the setting for renewed hope as described in Isaiah 43:2.
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
We invite you to help us Grow Hope as we:
- Equip and assist a 22 year old homeless woman as she learns how to mother her newborn.
- Encourage our guests who have gone back to school or applied for jobs.
- Express our gratitude to a former homeless guest who ran for a recent open seat on the city council.
- Applaud our guests who make the choice to seek sobriety and shelter.
- Help three young children with their homework as their mother flees domestic violence and seeks a safe shelter for her family.
- Provide the only bus tickets in town to guests who must travel to Woodland for health care, prescriptions, and much needed social services.
- Host Soroptimists International as they offer special activities for homeless women.
- Provide meeting space for Legal Aid assistance for our homeless community members.
- Visit sick or recovering homeless individuals in the hospital.
- Visit guests who are in jail.
- Equip local congregation members to minister to the most vulnerable in our community.
Through all of this and more, together we remind our guests and each other that “Nothing is impossible for God.” We keep the bruised reed from breaking and the flame of the smoldering wick of hope alive!
The Board of Directors, Administrative Volunteers and one staff member of Grace in Action, experience our own sense of fragile hope as we present our “Needs and Blessings” before God, our prayer team, church partners and faithful donors. We have no road map, no solid outline of where our daily bread will come from next. In fact, we often wrestle with the tension between charity and mercy, enabling or equipping, helping or hindering as we minister to homeless individuals. Yet, we strive to walk faithfully in this mission God has called us to, because we have hope!
We have hope in the promise that God will never leave us or forsake us. We have hope in the promise that when we ask in faith for our daily bread, our needs will be met. We have hope for a better world as you join us in Growing Hope in our community. We have hope that sufficient and daily grace will be given to us as we continue to offer the shelter of God’s hope and love to those who need it most.
With deepest gratitude for your prayers, support and participation in the mission of Grace in Action.
Cindy Burger, Spiritual Director