“I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3)
This is a truer than true statement.
It’s true when we think about our staff.
It’s true when we think about our guests.
It’s true when we think about our volunteers.
It’s true when we think about our donors.
There is a lot to be thankful for as we begin 2015 and continue our work to end homelessness in the Greater Grand Rapids area. Below are 5 things our staff is particularly grateful for in this New Year:
- SHELTER. It’s been terribly cold this year. I-can’t-feel-my-face cold. My-eyelashes-froze-as-I-walked-through-the-parking-lot cold. Please-wrap-me-in-a-blanket-forever cold. First-person-to-complain-about-it-being-too-hot-this-summer-is-getting-punched cold. You get the gist. It’s been cold. But we have shelter. A warm place to work. A warm place to live. Heated seats and electric blankets. And we have a building that is warm and comfortable and able to provide shelter to more than 240 men and 120 women and children on every cold winter’s night. GRATEFUL. JUST GRATEFUL.
- FOOD. Our team does not know hunger. Not the hunger that so many of our guests know (or have known). But we witness hunger. Every day. In 2014, Mel Trotter Ministries served more than 158,600 hot meals, an average of 435 per day, to our guests. Our staff and our volunteers got up early (way early) to cook breakfast, and they stayed late (way late) to make sure everyone was fed. And they couldn’t have done it without people like you donating hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to make it happen. GRATEFUL. JUST GRATEFUL.
- EACH OTHER. Last week our staff gathered for chapel. Gordon Oosting, the chairman of our board, asked each of us to write down three goals on a simple piece of paper. One personal goal, one spiritual goal, and one professional goal. Once we had written our goals, we were asked to fold the sheets of paper into airplanes and fly them to the center of the room. From there we picked up another’s goals and read them silently. Gordon then asked us to pray for our new-found “airplane buddy” and to encourage them and support them as they sought to achieve those goals in the New Year. Why? Because families – even work families – hold each other accountable. Because families – even work families – love each other and pray for one another. Because ALL people need help becoming like the Christ each and every day. It is a gift to be a part of this staff and this community. GRATEFUL. JUST GRATEFUL.
- YOU. In December a few generous donors offered to match our end-of-year donations up to $200,000. Our staff asked you to step up and to support the work we do to feed the hungry, lift the fallen, restore the broken, and heal the hurt. And YOU DID. You stepped up big time. You helped us reach our match goals and that just makes us sing in the best possible way. Of course there is always a need, but today: GRATEFUL. JUST GRATEFUL.
- JESUS CHRIST. Do you know why we do what we do? We do it because Jesus Christ would do it. Jesus Christ DID do it. He sought out the marginalized. He turned toward the poor. He loved those who were hard to love. He forgave without getting even. He welcomed the outlier. He took up the cross… And he does the same for us. GRATEFUL. JUST GRATEFUL.
Thank you for joining us in this New Year and for your continued support of Mel Trotter Ministries. It’s going to be a good year. You just watch!