Posted by: Jessica Rood | December 7, 2009

December Newsletter

Dear Family and Friends,

Thanksgiving is defined as “the act of rendering thanks, or expressing gratitude for favors or mercies”.  I thank God daily for allowing me to be where I am right now in life.  I am so blessed to love what I am doing.  Even though I hate getting up at six each morning, it is all worth it. Upon arriving at the shelter I might be sleepy eyed and tired but I will soon have a smile on my face.  Not a fake smile either a true genuine smile. When the days are tough and busy, like they have been recently, God always gives me a reason to smile.  It could be a good conversation with a teammate, day shelter guest, a resident, or staff member or just seeing someone I had not seen in a while.  I do not deserve the mercy and grace that God shows me daily but I am very thankful for it.

This Thanksgiving season was a great example of the grace and mercy God has granted me. I was not able to go home this Thanksgiving and see my family, but I was able to find community at three different Thanksgiving meals.

The first meal that I had the opportunity to participate in was with my community group.  Our church, Sojourn, has small discipleship groups known as community groups for us to be involved in during the week. There are around 15 people in my community group.  Most of my community group has known each other for a long time, so it was hard at first to get plugged in because they already had relationships established. However, relationships have slowly started to develop. When we had our Thanksgiving meal on Tuesday, I felt like we were a family for the first time.  We were all sharing a meal together and fellowshipping with one another. I am truly blessed to be able to be a part of this community group.

I had a second Thanksgiving meal Wednesday night at Jeff Street. It was a meal where we served 211 guests and had around 70 volunteers.  I was the hostess for the evening and coordinated some of the volunteers to assist our guests to their seats. I was able to have good conversation with some of the volunteers and also with the guests. This was a time I was able to reflect why I am at Jeff Street and also share it with people that do not normally get the opportunity to serve at Jeff Street.

The last and final meal I had been out my own home. We had a neighbor cook food for us. Originally she had wanted to cook for us and invite us to her house, but she ended up going out of town. We made additional food as well because of the extra people who came over. Besides the six hope team members; we had Kiana, a summer Hope team member and three residents from Jeff Street all sitting around one table.  Arnold, Tony, and Jason were quite a crew. I laughed throughout the whole meal. When the meal was done we decided to play the game Apples to Apples. This was a time when labels were dropped and we became just ten friends hanging out and enjoying each others company.

Thanksgiving week was very busy but it was a wonderful time of growth in the community.

I am so blessed to have this opportunity to serve others. I would not be having this experience without you. Without your prayers and support I would not be here. I thank you so much for giving me this privilege. God is using me in ways I would never think possible.

Thank you and Much Love,

TO DONATE TO HOPE | Send your tax-deductible donation to
Jefferson Street Baptist Center | Attn: HOPE 733 East Jefferson Street | Louisville, KY 40202
Fund ID # HOPE-0910-JR1 Make sure to include ID in the check’s memo line
You can also donate on our HOPE website at
Visit our online journal at

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