Posted by: Jessica Rood | August 2, 2009

August Newsletter

Dear Loved Ones,

My summer term here at Jeff Street is about to come to an end. After August 14th the summer HOPE team will be no longer. As I sit here thinking about this it brings tears to my eyes. I have grown so much during these past few months and cannot imagine life without anyone of the girls. We are all so very different but have worked through the differences and have become very close. They have challenged me in ways I would never think possible. The exciting news is that Emily and Darrell, who were both on the summer team, will be staying along with me for the year.

Having people I already know will be very rewarding. When I first got here it was so exhausting building relationships with the Hope team, neighbors, and guest at the day shelter. I will now have some of these relationships built and will be able to focus on them and not get so exhausted. It is so awesome to see relationships go from mere acquaintances to meaningful friendships. Relationships are such a vital part of this program. You are always around people. You live, work, laugh and cry, with the same group of people 24 hours of the day. If you do not learn how to ask for forgiveness and repent you will have a very stressful and miserable time. On the other hand when people ask for forgiveness you must in turn offer grace. As a house this is what we have been learning. Each of us has had to ask and offer grace and forgiveness. It is amazing how much closer this has brought us as a group. It has helped us to work out conflict and become as one body working together. 1 Corinthians 12:19-21 says, “If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!””. This is how we had to work as a team. We had to become one body working for the glory of God.

I have also built many relationships with the people in the day shelter. Jesse, our director, asked us to pick one person from the shelter and one from our neighborhood to personally seek out and minister to. In the day shelter I picked a lady, Janet, who was very open with me the first time I met her. She lives in the local rescue mission and has a few boyfriends. Recently, one of them pushed her, which ended with a trip to the hospital. I asked her why she would want to stay with a man that hurt her and is dangerous. Her response was that she didn’t know. I want to talk to her more one on one but it is very difficult to do this in the shelter because she is always sitting with a group of people. In the next year I am looking forward to being able to go deeper with this relationship. I will be able to do this more and hopefully even outside the shelter. I have also built many relationships with many other people and am looking forward to seeing what God is going to be doing.

The intentional relationship within the neighborhood is with my next door neighbor, Bonnie. Her and her husband had been separated but they are now back together. They can both have a temper but are working on it. A few weeks ago they got into a fight with the neighbor across the street. We were getting facials done at our neighbors, Nora. Nora is a Christian as well. Bonnie came over to apologize to all of us for what had happened. Nora shared with us how far she has come since she moved in. Prior to this day she would have not come back to apologize. Bonnie’s husband goes to a men’s Bible study every Saturday, which is very encouraging to see. I have not had the opportunity to build much of a relationship but I am looking forward to fostering a deeper one throughout the year.

Building these relationships is one of the main reasons why I believe God is calling me to stay for the next year. Through this year I will be able to develop a much deeper connection with people and be able to share the Gospel. In this season of my life this is where God is calling me. I would not have this opportunity without your support. HOPE for Louisville and Jeff Street are ministries that I am very passionate about. In order to be able to do what I am doing for the year I need to raise $7,700. This goes towards housing, transportation, food, insurance, and various other expenses. If you are able to support me financially you can send your tax-deductible contributions made payable to Jefferson Street Baptist Center attn: HOPE, 733 Jefferson Street, Louisville, KY 40202. Please make sure to designate your check towards my support by writing my Account Fund ID# (HOPE-0910-JR1) on the memo line of the check. HOPE will send a receipt for each gift given. Do not write my name anywhere on the check as this may negate the tax deductibility of your donation. Please pray about sponsoring me on this next journey of my life.

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