Days before Valentine’s Day, we’re still feeling the effects of Christmas. No, it’s not because we ate too many cookies – it’s because God continues to weave a tapestry of relationships that began last December in our Christmas Shoppe.
Specifically, two families we met at the Christmas Shoppe came to the New Hope Resource Center this week.
First, Shelly. Shelly is a great mom – she has a young son named Louis, and it’s clear that he means everything to her. Although Shelly works hard to provide for her son, she’s faced some tough challenges in life. She’s also been hurt and disappointed by other agencies, too – they’ve treated her like a nuisance, like a criminal. But Shelly was so grateful and overjoyed with the way Morning Star Church wrapped its arms around her family at the Christmas Shoppe, she didn’t hesitate to ask us for help this week when she was forced out onto the streets as the snow fell and the temperature plummeted. We helped her get into emergency shelter, and we’re working on developing a long-term plan to stabilize her living situation. But we wouldn’t have had this opportunity to minister to Shelly without the Christmas Shoppe.
Secondly, Ted’s story reminds us to look for God in unexpected places. Ted’s wife participated in the Christmas Shoppe – not as a guest, but as a volunteer. She was so blessed by the joy and generosity she witnessed, that when Ted lost his job just a few days before Christmas, they knew exactly where to turn for help. This week we helped Ted pay a couple of utility bills – it wasn’t much, really, but it will keep them on their feet while they regroup. God brought Ted and his family to us and gave us the opportunity to intervene before financial strain snowballed into financial catastrophe.
The real story here is that God is working all around us. We may never know how God is using Morning Star Church and the New Hope Resource Center to change lives. Shelly and Ted remind us that relationships matter, and that God will work through the time and energy we invest in other people!