I'm Back Home!
Please forgive me because it has been an entire year since I last wrote a blog to you all. It wasn't because I forgot to write or didn't want to write, the honest truth is that I just didn't have the oomph to write and then in the spring I made a decision to move from Florida to New Hampshire. Moving from one state to another consumed my time and energy. It was a big move for me but with the help of my children, and the Lord's blessing and guidance I am once again making New Hampshire my home. New Hampshire has always been a place that I loved and was my home for 20 years before we moved to Colorado. We left New Hampshire for Colorado in September of 2013 and now I have returned. I feel like I have been on a long journey, albeit a very good journey, and I now have returned home.
One very nice thing about returning home is reconnecting with old friends that I haven't seen since 2013. It has been absolutely wonderful to spend time with them and catch up on our lives. Just recently I made plans to visit with a friend who lives about 45 minutes north from me traveling on I-89. For those of you reading this blog that aren't from New Hampshire, I-89 North begins in Concord, New Hampshire and takes you through New Hampshire, Vermont and up to the Canadian border. It is an absolutely beautiful drive, especially this time of year when the foliage is so colorful. The day that I went to visit my friend was a gorgeous fall day. It was sunny and warm and the trees were ablaze with their colors of fall . Because I was thoroughly enjoying the drive along with the joyful anticipation of spending time with my friend I, once again, found myself praising God for the blessing of living in beautiful New Hampshire!!! I say once again because as I was driving it suddenly occurred to me that this was the exact same place and situation that I experienced many years ago when God first whispered in my ear about moving to Colorado to help people in need!!!! I immediately remembered my reaction to his calling to leave my home in New Hampshire and move to a state that was totally unfamiliar to me. I wasn't exactly willing or enthusiastic about moving to Colorado and so I tried very hard to ignore God's call. As I was enjoying the beautiful ride to my friends house I realized that, this time, I had no fear of what God might once again whisper in my ear. I was ready and willing to listen and act upon whatever he might ask of me as my relationship with God through Jesus has grown deeper over the past 9 years. I immediately sensed God's sense of humor in the situation and I giggled to myself and also with him as I knew he was telling me that I was home and all I had to do this time was to enjoy the beautiful ride. The rest of the ride was very precious to me as I sensed God's goodness, blessing, guidance and faithfulness in my life very deeply. As I thought back over the past 9 years I knew that the events and responsibilities that I experienced in Colorado were way beyond anything that I understood, anticipated or had any knowledge or strength to handle on my own. My only avenue was to trust God and to lean on him 100 percent. Minute by minute, day by day, month by month and year by year as I trusted God and leaned on him, I began to realize that God is indeed 100 percent faithful. He never once left me and never failed me in any situation. What a joy it is to have this deep, personal relationship with God!! All I know to tell you, from my personal experiences, is that God is faithful. God is loving. God is trustworthy and God is good and the only way to experience his faithfulness, love, trustworthiness, and goodness is by giving your life completely and totally to him.
As I wrap up my thoughts in this blog I want to share with you that there were many very good reasons why I made the decision to move back to New Hampshire and one of those reasons, that directly affects Soaring Wings Ministries, is that my daughter, Meredith, and I are now able to once again physically work side by side together for Soaring Wings Ministries. It was very difficult to work on Soaring Wings Ministries when she was in New Hampshire and I was in Florida. We are excited for how God will direct us and even though all of our boxes are not yet unpacked and we still can't find things that we need we are making plans to help the homeless through out the United States, not just in Colorado or New Hampshire. To that end if you know someone in need or if you are reading this yourself and need assistance please reach out to Soaring Wings Ministries. Go to our website and click on financial assistance. There you will find an application for financial assistance that will need to be filled out and submitted to Soaring Wings Ministries for review. Once we receive the application we will read through it and get back to you.
Also, Soaring Wings Ministries is once again looking forward to our annual Christmas event..... Stockings and Cookies! This was such a fun and successful event for everyone when we were located out in Colorado and we are so happy and so excited that we will now be able to host this event here in New Hampshire. More information will be coming about this event. In the meantime save the date for Saturday morning December 3rd for Stockings and Cookies!
In closing, I want to say that it feels very good to be writing to you again in a Blog. It also feels very good to be living in beautiful New Hampshire and it also feels very good to be praising God on I-89.
To God be the glory in all things,
Founder, Soaring Wings Ministries
She recently lost her husband. They had been married for 56 years and she was reaching out to me as she knew I was a recent widow and she needed some help figuring out how to carry on without her husband. She asked me, "Could you come over and visit me sometime? I just don't know what I am suppose to do without my husband." Of course I said yes and we set up a time for me to visit her. I was so humbled that she would reach out to me for help. I also wondered how I could help her because I certainly have not yet figured out this whole thing of being a widow. Some days are better than others. Some days you think you are going to be just fine and other days you think you aren't going to make it. No matter how you are feeling on each day (and even each moment!) the feeling of really, really missing your husband never leaves you. I wondered what I could say that would help her, comfort her and encourage her......and then I realized that it wasn't what I said that was most important....it was the fact that I cared about her and because I cared I would certainly go and spend some time with her.
Isn't that what it is all about.....spending time with people? There is absolutely no substitute for spending time with people. We have such wonderful technology these days for keeping in contact with our friends and family via email, text messages, phone calls and FaceTime but after we send the email, or respond to the text or disconnect from our phone call we still have a longing for a face-to-face, in person visit together. Connecting with each other via face to face contact is so vitally important to each one of us. We long to spend time with others and we long to know that others genuinely care about us. We see this need for human connection when we are giving a Blessing Bag to someone that is homeless. Quite often the person receiving the Blessing Bag is more interested in having a conversation and interacting with us rather than looking to see what is in the Blessing Bag. This need for a genuine personal connection with another caring human being is a built in human trait. It cannot be denied and it cannot be filled with another substitute no matter how hard we try. As humans, we are created by a personal God to have personal relationships with each other and a personal relationship requires spending time together. I don't know of any other way to have a personal relationship with someone other than spending time with them.
Spending time with someone probably won't cost you a lot of money but it will certainly cost you time and time is one of our most precious commodities. We just don't have enough time and we are so stressed out trying to fit everything in. Well guess what? We are never going to have enough time and we are never going to fit it all in no matter how hard we try. So how do we find the time to spend with others in need? How do we find the time to spend an extra few minutes with a homeless person when we give them a Blessing Bag? How do we find the time to spend an hour with a new widow? We don't find the time....we just do it. I know that some of you are not comfortable reaching out to a homeless person and spending time with them and if your not, that is ok. Having direct contact with a homeless person is not everyone's calling, however, I know that if you are reading this blog you know someone that could really use some face-to-face personal interaction. I know that the instant you read this the likelihood of a specific person popping into your brain is is very good. That person that just popped into your brain is more than likely the person that you need to reach out to so you can arrange to spend some time with them.
I know that spending time with my friend who was recently widowed made a huge difference for both of us. When I first walked into house no words were necessary....we just gave each other a long, big hug. It really is hard to give a long, big hug using modern technology...it just doesn't work. She needed a hug and so did I and we needed to do that in person. That hug said more than we could have ever said to each other with words. That hug said..."I care about you, I know what your going through and we will be ok." We spent about an hour talking and listening to each other. We talked about how much we missed our husbands, how much our kids and grandkids meant to us and how we would adjust to our new lives as widows. We also shared memories about our husbands and ended up laughing about how much of a pain in the neck they were but how much we sure did love them and would always love them.
The bottom line of this blog is that spending time with people is so very, very important and there is no substitute for face to face personal interaction. I don't know who is in your life right now that needs some company and personal interaction. It might be a homeless person or it might be a friend or a family member. Whoever it is don't look for time to spend with them because you won't find the time....just do it.
In closing I would like to say, "I have much to write to you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face." 3 John verse 13.
Wishing I could spend time with many of you,
Founder, Soaring Wings Ministries
Joy! and Peace
It has been 8 months since I last sat down to write a blog post. I have to say that it feels very, very good to once again be writing to you all. Not only does it feel good but it feels "normal" and considering all that has transpired in my life, anything that feels somewhat "normal" is absolutely wonderful! I am not using the word "normal" to imply that writing a blog is mundane or ordinary but rather, I view anything "normal" as something that gives me joy and peace and sitting down to write this blog to you indeed fills me with joy and peace.
For the past 8 months, my thoughts of serving the homeless have never been far from me but I have to honestly say that the focus of my time and energy has been on figuring out how to do life as a widow. My days as a new widow seemed strange, odd, unfamiliar and abnormal. I did not know how to be nor did I want to be by myself but I was determined to create a new, very different and also very good life for myself. I knew that I had to look for ways to once again fill my life with joy and peace even though I was by myself.
There were some very specific and concrete things that I purposefully did to once again have peace and joy in my life. All these things had a common theme....they gave me joy! I realized that filling my life with things that brought me joy was an important and necessary aspect of moving through my grief. If I was once again going to have a life that I loved, even though I was single, it was absolutely necessary to surround myself with things and people that brought me joy. Things that bring us joy are different for each person, but for me I found that some very simple things filled me with peace. I found that I love a lit candle early in the morning along with making myself hot tea in my favorite teapot and teacup. I also enjoyed lingering over breakfast in the morning as that was one thing that Ed and I really loved doing together as retired people and I realized I still enjoyed doing that as a single person. Lingering over breakfast is a wonderful time to also linger in God's word and sometimes my lingering in God's word has taken me right through the morning. I have found that having fresh cut flowers in the house also brings me great joy along with having a flower garden outside. I have enjoyed thinking and planning out what I wanted "my house" to look like. Just for the record it has taken me forever to get use to thinking of things as "mine" instead of "ours" never mind actually saying "my house" or "my dog" or "my car" out loud. I realized things were just "mine" now and so if they were just "mine" I had to change things around a little bit. I got rid of an old couch and bought a pretty blue couch with lots of fluffy pillows. Yes, it is a girly couch and Ed would have hated it but having that girly couch gives me joy and makes me giggle when I think about what Ed would have said about this new couch! I also bought myself a brand new comforter for my bed with more fluffy pillows. I have spent many joy filled hours listening to Christian praise music as it is nearly impossible to not have joy when you are praising God! I have really enjoyed watching funny classic tv shows and movies on television. Dick Van Dyke and I Love Lucy are two of my favorites and I am a huge fan of TCM where I can often catch a very funny, classic comedy movie. One of my greatest joys has been spending time with my family and friends. They fill my life with joy like nothing else. It quite often takes time, planning and money to get together with them but it is absolutely worth it and when I say good-bye to them I am already looking forward to our next visit together. These are just a few of the things that I have done to bring joy back into my life and to create a new life for myself as a single person. It has taken effort and sometimes I still find myself wishing that life was the way it use to be when Ed was with me, but that is not going to happen and so I purposefully move forward seeking joy in each day.
If you are still here with me reading my blog you are probably wondering what in the world does all this have to do with serving the homeless? Let me explain. I have come to realize that there are many similarities between being homeless and being a widow. Both are traumatic. Both involve pain. Both involve wishing you had a different life than the one you are living. Both require digging deep in order to move forward to a better life. Both require the support of loving, caring people in your life. Moving out of widowhood is three steps forward and two back...so is moving out of homelessness. I am sure that you can add more similarities of your own to this list. My point is that having nice things around me and spending time with loving, caring people was definitely part of my healing process and I believe that a homeless person also requires a healing environment with the love and support of caring people. The big difference between myself trying to navigate through widowhood and a homeless person trying to navigate out of homelessness is that their journey is one million times harder than my journey. I had no barriers that prevented me from pursuing joy. All I had to do was get out of my own way in order access my new joy filled life. The homeless have multiple layers of barriers to overcome before they can even begin to think about having a life filled with joy and peace.
Our goal at Soaring Wings Ministries has always been to create wholeness and an empowered future for homeless and hurting young adults through the love of Jesus. Most of you reading this know that we have sold the property at Trinity Lane in Colorado and most of you reading this have recently received a letter in the mail explaining how we will use this money to help the homeless move out of homelessness. Soaring Wings Ministries recognizes that homeless people need financial assistance in order to move out of homelessness into a healing environment. We also know that financial assistance alone is not the sole answer to helping people in need. The financial assistance needs to be combined with genuine love and care from at least one other person. Are you that one other person? Do you know a homeless person or a person in need who would benefit from your caring support? If you do than you can make a difference in their lives. You can begin by directing them to the Financial Assistance Form at this website. They will need to fill out the form and submit it to Soaring Wings Ministries for review; however, directing a person in need to filling out the Financial Assistance Form is only the beginning. It is our prayer that you will be that one caring person in their lives who walks along with them on their journey out of homelessness into a life filled with joy and peace.
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear Children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." I John 3:16-18
May God be with you all and may God help each one of us to love others not with words but with action and truth.
All for His glory,
Founder, Soaring Wings Ministries
The "What Nows?"
The last time I wrote a blog was back on March 28 of this year. That blog was titled "How I Personally
Manage During Difficult Times". Little did I know back in March what the future months would hold for me and that the days and months would surely be way more difficult than I ever imagined.
In that March post I wrote that I managed during difficult times by praising God. That continues to be true for me today. During the long difficult days of summer with our country still in the grips of the Coronavirus, with two of my children and their families far away and with Ed's health deteriorating, the praise and worship music would be on full volume in our little house in Florida. Praising God gave us hope, joy and strength when we couldn't muster up joy, hope or strength on our own. It reassured us that even during very hard and uncertain times God was with us, God knew what we were going through, God cared and that God was in control. Bottom line is that Praising God was our life line and that in Praising Him we knew that all would be well. Ed and I often said to each other that no matter what happened...."we know how the story ends". Because I am a believer in Jesus Christ and have given my life to him I indeed "know how the story ends". I know that life on earth is not all there is, that the best is yet to come and that death is not the end of things, but rather, it is the beginning.
I have to be honest and say that even though Praising God gives me much joy, I often have to make a concerted effort to Praise Him. So often the worries, concerns and problems of life slip in and before I know it I am doing more worrying than praising. It sometimes takes a deliberate effort to praise God, but when I make that effort I feel reconnected to him and the weight of my worries, concerns and problems are lifted from me.
The Christmas season is such a wonderful and easy time to Praise God but I already find myself dreading the days immediately following Christmas. I already sense that common post Christmas feeling of "What now?" So how do we answer that question of "What now?". I think the answer is to keep on praising God and to seek Jesus even after all the lights are put away, the Christmas music has ended, the gifts are opened and the cookies have been eaten. It might take a deliberate effort on our part to keep the praise flowing but Praising Jesus is absolutely not dependent upon everything being perfect or good......far from it!!! Thankfully our Praise to Jesus is based on who Jesus is. He is the Son of God who does not change and He is the Alpha and the Omega. He indeed is worthy of all our praise no matter what is going on around us.
The year 2020 will probably be remembered as a very awful year for a whole bunch of us and I certainly hope that 2021 is a better year....but none of us can predict what the year 2021 will look like. I do know that no matter what happens...good or bad...I will be praising Jesus. I hope that during this Christmas season you will remember why we celebrate Christmas and remember that Jesus was a gift of love and redemption to us from our loving God. I hope that during the busy days right before Christmas that you will take time to spend time with Jesus....just you and Jesus all by yourselves...it truly is a very precious gift to spend time with someone you love. And after the joy of Christmas is over, when the "What nows?" are trying to move in I hope that you will answer that "What Now?" question with "What now means I get to spend more time with Jesus!". He truly is the Alpha and the Omega and is absolutely worthy of us spending time with him and giving him all our praise no matter the circumstances.
In closing I want to offer my Praise to Jesus with this Bible verse from Revelation 1;8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
Meredith and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! We are excited for what the new year will hold for Soaring Wings Ministries and we are excited about the continuing work of serving our Lord by serving the homeless. We look forward to keeping in touch with you and hope to hear from many of you during the months of 2021.
With Praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Soaring Wings Ministries
I wish that I could say that I never thought that I would be writing this blog while being isolated at home with my family, but I can honestly say that this situation is not a surprise. The reason why I am not surprised is because of what I have read in my Bible for my entire life. In the book of Matthew chapter 24 verse 7, Jesus says, "For nation will rise against nations, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places." I think what surprises me is how fast this pandemic has taken hold of the entire world. At Christmas time the word "Coronavirus" was not even in our vocabulary and now only 3 months later it has deeply and personally affected almost everyone in the entire world
I also wish I could say that I am doing just fine and all my days are wonderful with no stress, worries or concerns. That is absolutely not true. Like everyone, I struggle. I miss being free to move about. I miss being able to run to the store without feeling like I am in a battle zone. I miss going to church. Most of all I miss seeing and hugging my friends and family. I am not a hugging type of person, but right now I wish I could give everyone the biggest hug ever!!!!
So what do we do with our stress, our worry, our concerns. We take it all and give it to Jesus. So what does that mean exactly? What does it mean to give it all to Jesus? For me it means that I have to read my Bible A LOT and PRAY CONSTANTLY! It also means that I have to PRAISE GOD almost constantly in order to drive out my stress, worries and concerns. If I let down my guard even a little bit my feelings of stress, worry and concern begin to creep in and would soon escalate. I need to make a deliberate effort to keep my thoughts and life focused on the truth of the Bible and the truth of who God is.
This crazy pandemic is raging across the globe but GOD STILL REIGNS AND GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL! Jesus wrote the words in Matthew 24: 7 so that we would be aware and prepared during these world events. He also wrote them to comfort us. In Matthew 24:6 Jesus tells us that "you will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed". Did you get that? Jesus tells us not to be alarmed! I need to read that over and over again to keep me grounded in who really reigns, who really is in control and who it is that I can really trust.
These are not easy times. The days are hard but one thing I know is that when I PRAISE GOD the worry, stress and concerns drift away. It is impossible to Praise God and to worry at the same time. It is impossible to PRAISE GOD and be stressed. It is impossible to PRAISE GOD and at the same time be concerned about what the future holds.
So I encourage you, no it is stronger than that, I strongly advise you to PRAISE GOD! Don't let your worries, stress and concerns overwhelm you. Give them to Jesus. Pray! Blast the praise music! Make a point to notice the blessings in each day and thank God for them! In order to pray and praise you need to turn off the tv and put down your cell phones. Believe me, I personally know hard that is, but it is so worth it!
There is no better way to close this blog than with a Psalm of Praise to our Lord and Savior.
PSALM 149:3-5 "LET THEM PRAISE HIS NAME IN THE DANCE! LET THEM SING PRAISES TO HIM WITH TAMBOURINE AND HARP! FOR THE LORD TAKES PLEASURE IN HIS PEOPLE. HE CROWNS THE HUMBLE WITH SALVATION. LET THE HOLY ONES REJOICE IN HONOR. LET THEM SING FOR JOY ON THEIR BEDS. "
Every night I fall asleep on my bed praising God, thanking God for the blessings of each day and praying for as many people as I can before I fall asleep. I pray that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will bless you all as you seek Him and as you walk closer to Him each day.
With Praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Soaring Wings Ministries
With the beginning of a New Year my thoughts have continually taken me to reflect on 2019. As I reflected all I could think about was God's goodness, provision, blessing and guidance during 2019. So much progress was made on the addition to house a homeless family. The kitchen cabinets...done! The flooring....done! The outside siding....done! The septic system....done! All this was accomplished in 2019!! With each accomplishment we saw the hand of God provide in miraculous ways. We saw so many faithful volunteers and donors come forward to help Soaring Wings Ministries. Just when we didn't know how it would all be accomplished, God would provide the help through a faithful donor or volunteer. When I look at the entire addition, I am still amazed and in awe of what God has done. His hand has been in every phase of the building process! All that he asked of us was to step out in faith and trust him. I can say without a doubt that God is faithful and trustworthy!
This will be the year that two homeless people will come to live at Soaring Wings Ministries. We are so very excited and also very scared. Once again we are entering unknown territory and once again we don't have all the answers. Once again we will step out in faith and trust in our Lord. We absolutely know that He will be with us and that He already has a plan. As with the building of the addition, there will be many unknowns but know there are no unknowns to God and so we move forward and trust Him.
We don't know yet who the people will be that will be living at Soaring Wings Ministries. We ask that you will pray faithfully for God's guidance, direction and leading in this area. We know that God knows! We do know that we are very excited for this next phase of Soaring Wings Ministries and we pray that God will fill us with a deep Christlike love for these two people who will become part of our lives.
We wish you all a very blessed and Happy New Year. We pray that whatever God is calling you to do this year that you will enter into HIs work knowing that you can trust Him to guide and direct you in all things.
I can think of no better Bible Verse for the beginning of 2020 than Psalm 66:5 which says, "Come and see what God has done; he is awesome in his deeds". We invite you to come and see for yourselves what God has done at Soaring Wings Ministries. He truly is awesome in all His deeds.
Soaring Wings Ministries
August 27th, 2019
Saddling Up for Colorado
Today is a very special anniversary date for Ed and I and also Soaring Wings Ministries. Six years ago today we drove away from our home in New Hampshire and began our journey to Colorado to begin Soaring Wings Ministries.
I was 60 years old at that time and Ed was 59 years old. We had lived in New England all of our lives. What in the world were we doing leaving everything familiar at 60 years of age and starting out on this journey across the country to live in a place that we knew nothing about?!! Not only were Ed and I starting a new life for ourselves but we would be starting a ministry for homeless. In the realm of an everyday, ordinary life it doesn't make any sense to leave friends and family and everything familiar and start out on a journey that is completely unknown; but we don't live our lives in the realm of the everyday or ordinary. We live our lives trusting and believing in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I can tell you that He is anything but everyday or ordinary!!!!!
So in light of what we believe and in who we trust our journey to Colorado made absolute sense. Was it scary? Yes! Was it hard? Yes! But even though it was scary and hard we began the journey and we did not look back. There is a magnet hanging on our refrigerator with a quote from the famous actor John Wayne. It says "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway". That about sums up how we felt six years ago today. We were scared to death but we saddled up anyway....and I am so glad that we did!!!! If we had stayed in New England where everything was familiar we would have missed being completely dependent on God for His guidance, His blessing and His care. Remember that when we left the east coast for Colorado we were leaving everything.....I can't stress that word enough, EVERYTHING familiar. We had no friends, no family or knowledge of the area to turn to when we first arrived. We had no idea where we would be living and where Soaring Wings Ministries would be located once we arrived in Colorado. We were completely dependent on God for guidance and help. What a wonderful place to be.....completely dependent on God!!!!! I wouldn't have missed that for the world!!!! To see and to be a part of God guiding, blessing and caring for us and Soaring Wings Ministries over the past 6 years is truly amazing! I can't begin to write about all that God has done and the miraculous ways that He has provided, blessed and guided. He was worked in ways that we could never have imagined....truly miraculous ways. I can write and tell you that God is indeed faithful, trustworthy, loving and good. How do I know this? I know this because I have tested it with my very life and have found it to be true. As you read this don't think that this is just a nice story or that God is involved in our lives and could never be involved in yours too. God can be 100 percent involved in your lives too.....there is only one condition....you have to give your lives 100 percent to God by believing and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. There is no other way.
In closing I want to leave you with two Bible verses. The first one is from Acts 4:12. It says that "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved". What does that verse mean? It means Jesus and Jesus only. The second verse I want to leave you with is from I Corinthians 2:9 "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him".
When we left New Hampshire we had idea the wonderful things that God had in store for us in Colorado, but we knew Him and we trusted Him so even though we scared we saddled up anyway. We wouldn't have missed this journey for the world!!!! We pray that you also will not miss the wonderful, exciting journey of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Saddle up!!!!
Soaring Wings Ministries
It has been 6 years since Ed and I said good-bye to New England and began our journey west to Colorado to establish Soaring Wings Ministries. We knew that we were called to serve the homeless in Northern Colorado and we also knew that we would not be able to do it alone. We would need help in order to succeed but we had no idea where this help would come from. Not knowing anyone in Colorado we wondered who these helpers would be. With each mile that we traveled further west into the unknown, we wondered "How in the world is all this going to work out"?
As I look back now I wonder not "How in the world is it all going to work out?" but "How in the world could we have not have trusted God more"! We have had so many wonderful, hard working helpers over the past 6 years and just this summer alone we had 49 helpers serving here at Soaring Wings Ministries with a grand total of 716 volunteer hours!!!! The helpers ranged in ages from 14 years of age to 67 years of age. So much was accomplished! The flooring in the addition is almost done as is the beautiful exterior siding. A lot of weeds were pulled or weed whacked and a lot of new plants were planted along with one tree. Five beautiful new outdoor benches were built along with a side table for each bench and all the benches and side tables were painted a bright apple red. Old falling down boards were ripped off of outdoor sheds and fences and replaced with new sturdy boards. Siding and windows were washed and a new coat of paint was put on outdoor steps, sheds and planters. I wish that all of you reading this could come and see all the work that has been accomplished and how the work has improved the grounds of Soaring Wings Ministries and the addition to house a homeless family. We would love to show you the work that has been done and how the helpers have truly made a difference!!!
Some of our helpers were local volunteers and some of them traveled here from other parts of the country to serve for one week through Week of Hope. With our Week of Hope helpers we would have them take a break from their work here at Soaring Wings Ministries and put together Blessing Bags for the homeless. Each Blessing Bag contained socks, toiletry items, food, water, pen, paper and Bible or Bible tract. Every Wednesday afternoon we would travel to downtown Fort Collins and give out the Blessing Bags to the homeless. All total this summer the Week of Hope helpers gave out 90 Blessing Bags to the homeless. Before we traveled to Fort Collins to give out the Blessing Bags, Ed and I would have a devotion time with the Week of Hope helpers. We looked at verses in the Bible that address the poor, needy and what God commands us to do to help them. There are a lot of verses that address this issue but one that always stands out to me is from Deuteronomy 5:42 which says "For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, 'You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land'." That verse tells me several things. 1) Our work at Soaring Wings Ministries will never be done since there will never cease to be poor in the land. 2) It is not a choice to help the needy but a command and 3) We are to be generous in helping the poor. The finish line is in sight as far as the completion of the addition, but there is no finish line when it comes to serving the homeless. There is always work to be done. The addition is not yet completed, even with the finish line in sight. A workday is scheduled for Saturday, August 24th. We'd love to have you become one of the helpers for Soaring Wings Ministries so join us on the 24th if you can. Of course, lunch is always provided for our helpers.
Someday I would like to calculate how many total numbers of volunteers we have had here at Soaring Wings Ministries over the years and the total number of volunteer hours. I know the numbers would be well into the hundreds for volunteers and thousands for volunteer hours. It isn't really about the numbers but about each one of the individual volunteers who has served. Each one of the volunteers has been an answer to our prayers for help and each volunteer that served has been part of the process to make Soaring Wings Ministries a home for someone who does not have a home. I truly believe that each volunteer has served here according to God's plan and that their service here did not happen by accident. I am so very very thankful for each and every one. As I think back on 6 years ago when we wondered who our helpers would be, I know now that 6 years ago God already knew.
With much gratitude,
Soaring Wings Ministries
499 Trinity Lane
Wellington, Colorado 80549
Weeks of Hope
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
Anita Rennells is writer of this blog. She, along with her husband Ed, founded Soaring Wings Ministries to serve the homeless. The purpose of the blog is to tell the story of Soaring Wings Ministries and to give glory to God.
Soaring Wings Ministries