Continued from yesterday …..
We were already serving meals at a local mission in partnership with another AFLC congregation. A hospitality team formed to continue that ministry and begin adding monthly collections to help other caring ministries —everything from the local crisis pregnancy center to a women’s ministry in India. Some of us began making “blessing bags” of supplies for the homeless and carrying them in our cars to hand out. We were on the right track, but we still didn’t have a congregational ministry that was uniquely ours.
About this time, our daughter, Beth, went to work at Brook Lane, a nonprofit organization that offers mental heal services. Beth has the gift of mercy, and a passion for children. At Brook Lane she began working as a direct caregiver to adolescent girls in their residential facility. Many of these girls are wards of the state and live at Brook Lane due to a history of neglect or abuse. Some leave fairly quickly to live with foster families, some return to their own homes, but many are there for quite a while.
The education program includes certified special education teachers, behavioral specialists, clinical social workers and nurses. Related services offered are psychiatry, psychology, art therapy, addictions counseling, family therapy and speech/language therapy. Part of Beth’s job was to take the teens in her care to activities in the area — the YMCA, the local park, the movies and so on. Our church had started a Little Free Library and we are just a few miles from Brook Lane. I suggested that she bring her charges over for books.
stay tuned for the final section tomorrow ……