A Year in Review: Hope House Detroit

Embracing the Interruptions I’m constantly amazed at how Jesus treats the people who interrupted Him during His ministry. He treats each of them with great respect, kindness, and intentionality. It’s like each person is the only one in the world at that moment, and nothing else is more important. He is God for goodness sake, and He is on this earth with important things that he needs to do, but He still takes the time to stop and embrace the interruption. In fact, it usually seems that the interruption itself was where His most important ministry work took place. For it was in those crucial moments that He touched people, healed them in powerful ways, and then sent them out. Think about it…Jesus more often than not: • Embraced the interruption and gave them significance with a new name • Healed/ touched/ forgave/ saved them • Sent them out But as I reflect on what we do here, at Hope House, I have come to realize more clearly that Jesus isn’t a tool. He isn’t some program or system that can be used to get a better outcome. He is a Friend. A Healer. A Savior. And if we are really honest with ourselves, we need Him now more than ever before. We need Jesus to give us a new name, heal us, and send us out.  Only after He has done that for us can we be a witness for Christ. We become His living examples of what it looks like to go in peace after being healed and renamed. So if you are not making space in your life for embracing interruptions, think about...

A Christmas Moment

My heart swelled as my daughter and I listened to the unparalleled Boston Pops Holiday Concert. Songs that rekindle the sweetness of childhood. I tear up every time. Earlier last week, I basked in the warmth of Christmas dinner with our Hope House family. I realized that every one of them is an answer to a prayer we have prayed. I felt humbled at the Lord’s beautiful provision. The beauty of Christmas, the meaning of Christmas touches our hearts in a variety of very special moments—moments, like the Pops concert and the HHD dinner, that are rare and rich. Premier among such moments for me this year was the Living Nativity that our Hope House kids put on. Watching our kids publicly put on an outdoor production, knowing each one and their personal challenges, seeing and participating in those moments of growth and identity, those sweet moments rank among the best for me. For example, one of our 18-year-old young men arrived just before the show started saying he needed to get in costume because he’s “always” a Wise Man. The Wise Men were already cast and costumed. So he put on an angel robe and sang with the female angel choir all three times through the show. A snapshot of a vulnerable guy who feels a sense of belonging and ownership.  He wore his halo home. I was blessed as the little shepherds kept time to the music with their shepherd crooks.  As the elementary-aged Wise Men strode with purpose and determination, their robes and head-pieces flowing in their wake, I considered for the first time what that...

Sweet God Sighting

Read Around The Block registration was closed due to being full when a girl, let’s call her “E” and her mom came to the house to sign E up. She was involved in our summer reading program and wanted to continue in the fall. I explained I didn’t have enough volunteers to add any more children because  RATB involves each child reading one on one with an adult volunteer. They were so disappointed. I asked if I could put them on the waiting list and took her mom’s phone number, and had her mom fill out a registration form. As they walked away, I heard her mom say, “We’ll just pray for more volunteers, E.” We restructured RATB to make the most of our existing volunteers, and soon we had more people agree to help! I called E’s mom, and the next week Mom and E arrived at Hope House in a taxi; her Mom didn’t want her to be late. When E came into the house, I asked, “Did you pray for volunteers, E?” She grinned and nodded. And in that moment, both of us understood the power of a little girl’s prayer. Becky Gentry,...

Real. Crazy. Summer

It’s real. crazy. summer. at Hope House Detroit! Sometimes it seems like God has pulled out all the stops during the summer. Our 3 summer interns are 3/4 of the way through their internships. They are trained, released, and dangerous! When God sent 3 women, I wondered if He was sure about that. But evidently this is exactly what we need this summer. They are helping, and they are learning. They are investing in kids and in the Kingdom. At our Big Water Event over 100 neighbors joined us in water games like slip and slide kickball and a water balloon fight. Hope House staff was in full force. Suddenly a fire engine, sirens sounding, pulled into the driveway. No fire this time, only Wally’s Custard Fire Engine bringing free custard for all!!! TGIGC (Thank God It’s Girls’ Club) is focused on “How’s Your Love Life?” for the summer. Talk about real. crazy. love! This group of young women is discovering what God says love is and are growing in the wildest ways! (You have no idea!) Read Around the Block is searching for treasure in our own back yard. In addition to other local treasures, our children interviewed adults from the neighborhood and are going to make a book from the interviews of these local treasures. Computer lab is back; Guys’ Group is sharing God-sitings in people’s lives. Teen Council, a group of selected teens, is planning activity for the community, hoping to lead a block party in the future. Crazy to see children grow up and work in the local job training program. Young men going to...