Honestly, there have been several times over the past couple of months when I've asked myself why. There's no one making me do this extra work. It's frustrating, and it's all volunteer. Well, yesterday I got my answer.
In the past two months we finally got both our homes operating. The women's home has six residents and the men's home has one resident, with three other young men in process to get the funding lined up. I went by the women's home for a visit yesterday, my first since the residents had moved in. What a good move for me.
I was greeted by two of the residents and their first words to me were: "We love our home!" I met with some of the staff we've hired to run the house, but the residents cut that short, wanting to show "their home" to me, and to show me how they'd decorated their rooms.
You could tell they were so comfortable there, and with one another. One of the young ladies usually speaks in a whisper, but the other girls knew that and encouraged her when I asked her a question. You could readily tell they were already becoming "family" for one another.
We were worried about the transitions these girls would be able to make from their families. What's happened is that the residents have told their parents they don't have to come visit and check on them. They are enjoying their new found "independence."
There are many times in ministry when we work and serve and never get to see the fruit of our labors. Wow, am I fortunate. The experience yesterday does make the six year journey to get there feel so worthwhile. It has been a blessing to work with some dedicated parents and board members over those years, and to witness how so many people have given time, effort and resources to this cause. There's still a lot of work to do, and a lot of money to raise, but now I know in a new way what a difference it all makes. Thanks be to God!