Posted by: Kerry Spencer | June 18, 2009

A new HOPE

Matt, Lindsey, and I are the year-term “Hopies” (as our director Jesse calls us). A few weeks ago, we added nine new summer-term Hopies. If you’re not familiar with the inner workings of Jeff. Street, it may be hard for you to comprehend what a huge shock to the system this is. We have a total of six full-time staff and a handful of 2nd and 3rd shift guys. Thus, the HOPE team (12 of us in all) is now a larger group than all of Jeff. Street’s regular staff combined. That’s pretty exciting. But it’s also been a bit overwhelming.

Over the past nine months, Matt, Lindsey, and I became well established in our roles and routines. We also became very close as a team. The addition of nine new teammates has meant the end of HOPE as we knew it. We now have new roles: Lindsey and I are the women’s and men’s team leaders respectively. We also have new routines, as many of the things we once did as a group of three amigos are now broken into men’s and women’s team activities. Much of the “grunt” work I am used to has been deligated to the newcomers as I am given more supervisory and administrative roles. My average day or week today looks drastically different when compared to just a month ago. All this has taken some getting used to . . . but it’s all worth it.

It is exciting that such a large group (the largest HOPE team yet) of young Christians has given up their summer to serve the homeless and urban poor. Their presence and energy is allowing us to do things we’ve never done before. We have more hands than necessary to keep up with the necessary workload. This means we are freed up to start new projects and to socialize with our homeless guests and residents like never before. In many ways, I see this as a picture of the body of Christ at work (as described in 1 Corinthians 12 and elsewhere). Besides their sheer numbers, the new team has brought additional gifts and abilities that we’ve been lacking. Even more, the summer team has brought a refreshing passion and vigor that is easy to lose through months of service. As a result, our potential and ability as a body has increased. I’m very thankful for all my HOPE teammates, new and old. They are a blessing to both the ministry of Jeff Street and to my life as well.

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