Written by Diane Abshire, St Luke’s
Streaking through the far-flung hallways of St. Luke’s one morning, our 3- year old guest was intent on finding something precious. As our affectionately dubbed ‘whirling dervish’ raced around, eluding adults and popping his head into different rooms, our Sexton Mike Patterson stopped him and asked, “What is it that you’re looking for?” “I’m looking for God!” he emphatically replied, before darting off again.
His devoted mother later explained. As a single mother with four young children who had become homeless in the middle of winter, she was thankful, yet quite nervous, about being sheltered by Faith Family Hospitality. What would it be like to move each week to a different congregation? Would well-meaning volunteers judge her at each turn? Would her children, perhaps being directed by different adults with different rules, act out? Would her children judge her for not providing them with a home? Through her personal anguish, and yet recognizing her methodical strength in becoming drug free for over a year, escaping an abusive relationship, and working now part-time, she recognized the opportunity to make this a positive experience for her children. So she held back her tears of fear before arriving at St. Luke’s shelter and told them this story.
“We are going on an adventure together! We will get to visit different Houses of God each week, and live in them! We will have our own room, and our own beds. Kind volunteers will even serve us delicious, warm meals!” Her 6 year-old asked, “Does that mean we will have servants?” “Well, kind of!” “Will we see God?” “Absolutely!”
Thanks be to God for the strength and faithfulness of this devoted mother! May Faith Family Hospitality replace her all-consuming burden of finding overnight shelter and food for her young family with gracious hospitality, freeing her to focus her energies – with the help of our many partner organizations – on achieving self-sufficiency! And, may all of us at St. Luke’s keep our current FFH guest families, as well as the up to 16 families on our wait-list, in our hearts and prayers as they work towards permanent housing!