Right about now, if you’re anything like me, you might be really ready for spring. Winter had its place, but I am eager to be warm, to have more hours of glorious sunshine, and to see the barren landscape around us come alive with color (my allergies may not agree with me on that last one!). I know I’m not alone. Winter can definitely be a hard, cold, and barren time.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a season of life that kind of feels like winter. That’s certainly true for many of the men who come to the Mission. We work hard to offer hopeful signs of a coming spring, a new season of life. As I write this, we’re preparing to hand out special winter blessing bags to the men tonight. They were made with love by friends of the Mission. I’ll also be hanging up some posters that local school children made and dropped off today to brighten our walls. Countless little blessings like these serve as markers of hope – hints that a new season is coming.
Seeing other men succeed and graduate and move into their own place is also a sign of hope for men currently in the Program. Just last week, Rob rented a U-Haul, loaded up his belongings (including his New Home Welcome Kit full of supplies for setting up his new place) and moved out. He’s coming back tonight to celebrate what God has done in his life at his graduation ceremony. He texted me this morning just to assure me he would be here and was excited for tonight! Rob is enjoying this new season of life.
Some season changes are harder than others, especially when the passing season has been so rich and delightful. That’s what we’re experiencing now as our own beloved director and leader of three wonderful decades, Bob Emberger, is stepping more and more out of daily Mission life and into retirement, with his declining health being the driving factor. Do keep him in prayer! On a joyful note, please see this invitation and make plans to celebrate the fruit of faithful ministry with us at his official retirement celebration on April 22nd. We weren’t able to gather sooner because of COVID. We’re glad we can finally gather to celebrate him! I hope you can join us! Details and information on how to reserve a place are here (tickets are free, but reservations are required due to space limitations).
As always, thank you for your part in sharing God’s love with all who come through our doors! God’s richest blessings to you and yours!
Grace and peace,
Heather L. Rice, D.Min.