Isaiah 41:14-20

Over twenty years ago, a group of churches met to discuss how to address the needs of women and children in our community who were without food or shelter. That conversation led the group to establish a local affiliate of Family Promise, a national organization providing transitional housing for families who are experiencing homelessness. Faith communities and other organizations began providing weekly shelter in the evenings, along with meals and transportation for the families staying at their facilities. 

During the ongoing dialogue, congregations raised a variety of questions and expressed numerous concerns: questions about volunteer safety, liability issues, and conflicts that might arise during the week that their facilities were used. The need for a day center became evident so that guests could shower, do laundry, and connect with housing and employment resources. Would there be enough volunteers to provide transportation, serve as overnight hosts, and provide meals when guests arrived each evening? Would volunteers show up early to clear spaces and set up bedrooms? As guests moved from one host congregation to the next, rooms would need to be cleaned and prepared, linens washed, and rollaway beds and mattresses delivered. At times, the project appeared overwhelming.

The fears and uncertainties were to be expected. In the end, twelve congregations embraced the call to be part of this work. While transitions have occurred over the years, our local affiliate continues to thrive. A few congregations have come and gone and a couple have been added. But most who saw the need and said “yes” to this ministry are still actively caring for it. The rhythm we see in Isaiah 41 continues to be true to this day. When God calls us to overwhelming tasks, God assures us, Do not fear…I will help you (v. 14).

Consider

What need in my community is God calling me to address?

Pray

God, give us courage to set fear aside and grace to say “yes” when you call. Amen.. 



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