Helping Fulfill God's Promise
The small community center where I serve is housed in a storefront located in a neighborhood that our large city has designated as an area of need. Most of those we serve are older adults, single parents and teenagers. Many struggle to meet basic needs. The adults struggle economically while the children struggle academically. They all struggle socially.
When I look at this community and the people who live here I am reminded of Ezekiel 36:8-16 when God promises the mountains that they will no longer be allowed to kill God's people. I believe that God is using the services that we provide to no longer allow situations and circumstances to oppress God's people in this community. We have been placed here as God's servants to provide assistance and hope in any way that we can. The need is great and continues to grow each day.
Our food pantry serves twice as many clients as it did six months ago. The food and assistance that we provide often helps a client manage "until the end of the month." Our homework help program provides support and instruction for middle school aged students who struggle in school. Students attending this program continue to show improvement in social skills as well as academic skills. And those attending our senior (older adult) program enjoy a friendly atmosphere for socializing with peers, experiencing cultural events and gaining information.
At this center, through our service, we bear witness daily a message of love, hope and salvation. The work is quite demanding but just as rewarding. When a mother says "thank you" for a food package with tears in her eyes or a student proudly displays his or her first passing grade on a test we truly feel the joy of service. We also know that we are being used to help relieve oppression.
Gracious God, help us be your living message of love, hope and salvation. Amen.