1 John 1:14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (HCSB)
Winter here is coming in like a lamb with mild temperatures and very little snow. While this is good for those of us who haven’t put up our Christmas lights yet, it will be nice to wake up to a clean blanket of snow covering everything one of these mornings. I think we are buttoned up and ready for cold and snow here at the shelter. My honeybees were nice enough to share about 90 lbs. of honey with me before their season was over. I am thankful to have honey to share with friends and family!
Michelle is staying busy taking some college courses and facilitating a women’s bible study group. I am thankful for our men’s group every Friday morning. Chase (12th grade) and Jonah (8th grade) are busy with school, wrestling, hunting, and other fall/winter activities. Michelle and I stay busy chasing them around. We are hoping to do a little ice fishing this winter and maybe a little skiing if I can find the ambition to dig my old skis out of the garage (I think that’s where I left them) (it’s been a couple of years). Michelle is getting excited to do some more snowshoeing this winter while I am excited at the idea of a warm quiet house and a good book. We never take for granted the blessing to live in a place where we can enjoy the change of seasons, the water, and the woods.
This winter may be starting with fewer residents, 3 in emergency shelter, 2 in transitional housing, but we aren’t any less busy for some reason. It seems like we are always running to one place or another, if it’s not the grocery store it’s the doctor, or a job interview, or to pick up a donation of food or clothing. This year we are on pace to put on over 20,000 miles of transportation. Thankfully we have dependable vehicles and reliable staff who work together to meet the needs of our residents. We have 2 single male residents and 1 single female staying with us right now. We have had several single men with us this summer but for the last couple months most of the calls we have received have been from single ladies and a few families. We just had a family of 5 check out last month. We have two single male participants in our Transitional Housing Program and they are doing well. We are serving a total of 5 households, occupying all 4 of our apartments. We do have a couple of empty beds so we don’t have to turn people away, but we get calls almost every day. Overall things are going smoothly here at the shelter; our program participation numbers are consistent year-over-year. I continue to lead the singing portion of Church services on Sunday and we are enjoying our Wednesday night Bible study. Some of our residents are interested in the discussions and message while too many are not. All we can do is provide the opportunity.
We just finished the 1st quarter of our 6th year of emergency shelter operations. For the 1st quarter we provided 573 nights of shelter with 12 residents. LAST YEAR TOTAL we provided 1,791 nights of shelter, just under FY 12/13, 1,848 nights of shelter. ALL TIME YTD: 9,191 nights of shelter. LAST YEAR TOTAL we served 36 total residents including 20 single men, 4 single women and 3 families comprising 12 people. ALL TIME we have served 184 total residents. Annually we typically receive approximately 120 calls from people looking for shelter. We continue to average about 5 residents per night. We have had up to 12 people here at a time. We continue to help people transitioning from jail, rehab, and probation/parole providing a stable supervised place from which they could find employment and seek housing. We have expanded and maintained a great working relationship with the other service providers in our community to help families find the assistance and resources they need to move forward with stabilizing their lives. We average about 15,000 miles every year helping transport residents to doctor appointments, court dates, or even just to the grocery store.
Please keep in prayer our staff; our case manager Gene, who continues to struggle with ongoing health issues after his heart attack, and our intern, Russ, who is adapting well to life after his abdominal abscess surgery. Both Gene and Russ are doing well but neither are pain or symptom free. Please continue to keep them both in your prayers. Kathy and I are staying busy. I am blessed to work with people doggedly determined to follow God’s plan for their lives while they live out their faith. Please continue to pray for our residents as they struggle to grasp hold of stability and sobriety. My prayer is that they come to realize the true peace that comes not from an absence of conflict or struggle, but from the knowing faith of salvation and a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your continued prayers. It is through your persevering faith in God’s ministry here that we are able to keep doing His work in our community. We are so thankful for your donations of time spent in prayer on our behalf, the gifts of day-to-day supplies, and your generosity of financial support that keeps us moving forward in HIS perfect plan.
In His Service,
Psalms 63:3-4 My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life. So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands. (HCSB)