Stories from the Basement

Stories from the Basement: March 2014

By Donna Clark RN, Director

Every morning before I leave the house I try to read a devotional, using either the “Upper Room” or “Our Daily Bread”. Today I picked up “The Upper Room” and God hit me between the eyes. It is based on the Esther 3- 4:14. What a great story of faith and trust in God.

Here in our office in the church basement the volunteers come to serve those in need with hope and anticipation of helping everyone who enters the office. They open themselves to God’s will and are sometimes amazed that ideas just seem to come out of nowhere into their heads and the problems get solved. God’s presence is a part of this office and is as real as the people who sit and talk to the clients. It is a blessing to be a part of His work.
The Community Emergency Shelter Project (CESP) closes this Saturday morning and the guests are getting nervous. You and I would have started to think about where we were going next on the day we entered the shelter project but, the mentality of many of these guests is to only look ahead at the next 24 hours. In the past three months we have seen men get reunited with family, others get jobs and housing, and still others get into programs that will assist with returning to being productive members of our community. Some guests have used the shelters just to stay warm and safe through this very hard winter. CESP is a worthy project and we thank all who have invested their time, money, and prayers over the last months.

One short story: A veteran who claimed to have never been homeless before appeared in the program. He was connected with the VA Services but refused any help from them as he felt someone else could use the money better than him. He believed that he would find work and housing quickly. A part of the shelter project for two months, he searched relentlessly for work. Pawning his tools for gas money and phone card time he worked so hard to remain independent. Two weeks from the end of the shelter project he found work, was able to pass the physical and drug test, reclaimed his tools and started work. Yesterday he found someone to share rent with and left the shelter after dinner last night. God is good!