As we write this article, Chairished Blessings committee members are meeting, tallying, and discussing the event that was held on Feb. 7. The overall feedback we have received so far is very positive. It was an honor for us to celebrate 20 years in the Nacogdoches community and to recognize some of the original board members. It was their vision and God’s grace that have guided us this far. We are humbled by everyone’s kind comments. One of our board members expressed that he remembers meeting in a small room the first time years ago, discussing a way to bring churches together in a way to serve. He told us that we have far exceeded his expectations and prayers. He had no idea that evening when they met so many years ago that Love In the Name of Christ of Nacogdoches would have nearly 50 partner churches and would serve over 20,000 families. We pray that God will use the funds raised to stretch and sustain all of the needs He wants met this coming year.
While we were planning Chairished Blessings, and as soon as we returned to the office this week, serving our clients was still one of our primary functions. The applications continued to come in, and the phone continued to ring. Our Home Teams went out this week, and as usual, had a variety of experiences. The range of responses we receive often depends on where the family is in their journey to self-sufficiency. On one end of the scale, we went to see a family we have been trying to visit for over a month. They have been difficult to contact; have been reluctant to complete their application and send in required documentation. Recently, they called in a panic begging us to come out because another regulatory agency was doing an investigation on their home, and they promised to be available for us to assess their situation. When we arrived at the residence, it was less than safe, less than clean. The television was blaring in the background. When our volunteers knocked on the door, someone turned off the television, and whoever was inside refused to come to the door. They did not return our calls or allow us inside. Our volunteers tried several times, and eventually had to leave without seeing the clients or assessing the need.
On the other end of the spectrum are three other visits where the clients were eager for our visit, were appreciative of everything we have done in the past, and for anything we might do in the future. One of the families we visited agreed to go to Bible Study this week with our volunteer. Another of our volunteers is conducting a Bible Study with clients we met several months ago. They are working to make better choices, learning to be more comfortable, trusting, and honest with one another while also studying God’s word.
Each of these three clients will also get the items they requested; a box spring, a table, some linens, a rug. All of these things are made possible by you, the Nacogdoches County community. However, our staff and our volunteers are blessed, and the clients are blessed, by the building of relationships. For some of the volunteers it is at least the third time they have been in some of these homes, just to follow up and show the Love of Christ. Imagine the joy they felt when the man that they were visiting asked if he could lead the prayer, and when he did, they said it was the most beautiful prayer. “Bear with one another in love; be humble, meek and patient in every way with one another.” Ephesians 4:2
Other validated requests are for:
■ Twin size frames, box springs and mattresses
■ Full and Queen size frames, box springs, and mattresses
■ Plastic drawer storage units
■ Small dining tables
■ Silverware and Kitchen Utensils
■ Cereal and Soup bowls
Patti Goodrum is executive director of Love INC.