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Already the week is busy busy busy.

Applications. I am SO glad we only go through this twice a year. Met with a couple of the families today, one set will definitely come back, the other single mother, I'm just not sure. She is my age, has 4 kids, and is just really apprehensive about stepping out on her own. I don't blame her. Though she doesn't have custody of all of her kids, she's been through a whole lot and is terrified of change. I think we all are. It is funny to me that the message at counterculture this Sat night was about change. How God sees us through change and though bad things happen, God takes those things and completely turns them around. What I wouldn't give to see God just completely change the people that I've met who would like to be in our program. I'm sure I will, but listening to such difficult stories right from the start is tough. It makes me wonder where God was in all of these people's trials. Where was God when a 14 year old ended up pregnant, had to leave home because her mother was an addict and then she ends up down the same path? That right there, that is hard. I know that I just have to trust and believe that God is preparing all of our residents and future residents to be people that they could never have dreamed being. I can only hope that I can be a positive influence, a smiling face, someone who cares. Today one of the client advocates asked the case manager and I why we do this. What is in it for us. It is scary for someone who has never been given anything in his or her life to accept that others want to help. So saying why we do this tends to start to open up the lines of communication. We both said that we do this because we only hope to help people realize their own potential. We have both been so blessed that we want to give back. We want to offer support to those who lack support because we've had support or have been through times where we could have benefitted from it. That is still something that is very very hard to comprehend.

Enough with the deep thoughts, but on to happy ones... we are so very close to having the apartments. All we need now is a closing date. The negotiations have been rough, both sides ended up giving a little, but with any luck we will be moving out of our offices sometime in the next couple of weeks and will be all set up. The apartment complex is 24 units which is great for the short term plan. In the long term... probably 10 years down the road or so, they'll be looking at building a larger complex and expanding. It is SO wonderful to be in on this in the very beginning. It is exciting to move though it will be hard to not see those friendly church office faces anymore. I'm hoping that I'll spend some time over there because of some aspects of my job. I'm sure we'll still drive back for staff meeting but it is going to be a whole new environment with just the 3 of us on staff setting out on our own. I am thankful every day for the ministry that I've been placed at and I hope that things can continue to run fairly smooth through all of this transitioning. Yay for the apartment complex!
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2 Comments:

Hi, Laura
It sounds like you have a real challenge ahead of you. Just know that the people of Grace Community UMC will keep you in our prayers. With your permission, I will quote some of your journal entries in the church newsletter and bulletins.
Kay Fisher

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:00 AM  

Hi Laura,
Wow! What challenges you are facing! I struggle just having to talk to people over the phone who want to hear that Nazareth Farm will send someone out right away to fix their caving in roof or floor or whatever needs to be done to their home. It is really hard to have to ask where they live and then only if they live in the boundaries where we work take down their information to send them an application and explain to them that we have to go through a process and that even if they do get accepted as a site, it could be a few months before we can work on their house. But having to meet with people face to face who need a place to live. That's really hard. May God continue to grace you with strength.

Finally, when I read the part about your question of where God was and your response that you have to trust that God is leading them somewhere. I have to say that I really don't think everything shitty that happens in the world is God's will. I think humans have free will and make choices that have consequences. God's grace is offered to us to help us make choices that place us in the center of God's will, but that doesn't mean that we are open to God's will. I don't know, maybe I'm putting too much on human free will, but I really don't think God wills people to get pregnant at age 14 and become drug addicts. I think that God is always there, but we aren't always attentive and sometimes it is not our faults that we are not attentive. Maybe someone, say a drug addicted relative, is distracting us or leading us away, but that doesn't mean God is not there. Or maybe God is there and the person who needs help is searching for help, but the rest of us aren't doing are part...aren't being the hands and feet of God. The saying goes, God's got no body but your body. So if people aren't reaching out to support others, then once again, that is human failing, not the failing of God. But it sounds like you are reaching out and being God's hands and feet and for that the world is very, very, blessed.
may Christ's grace and peace be yours,

By Anonymous Jenny, at 11:19 PM  

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