Our home visits this week took us all over the region. From far North Nacogdoches, to outlying South Nacogdoches, to Chireno and to Alto. We visited families where the requests were valid and the needs were greater. We visited with a young mother of preschoolers who recently received her housing voucher. This allowed her to move out of a place that had mold into a safer and more stable residence. When she moved, she left her damaged moldy furniture behind. She requested quite a few furniture items; some we have on hand and will be glad to share with her. Some of the other items we will pray for and believe those items will be donated. We signed her up for our Back to School Shared Blessings program and referred her to several other agencies that may be able to help her family.
We visited an older gentleman living on fixed income who has been in the same residence for more than seven years. We helped him with furniture years ago and he has not asked for assistance since. Since that time some of the furniture items have worn out and he needed a couch and a table. He was very glad to see us and grateful for the furniture we were able to replace.
Another couple we originally met several weeks ago were requesting furniture at this time. The place they were staying was temporary and we were unable to serve them until they moved to their own place. We told them we would help them when they settled and contacted us again. They now have their own place and reached out to us again. They are very proud and thankful to be in their home. They understand the spiritual warfare they have been up against in their struggles, and have a plan to continue to make wise choices. If they keep stable employment, they may be eligible for our Fresh Start program. We presented the Fresh Start opportunity as another goal to encourage them and will walk alongside them on their journey to achieve self-sufficiency. We feel so encouraged about their future.
Another case is a single mother of two who works for a home health agency caring for an elderly individual. She lives on a limited income. Her daughter needed a new mattress as the springs were poking through. We had a roll-away twin bed and the family was thrilled to receive this. In addition, their dining table and chairs were beyond repair, and we were able to give them a table and chairs. The family’s reaction was as happy and grateful to receive the table; it was as if we had provided Christmas for them.
One of the clients we visited transitioned from homelessness to Godtel to an assisted living facility. She was also very proud of her place and eagerly showed our volunteers some of her personal items she was finally able to display. One of our partner agencies worked with her and provided her access to some furniture. We will provide her with dishes and the other household items she requested and also access to Harvest House food pantry and other resources.
Another client we met previously called us to thank us for helping her. Our original encounter with her was abrasive. She was going through a difficult time and apologized in advance before she shared her story and her frustrations with us. We listened to her and she was indeed discouraged and frustrated. We prayed with her and we served and fulfilled her request. She called us back this week to thank us for the way that we handled her irritation and dissatisfaction with grace and a calm attitude. The difference between our first encounter and this week’s call were worlds apart. She cried over the phone in humility and gratefulness that someone had cared. Our staff member that took the call and prayed with her again, also cried and then shared the conversation with the rest of us.
We often leave the office emotionally and physically exhausted. We are humbled by the situations and struggles that some of our clients face. At the same time, we are amazed and in awe of our God. We remind ourselves, “There, but for the grace of God, go I,” acknowledging with humility that God’s grace and mercy, and the opportunity to see His work in action on a daily basis are some of the reasons we work and volunteer at Love In the Name of Christ.
With that in mind, we ask you to join us in prayer for our nation. “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
KEEP IN MIND
Chairished Blessings 2021 may look a little different. We are on the books at The Expo Center for February 2021 and hope to have the event as usual. But just in case we are working on a contingency plan that may involve livestream-auction. In the meantime, we need volunteers who are willing to start repurposing items now. We have the furniture items, we have a workshop, and we need your imaginations and talent.
We need more shoes for Back to School Shared Blessings. We are accepting donations of new tennis shoes and socks for Back to School through Thursday. Anything for sizes Pre-K to 12th grade is appreciated. They can be dropped off at our office, at 917 Ruby St., Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. As I write this article, a very nice person from a local community organization dropped by and handed us a gracious check to buy more shoes. Our God is always ahead of us and hears our prayers!
Monetary Donations for Love INC’s Back to School Shared Blessings can be sent to:
Love In the Name of Christ
P.O. Box 630423
Nacogdoches, TX 75963
You can sponsor a child for $35 for Back to School
Online donations for Back to School Shared Blessings can be made at: loveincnac.org
Love INC will now be purchasing new beds for qualified clients. Last fall we began to see that due to the bed bug situation and now due to COVID-19, purchasing new beds for families is the best practice for Love INC to follow. If you would like to give to our bed fund write “bed fund” in the memo line of your check or designated in the note section on our PayPal account.
■ Plastic Storage Drawers (for clothing)
■ Coffee Tables
■ End Tables
Thank you for your prayers, support, volunteers and encouragement. “Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” 2 Chronicles 6:40
Patti Goodrum is executive director of Love INC.