Monday, April 28, 2008

HOW - Helping Other Women

I learned about a new organization tonight - or rather, a grassroots movement...I guess I'm not sure what defines something as an organization as opposed to a it 501C3 status? Or the number of people involved...who knows..

Anyway, this movement/organization is called HOW: Helping Other Women. For 2008 their focus is called "Operation Off the Floor. They provide free furniture and household items and linens to women and families in the Youngstown, Warren, and beyond.

The HOW women receive a call from someone in need, go to that person's home, assess their need, and provide what they can to help. Oftentimes, this process involves much more than just furniture. The HOW volunteers connect people to agencies, etc..that can further make a difference.

HOW desires to partner with other organizations to help break the bonds of poverty. One of the groups they currently work with is "Dressed to Succeed" which provides clothing appropriate for job interviewing, etc...

The women in charge of HOW have caught the truth that they can make a difference in the lives of others. I drove away inspired and wanting to tell everyone I know about this small group of people who are making such a difference. If you're interested in finding out more about what they do, what their needs are or being a part, they would LOVE to hear from you.

The number at HOW is 330.797.5055. Leave a message and one of the leaders will give you a call back.

A Couple New Hope Groups

At New Hope we are moving toward helping people find their spot in a more natural way - without dictating where anyone 'should' plug in. We understand that friendship and biblical community are mysterious, so we'd like to create environments where people have the opportunity to connect naturally.

What I love about these two groups that have just begun is that they have begun out of the leaders' passion. They both felt compelled to bring people along with them in their journey.

1. The Weight Loss Challenge
This group has been started by Pat Klaus. Pat has a passion for helping people move toward health and this group is designed to do just that. So far the group has 11 members and collectively they have lost 35.8 pounds. This group meets on Tuesday nights and this session will go through the week of May 10th. Anyone is welcome to join at any time. Contact Pat for details (330.542.9863).

2. Emerging Woman
This group was begun by Amy Scott. Amy has a passion to help women discover who God has created them to be through exploring a variety of creative mediums. All of us have a little voice that tells us what we "should or ought" to do and this group allows woman to face that voice and see what is true and what is false. For more information on joining, call Amy (330.457.0266).

If you have a stirring in your heart to start something (within New Hope's walls or beyond) Let someone know...Give me a call. Call Paul. Email someone...Who knows, there may be someone who's thinking just like you that could be a partner in ministry. Let's celebrate this journey together!

Friday, April 4, 2008

My Friend Broke my Heart

I have a friend - a God-given friend who came into my life about 10 years ago. Our friendship quickly grew into something beautiful. We are more like family, really. Circumstances now separate us by thousands of miles.

I learned so much from her about finding beauty in the everyday - beauty in nature, beauty in home, beauty in a gathering around the table.

We talked yesterday. She is struggling. She knows I follow Christ. I shared what I felt was right. I tried to remind her of my story. I reminded her of some of the struggles I had (have) and let her know how utterly dependent on God I am.

Her response was that I am fortunate to have 'it' - God, religion, something to believe in. She said she's tried. It's not there for her.

It breaks my heart. I know God is there for her. I know that even as I type this line, God is there - thousands of miles away from here - in her small french town. I believe it breaks God's heart as well.

I ask you to join me in praying that she will see God as he is.