Isn't that an encouraging title?! Weeks of hope! Who wouldn't want to have weeks of hope? We all need hope and without it get discouraged, get grumpy, get overwhelmed or sometimes without hope we just give up.
Hope is so important and so it is that every summer we looked forward to serving as a host site for teenagers to come and volunteer at Soaring Wings Ministries through a program called Week of Hope. For 5 weeks this summer we will have a different group of teenagers and their adult leader helping out with Soaring Wings Ministries. I can hear you now asking "What will they be doing?". Each week will be different but also similar. Different in that each week there will be different jobs for the teens to do. Our list of jobs this year include roof repair on some of the sheds, building outdoor benches, filling in a trench, cleaning the siding on the porch, repairing a broken outdoor chair, staining picnic tables, pulling weeds, planting a garden, demolishing an old chicken coop....the list goes on. That is just a sampling of some of the jobs they will be doing. Even though the jobs will be different each week, the schedule will be the same as each Wednesday we will have the teens put together Blessing Bags and then we will all go down to Fort Collins to give out the Blessing Bags to the homeless. At the end of each week, on Thursday afternoon, we will say thank you to our teen volunteers with a cook out for lunch.
Our first group of teens and adult leader will arrive on Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. We have not yet met them and each Monday morning through the summer we watch a van drive down our long road and into our driveway and we wonder what the teens will be like who will be stepping out of the van and spending each day with us for a week. I can tell you that each group is uniquely different and I can also tell you that 99.9 percent of the teens are very hard and enthusiastic workers.
As we have been anticipating the arrival of Week of Hope we have been preparing for their arrival. We have our list of jobs ready and we have also made sure that we have all the materials ready that they will need to complete their jobs. We also have our kitchen stocked with food for the picnic each Thursday. We have been praying for the teens that will arrive and I know that God is preparing us and the teens for the summer here at Soaring Wings Ministries. Once again you probably are wondering, how do you know that God is preparing everyone for the summer of Week of Hope? I know because God speaks to me and all of us through scripture. I spend time reading my Bible every morning and last week each devotional that I read led me to the exact same scripture verse....Matthew 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven". It is no coincidence that everything I've read spoke about being a light in this world that shines for the glory of God.
My prayer for the upcoming weeks of Week of Hope is that we can all be a light for the glory of God. Ed and I want to be a light to the teens and to the homeless and we want the teens to be a light to us and to the homeless as well. We pray that everything that we do during the next 5 weeks will all be done for the glory of God. We want other people to see Jesus when they see the work that is being done.
I ask that you pray along with us for our summer of Week of Hope. Pray for the teens that they will have fun, work hard and be safe. Pray for good health and energy for Ed and I. Pray for our interactions with the homeless. Pray that our light will shine before men in everything we do so that they will see our good deeds and give PRAISE TO OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.
With all Praise to our Heavenly Father,
Soaring Wings Ministries
The last time I wrote a blog, May 21st, it was snowing! As I sit at our computer this morning writing this blog I can look out our window facing east and I am happy to tell you that it is not snowing! In fact it is a beautiful spring morning with bright sunshine, green grass and a clear sky. We are seeing lots of signs of springs here on the prairie. We don't have fragrant blooming bushes here or budding flowering trees but nevertheless the signs of spring are quite evident. Mostly we see it in the activity of the prairie wild life. They are quite busy this time of year! The rabbits are quite plentiful, as are the prairie dogs. The antelope are always a joy to watch as they leisurely walk through our line of vision. We quite frequently see a fox and a coyote wander through on the upper ridge before our dogs quickly let them know that they are not welcome here. It really is a very beautiful time of year and my heart is always full of gratitude for the blessings of living on the prairie.
Spring is also YARD SALE TIME! Yesterday we spent the morning at a yard sale to benefit Soaring Wings Ministries. We have wonderful Soaring Wings Ministries Board Members and yesterday one of them sponsored a yard sale and donated the proceeds to Soaring Wings Ministries. All total there were three families who donated their unwanted treasures to the yard sale. It was a win win situation for everyone! Some families were glad to clear out their homes of unwanted items, shoppers were thrilled with the treasures they found and Soaring Wings Ministries received a generous donation. For Soaring Wings Ministries it was also a wonderful time to tell some of the shoppers about Soaring Wings Ministries and to spend the morning visiting with our Board Members as we sipped coffee, tea and water.
So, my purpose in writing this blog is to ask you, Do you have some unwanted items that you would like to get rid of? Would you sponsor a yard sale and donate the proceeds to Soaring Wings Ministries? Many people say that they would like to get rid of some things around their house but just don't have enough for a yard sale. It really is very easy and very nice to sponsor a yard sale and open it up to neighbors, friends and family to donate some items to sell as well. All you need to do is pick a date, let your friends, neighbors and family members know to donate household items ( I would suggest the you not accept electronics, couches and mattresses as they are hard to sell at yard sales) and ask if any of them would like to help with the yard sale. It really is a very nice way to spend time with your neighbors, friends and family and to clean out your houses as well.
As I shared in my last blog, the bulk of our budget comes from our friends and family. This is an expensive time of year for us and it is also the time of year when our donations from friends and family are at their lowest. Will you host a yard sale to help us with our expenses? If the answer is yes, please let us know. We will send you some small posters to put up around your yard sale so shoppers will know that the proceeds are going to support Soaring Wings Ministries. We will also send you some brochures to have available as needed. We would love to see some pictures of your yard sale and hear the stories that will surely come from your interactions with neighbors, family, friends and shoppers. Yesterday at the yard sale we met a young couple who were soon to become foster parents to a teenager. We loved hearing their story and loved encouraging them on their road to becoming foster parens as they encouraged us in our work with the homeless through Soaring Wings Ministries. We also met a gardener who purchased all of our colored glass vases. We asked her what she was going to do with them and she showed us pictures of her lovely garden decorated with beautiful garden art made with bright purple and blue vases.
Thank you in advance for all your support of Soaring Wings Ministries. We are blessed to have so many wonderful encouragers and supporters. We can't express how much you all mean to us and how much your help makes our work at Soaring Wings Ministries possible. As I close this blog I see that 3 antelope have wandered into my line of vision. Two of them are grazing peacefully and the other one is laying down for a rest. God's blessings are indeed many. May each one of you see God's blessings in each day.
Soaring Wings Ministries
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries