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Shrinking Hopelesness ll

I had a long conversation with a young woman who suffers from a whole cocktail of mental illnesses and suffers from the treatment she receives from ‘so called’ well people. Her life is so difficult and sometimes she despairs that there is any light at the end of this dark tunnel. I cry with her and encourage her that God can be trusted with our future. My wife shared with her the verse from Jeremiah (the weeping prophet) “ I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” (29:11)
I spent a good deal of time with another young woman who is struggling to get free from crack cocaine and the life it has led her into. She feels trapped; by bad decisions in the past, by the ‘friends’ she is surrounded with, by the neighbourhood she lives in and the guilt and shame which overwhelms her. She is a natural comedienne and we spend a lot of time laughing and I try to share that despite outward appearances there is hope.
I’ve been meeting with a guy who has spent a significant part of his life behind bars. He finds the world, he is about to be released into, daunting. He reminds me of a timid tortoise. He pokes his head out but finds it to frightening and so pops it back in. I am encouraging him to step out of his shell and engage in life. He is afraid he is ‘institutionalised’ and will never fit in but I tell him there is hope.
I often find that after I share a particular principle about walking in faith, that I get an opportunity to live it. In earlier days I would say it is time to “Put up or shut up!” I have been sharing far and wide that we can find hope in God in the darkest moments. God is in control and we have his promise that we will never be left alone.
At a board meeting of Community Chaplaincy it was decided that if finances do not turn around in the next two months we are likely to ‘close our doors’. The prospect of that turn around, in human terms, seems unlikely but we believe God is in control.
The prospect of a closure leaves me in a precarious position but the folks we serve are put in a much more precarious position. I find myself challenged to live in hope both for myself (and my family) and for the friends of Saint John Community Chaplaincy.
Past experience teaches me that things do not always work out the way I would like, but I know that God is in control. This may be a moment when my friends can see that I have not just shared words but I have shared truth. There is a future and a hope! We must hold onto hope! It is in the darkest times we need it most.

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One comment on “Shrinking Hopelesness ll

  1. Reed and Linda,
    Thank you for what you do in St. John. My heart swells whenever I read you blogs! Maybe someday Jim and I will be free to return to share more ministry with you. In the meantime, know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. Satan hates what we do and it’s a constant fight to stay afloat, yet we do know that He is in control and does hold us and all we serve in the palm of His hands. Love you brother and sister. Stay safe within His hedge of protection.
    In Him and For His Sake,
    Frankie

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