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August Newsletter: A Year of Change and Hope
This is probably my hardest newsletter to write out of 11 newsletters. It is hard to imagine that my time in Louisville on the Hope team has come to a close. There is no way I could sum everything up in this last newsletter; if I did it would end up being a book! I never thought that I would learn so much about God, others, and myself in just a short year. I am a changed person inside and out because of what God has done in my life during the Hope program.
I have not only seen transformation in myself but in others as well. I may have only seen one person come to know Christ during my time here, but I know God used me in different ways to bring change, whether big or small, in people’s lives. It may not have been the visible results I wanted, but I have seen God working in the hearts of people here in Louisville. I give God the glory, because I cannot change anyone. I’m only an instrument for God who is the only one powerful enough to bring full change in a person’s life. God is still working in the lives of the people with which I built relationships, just as He is still working in my own life.
Through the ministry at Jeff Street, I was able to see multiple resident’s lives transform from living a life of destruction to a life now lived for God. These people still struggle, but each day I see them continue to seek change and want to become more like Christ, which in turn, pushes me to do the same.
As I reflect on this past year, I have never experienced so much death and suffering in my 24 years of life. Two family members, a resident at Jeff Street, two day shelter guests, and a neighbor died while I was in Louisville. Both day shelter guests were not Christians, and my heart is torn because they are not experiencing eternal life in heaven. All these other people experienced death at one time in their life apart from God, but they also experienced life with Christ and decided to live a life for Him. They may not be living a life here on earth anymore, but I know they are living an eternal life of hope with Christ.
God has taught me so much about suffering because of these deaths. After this year, I have a better concept of how to rejoice through suffering. Some days it is harder to rejoice, but because of the hope we as Christians have in Christ I’m able to rejoice and truly see what the gospel is all about.
Even though my time of serving at Jeff Street has come to a close, my job is not done. We as Christians have been called to live a life of servant-hood. As long as I live I want to serve and love God through service and love to others. All I want to do is live for Him! I’m not sure what God has in store for me after Hope, but I am more than ready to find out! I want to take everything I have learned and experienced, and apply it to the rest of my life. This will definitely be a challenge, but it’s worth it! I have no regrets about doing the Hope program, and I would do it all over again if I had the option.
I want to thank each of you for generously giving to Jeff Street and financially supporting me during this past year. I enjoyed all the encouraging cards I received. Most of all I want to thank you for the many prayers that were lifted up while I was serving in Louisville. Each one of you journeyed through this time of my life with me and made this experience possible for me. This experience has truly been life changing, and I will never forget it.
Please continue to pray for me as many things are in the air about where I’m going to live and what job I will have after I leave Louisville. Pray that I will trust and obey God during this time.
I ask that you continue to pray for the ministry of Jeff Street and the people who come there. Join me in giving to Jeff Street even though I am no longer serving there. God will provide, because He is a faithful God, and it is people like you and me who can help Jeff Street until God sees fit that it no longer needs to exist.
Hope Changes Everything,