These words of Jesus… this invitation by Jesus…reminds us of our mandate to be like Jesus in similar and like fashion. And it’s an imperative that we do because…
The National Center on Family Homelessness reminds us…
Homeless children in families comprise the fastest growing group of homeless persons in the United States.
The average age of a homeless person in the United States is just nine years old.
1 in every 30 children—which amounts to about 2.5 million children—experience homelessness every year.
This too is an invitation. An invitation to tend to the most vulnerable among us.
And it is an invitation that Family Promise of Summit County has been responding to for nearly fifteen years.
In 2004, Family Promise of Summit County opened as an emergency hope center for families with children experiencing homelessness.
While many programs must separate children from their families during a homeless crisis, the mission of Family Promise is to help families with children stay together while they achieve sustainable independence.
Family Promise offers families a bridge out of despair into hope as they battle one of the toughest obstacles of their lives.
This is the mission and the goal of Family Promise of Akron—as outlined on their website—and they are the recipients of the first ever First Christian Church Chalice Grant.
The Chalice Grant was envisioned to be a “game changing” gift for an agency working to serve God’s children in a life giving, life changing, way.
And while we got applications from numerous agencies doing just that, God led us to partner with Family Promise for this first ever Chalice Grant.
Through their work, mission, and goal they say, “Let the little children come…”
And today we are blessed to have with us Jeffery Wilhite, Executive Director of Family Promise to share with us just how the Chalice Grant will be used to have that game changing, and life changing impact.
Please listen to the audio to hear Jeff’s remarks about Family Promise and the Chalice Grant.
One guest of Family Promise said…“The most helpful thing to me was the concern and love shown for my children and myself. I cannot put into words how thankful I am for the Family Promise program.” (Guest, 2018)
Another guest said, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without Family Promise, I have no idea where my children and I would be. We thank you and love everyone who works and volunteers for Family Promise.” (Guest, 2018)
And yet another guest said, “This place was a huge blessing and don’t know what we’d of done without them. This is a much needed and amazing program; thank you so much from our entire family.” (Guest, 2017)
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
When we respond to the worlds needs as Jesus calls us, and showed us, when we help create opportunities for people to find hope, it is likely we will never know just how it impacts another person.
But we know the power of hope.
We know it personally, and we know it because of the life giving impact agencies like Family Promise has for those struggling to find hope.
May we continue to make promises of hope to all God’s children—the little children, the children of all ages—because each of us is a child of God, and God, through Christ Jesus has given us the promise of hope. Amen.