Posted by: Jessica Rood | October 4, 2009

October Newsletter

These last three weeks have been some of the toughest so far.  Things are different.  Different is not a bad thing, but it takes time to adjust.  I’m adjusting to new faces, new personalities, new histories, and new ideals.  I’m building new relationships.  New teammates, day shelter guests, and residents – things aren’t always easy, but that’s what Hope is all about.

Over the summer I built many valuable relationships with my team members.  That team has moved on.  Lena got married, Jess W. is getting married in November, Asha is at University of Florida and works as a weather lady for the school news, and Kiana is back in Texas finishing school.  Despite our busy schedules, we all try and keep in touch as much as possible.  One wonderful advantage for the new year is Lindsey A., she still lives in our house even though she is no longer a part of Hope.  She now has a job and other responsibilities. Emily was with me this summer and decided to stay for the year as well, since the year started we have become much closer.  Having two familiar faces is refreshing when all the newness grows tiring.

This year the guy’s and the girl’s teams have become one.  Emily, Darrell and I are all “veterans”, who have been here since the summer.  JC, Caleb, and Linsey E. are the new kids on the block.  In the first week, just like the summer, we shared our life stories.  It is very different sharing life stories with someone you just met, but when all’s said and done this helps build our relationships, and gives us prospective on each other’s lives.  This is a great way to start building relationships right away.

Relationships at the Day Shelter have changed too.  I am learning more names, having more conversations, and growing deeper friendships.  The guests are starting to know me as well.  A few days ago as I was walking out of Jeff Street, Roger, a day shelter guest, yelled “Hey Jessica,” from over a half-block away.  I turned to see him waving, and yelled “hey,” back.  I realized in that moment that I am making a difference in these people lives, what an awesome realization.

Relationships with the residents have changed as well.  There are about 30 male residents that live in the shelter.  They have a form of mental illness or a problem with addiction.   The focus of the program is to learn to rely on God for their strength.  I am here to support them by developing a positive, Christian relationship.  Several former day-shelter guests from the summer are now residents.  I’m thankful to see the transformation that is going on in their lives.  I’m thankful that I am a part of that transformation.

Sometimes relationships intertwine with the residents and the day shelter.  Donald and Sherry, are two people that I have developed friendships with.  Their relationship with each other is very tough.   I believe they both love each other, but they never focus on the positive; this hinders their relationship.  They were going to do counseling, but ended the relationship before this happened.  I try to listen to each of them and give the best advice I can, but only God can change them.  Please pray for them.  I know that they might not end up together, but they can learn how to put God first in all situations.  This will make all of their relationships better in the future.

I am really excited to see how these relationships will develop over the next year. I am excited to see how God will change them.  I am excited to share the Gospel with people I have already built a relationship with. I am excited to build new relationships. I am excited to see what God is going to do in our team.  I am excited to see more guests’ lives change.  If you would like to share in my excitement please consider supporting me financially through out the year to come.  Thank your for your Prayers, Love, and Support!

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