Posted by: Jessica Rood | July 3, 2009

July Newsletter

Dear Friends and Family,

You ask how HOPE is going; I would say it is amazing. Right this moment though I am so tired. It is very hard to live in a community like this. Here you take on the burdens of the people around you: the people in the shelter, the people in the community, and your teammates. I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained. With all this I know that I could not go through HOPE without God. He is the only thing that you can cling to. In Isaiah 40:28-31, we can find our strength in the Lord: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” This verse reminds me where my strength comes from. It comes from the Lord and He is the only one that can get me through the summer and next year.

Life is not easy. I am being taught that over and over again. Many of these people are here because of the choices they have made. Some are not ready to change and others are but just do not know how. The more and more I talk with the people at the shelter the more I get to see a glimpse of their life. This past Sunday I was talking to Tim. We had a really good conversation. We talked about everything from God to drugs. He knows that God exists and is real but right now he feels that he can not have a relationship with Him because of all the bad things he is doing. Tim told me that he is on drugs and drinks. He also told me a dream that he had. He knows a lady who was very involved in drugs and prostitution but one day wanted to quit it all. She went to the local rescue mission and talked to the lady in charge. That day she decided that she never wanted to go back to the street. She currently has a job and an apartment. This was Tim’s dream. He has been sober before but slipped back into drugs. He has also been told over and over that he can change. The issue is that he can not change. Without the love of Christ we are all sinners and can not do anything right. We need the grace and mercy that Christ has to offer us. Tim’s dream is to change but the only way to do that is to cling to Jesus through the good times and the bad. Yesterday I saw Tim again and he walked away as soon as I sat by him. This was hard to see but all I can do is pray for him. I also ask you too pray for Tim so that he may find Christ and cling to him and become sober.

Through a lot of prayer and counsel I have decided to stay on the HOPE program for the next year. This decision has not been easy. Selfishly I want to go back to school because I want to see all my friends. That would be the easy thing to do but I feel that God is calling me here for the next year. There is so much that I need to learn about loving God and loving others and at this point in my life I feel that is more important than pursuing more education. This is a season that God is calling me to pursue after Him. Here at HOPE you have to cling to God so much that you learn to fully rely on Him. This next year is going to be very difficult but I know that it will be a time of drawing near to God.

I ask for you to pray for Jeff Street. God is doing some amazing things here. Sometimes it is difficult to see everything He is doing but He is truly at work here. Also, pray for our neighborhood: Shelby Park and Smoketown. Life is very difficult there and it is hard to see how people live but God is in control and He is sending people into the city to reach the broken. Please also pray for me. This has been a time of great change in my life. I have to fully rely on God for everything. My team has raised 81% of what we need to raise for the summer. With me staying on an additional year I have to raise $7,700. I know God will provide and I have to put my Trust in Him.

May the Lord Bless You!

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