God loves you! He wants the very best for you. If you have had a vacation or the chance to reflect on His many blessings in the mountains or a beach or your home, then your response to worship and thank Him naturally wells up within us. Psalm 84 starts out with this joy of longing for His courts and celebrating him through worship. Then the Psalmist changes gears in verse 5 and says, “Blessed are those whose strength is in You, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.” NIV
This “pilgrimage” builds springs for others, and pools to collect water so that everyone in the community is nourished.
Is your pilgrimage ready to nourish and be a spring of fresh water to someone in need? Summer, more than any other time is when I reflect on where we have come from and where God is taking us. Every chance I get, I tell our homeless residents, our clinic patients, our families in the Crisis Ministry or inmates at the jail: the churches love you and our volunteers love you. They have experienced the grace of God, His forgiveness, and His strength and want to share with you.
Our churches, volunteers, donors and others at ABCCM want our neighbors, our Veterans, our workers, our disabled to be strengthened. They want them to have needed food and clothes. They want them to reach fuller potential by offering new strategies, skills, education and jobs. ABCCM is equipping men, women and families with these new skills and jobs, along with access to medical, dental, and medicine that result in stronger lives, healthier families as well as stronger members in our churches who volunteer.
In community terms, ABCCM is improving the social determinants of health. We are working with a host of churches and other community organizations to build a healthier community by improving food/nutrition, transitional and permanent supportive housing, access to health care, along with assisting with electric and water bills, while preventing evictions. But we are also connecting our participants with social networks, education and training that result in better jobs and stable housing.
ABCCM soon knows if that one in four homeless person needs only the basic necessities, a safe place and some coping skills to move on in 45 days (or less). We know that two out of four need some education and training to give them skills to embrace a new future, a second chance to be stable and successful in 180 days (or less). We know that the last one out of four homeless persons needs more intensive services. If we provide peer support service, trauma informed care, job training and education to build a social network of community and church, then they exit with a new home, stable income and friends/family.
ABCCM is embracing the best practices and offering our best through the strength of our churches, volunteers and supporters. If you are hearing a call in your pilgrimage, or a nudge from the Spirit, or an overflow of your blessings to impact someone’s life – please visit us, take a tour, join another ABCCM volunteer from your congregation and be part of strengthening a family, a Veteran, a hard worker, an Hispanic family, someone fleeing abuse – by just giving a second chance. By giving of yourself in this way, you will find your own heart has been strengthened.
Reverend Scott Rogers