The writer of Hebrews closed out his benediction in final greetings to his readers with these words: Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead, our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen Hebrews 13: 20-21
How many of us realize that we really do have the tools and are equipped to handle the challenges of life? Some challenges require that we turn to others in the body of Christ and in our community to teach us how to be better servants, to be servant leaders, to embrace what it means to love others as ourselves. Accepting the grace of God is easy, but following the love of God is hard work.
At Steadfast House, it is easy to welcome in a homeless mom and her children. The joy and satisfaction of getting them off the street and in to a safe place is one that evokes some of God’s deep peace. The hard work begins the next morning when we learn what she is fleeing from and what she is overcoming. The stories are as graphic as any that are portrayed on television; and some call to mind the phrase: ‘You cannot make this stuff up.’ Right now, half of our residents are also Veterans. We don’t often associate Veterans with women, but we have some of the bravest and most courageous female Veterans we have ever met.
To deal with trauma is an acquired skill. I am honored to tell you that Angela Catania is leading Steadfast with the same courage and compassion that anyone would want for our Veterans and survivors of violence. She has engaged not only her team in being trained in trauma informed care, but has negotiated an arrangement that will train all of our professional staff and case managers in how to help persons cope and be properly nurtured in our transitional housing facilities. Angela also works closely with Tim McElyea to continue adding skills like motivational interviewing, peer support specialists, and reintegration skills for our staff and our residents. If you would like to be a part of about 75 different ways to impact the life of a Veteran or a homeless survivor, please be in touch with me or one of these fine directors or volunteer coordinators who would welcome the opportunity to give you a tour and introduce you to the many opportunities to impact their lives. You will find during orientation and training that we equip our volunteers as impactful as the lives we serve.
Our Medical Ministry continues its great job of transitioning patients into primary care. Offering the kind of training and education that helps individuals take more responsibility for their chronic diseases and health care is what our wonderful volunteers make possible. Specialists in endocrinology like Dr. Weinrib help tackle some of the most difficult diabetic and thyroid cases. We have podiatry that literally washes the feet of others to bring healing. Dermatologists offer help with rashes and skin disease issues that bring true relief. Our eye doctors provide valuable testing for glasses and contacts, but also to prevent blindness for diabetics. We have a sports medicine specialist who helps us address critical issues requiring x-rays and radiology that not only helps with broken bones, but identifies serious cancers and other challenges. We are honored to have the internist residents and other physician residencies from MAHEC who apply their skills while learning about the variety of ills that the uninsured have in our community. Many working physicians are there to provide the urgent care for the uninsured after a long day at the office. Our retired physicians invest the hundreds of thousands of dollars in their training to keep bringing hope and healing to the lives of those who could not afford care anywhere else.
Our Crisis Ministries are exploring a new model called Crisis Time Intervention. We are being equipped with our new database of information and referral that helps not only report outcomes better, but gives credit to all the agencies that help. After all, we do not care who gets the credit but want to see the lives of individuals and families with children have the food and clothes they need, along with the stability that comes from paying a light bill or preventing an eviction. Sometimes the best thing we can do for a family is help them stay intact and in their own homes.
Thanks for equipping ABCCM with the resources and the people to meet these needs. If God is tugging at your heart to join this great crowd of servant leaders, then please be in touch with us and engage with us soon because as I look outside my office, there is another family, another person coming through our doors needing help and you might just be the one that they need.
In His service,
Reverend Scott Rogers