Family Promise

When I served at Custer Road, one of the many ministries in which we participated was Family Promise of Collin County. Family Promise is a nation-wide ministry to homeless families. Churches host families, who live in the building for a week at a time, four times a year. During the day, the adults in the families pursue permanent housing or job training, while the kids attend school. In the evening everyone returns to the church building for a meal, showers, and sleep.

One night I was there for the evening meal to offer prayer and spend some time getting to know some of the people. A young girl either mentioned Ereckson Elementary school (Allen ISD) or she was wearing an Ereckson shirt-- I can't remember-- but it caught my attention. That was our son James' school. She knew James-- she was in one of his classes. She embarrassingly asked me not to tell him she was sleeping at the church. That encounter really struck me. We think the face of homelessness is the person standing at the traffic signal with a cardboard sign. NO. It varies. At least on that night, it was a young, beautiful girl in a wealthy school district.

You may remember that SHARE: Taking it to the Streets, the feeding ministry for homeless folk in our area, recently relocated from the Grace UMC building to Four Rivers, where it had more room and an office available, plus broader access to volunteers. Grace did not abandon SHARE-- we still have members on its board, for example-- but in its absence from us, I am glad our relationship with Family Promise is beginning. As wonderful and varied as our ministries are, it is important to maintain a direct relationship to people in the community who are hurting. So that we can continue to live out the words that are written above the exit door of the church:

Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God.
- Micah 6:8 

Grace's Mission Board has worked with Family Promise from its inception. We have financially supported it, and we recently donated our trailer to the ministry. Rebecca Chase has represented Grace, and Leigh Walker was recently appointed Executive Director. Families will begin being served by Grayson County Family Promise in April. That is appropriate, because Easter Sunday is April 1, and Family Promise is all about helping people experience resurrection in their lives. You can help launch this vital, life-saving ministry by contributing needed supplies. There are lists in the church and in the bulletin this Sunday, but things needed range from cleaning supplies to toiletries. Later in the year we'll need people to prepare meals and serve as hosts when it's Grace's turn to offer hospitality to these families. 

I am proud to serve a church so dedicated to sharing the love of Christ by embracing and living out its mission. Thank you for your generosity of heart and passion of soul.