Secure walls. Secure dwellings. Well, not secure right now with no roof or anything else, but it won't be long. On my way to Allendale yesterday to visit a family at a funeral home, I stopped by The Oaks in Orangeburg, one of our church's centers for retirement living. I wanted to see the progress on our Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry home. I drove down the long entrance road, lined with the ancient oaks, and there it was. I walked through the studded-out rooms and it hit me, in a few months there will be six adults with developmental disorders calling this home. I was caught by surprise by my emotions and I was glad I was alone. There have been years of meetings and business and now to actually see this dream materializing moved me. But being the male I am, I swallowed my feelings, grabbed my little camera and took some pictures before the evening enveloped us.
Add to this the good news that our Columbia home is back under construction. Held up by a zoning complaint, the hearing last Friday went in our favor, and after this week, that home should be about ready for the roof trusses. There are six females anxiously waiting its completion, and of course, waiting for us to hire and train staff and raise the rest of the operational budget.
To be honest, I have had some jealously toward my colleagues who have been serving on other Boards of Trust for our institutions. Listening to them talk, their experiences have been so different than mine. For a small state, we have some excellent, prestigious colleges and homes. Their trustees have work to do, but there are administrative staffs that prepare everything ahead of time and there are institutional resources that undergird their work. Our Board has had to do everything from scratch, with none of us experienced in creating a service institution. And we still have a long road to go to gain Conference recognition and support. But driving away from the Oaks, I realized my colleagues should be jealous of my trustee experience. To be part of a dedicated group of people who have come together to serve a particular group of people in need has been a rich experience. To be able to walk through the rooms of your shared dreams is amazing. Now with everything else, we'll have to watch out for tidal waves of joy.