“Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” - Psalms 136:26
As I reflect on 2012 I am reminded of God’s unconditional love for me, my family, those I work with and those we serve. Satan is hard at work (struggling relationships, cancer, overwhelm, relapse, frustration, heartache, pain, suffering, loss of hope, fear, shame, and downright ugliness.) These attacks are across the board...me, my family, our co-workers and the residents and guests of The Shepherd’s House. We are all struggling, and we continue to be hurt, and we continue to be broken.
BUT...God’s love never fails. (No, this doesn’t mean I suck it up and stuff still gets done anyway. This means I am learning to trust God and His unfailing love.)
A while back I told you about Jerry. Jerry came to me one morning and said “I’m in Luuuvv with Jesus.” Well, last month Jerry pulled me aside and whispered in my ear, “I woke up this morning in the Room of Grace. Thank you inviting me into the Room of Grace.”
2012 has been hard. 2012 has been an amazing demonstration of God’s love. For many of us, 2012 has been a reminder and a new beginning of living out of who God says we are.
- About a dozen men were baptized and accepted Christ as their Savior during 2012
- The long term program has remained full with a waiting list even though some chose to leave
- We have served more meals, over 26,000, in 2012 than we did in 2011 and our pantry continues to be full
- Over half of the men now have mentors from the community around us loving and walking with them
- Contributions to The Shepherd’s House were up 31% over 2011
- GNI continues to teach, train, and consult with other rescue missions throughout the country
- I, personally, have had the opportunity to love and be loved by many people around me
- And oh...the new release of Les Miserables was fabulous and continues a message of Grace
Again, 2012 has been a struggle in many ways. And again, only God receives the praise for what He is doing. I will be the first to tell you... “it was not possible, except by the Grace of God.”
You are a significant part of the Grace of God. I cannot express to you how important your prayers and support have been to us during this past year. Thank you. Thank you for allowing God to work through you in so many ways during our first year of ministry.