Come Around the Line

This fall, the girls in our Teen Council program have been individually organizing different  service projects for our group to participate in.  One of those projects involved helping out at a local soup kitchen not far from Hope House.  Before we were allowed to lift a finger to help, we first had to watch a short training video.  The video walked us through the history of the organization and shared its vision and goals.  At the very end of the video, a man shared a story that really touched me.   There was a visiting group of volunteers who had come to help prepare and serve meals.  The group worked hard prepping food and loving on the people in line as they served them. Toward the end of their time, a woman who was serving the food suddenly stopped and screamed.  She ran out from behind the serving area and grabbed a man that was in line.  It turned out that this man was her brother that she hadn’t seen in 15 years!  She smothered him with hugs and kisses, embracing him as they talked for the rest of the time.   It goes without saying that everyone in both lines was shocked.  What are the chances of something like this happening…especially after 15 years?  But what stood out to the man sharing the story was the genuine way this woman literally embraced her brother.  She had seen numerous people while volunteering and lovingly served them all well, but when she saw her biological brother, it was a completely different reaction.  He said that is the goal of their...

Hope House Detroit Summer: MAX IT OUT!

Kick-Off Big Event Every year, in the summer, we at Hope House host Big Events to help raise awareness for our programs at Hope House and kick start the summer. This summer’s kick off Big Event was completely designed and lead by our four students in Teen Council. These girls did everything!!! –They came up with the theme, games, food, as well as designing shirts to raise funds to help execute the event and passed out fliers around the neighborhood! It was truly awesome to see them rise to the occasion on the Big Event and work together, run a volunteer meeting, problem solve, and direct people all day.  There were a few hiccups like with any event, but the girls showed why they are on the council and the potential that God has placed in each of them. Coming Soon… This summer saw the opening of the new play structure built last October on the lot behind Hope House. The kids love it! It provides a great sheltered area for younger children to play safely. Gary plans to build a park pavilion in the lot next to it to create a space for families to come, barbeque, and spend time together. There will be picnic tables and even a bonfire pit! We are looking forward to having an area families can come spend time at Hope House! We hope it will be a place for togetherness and relaxation. Introducing… Troy Wilkinson and Hannah Kwiecinski joined the Hope House ministry team as the new House Directors in May. Both Troy and Hannah are recent graduates of Rochester College and...

A Lesson in Encouragement

I had half of a blog post written when something so cool happened that I realized I needed to write about it instead! So I’ll share some about our program Thank God It’s Girls’ Club (TGIGC) another time, but today I am happy to tell you what happened at our last Teen Council meeting. A little background: Teen Council is a fairly new program at HHD where my co-leader, Riley, and I meet with a small group of high-school students to talk about leadership and give them opportunities to practice leadership skills in our community. As the group progresses, we are hoping that the teens will come up with, plan, and run their own events or service projects in our neighborhood. At our most recent meeting, Riley taught a great lesson about encouragement, and how important this trait is as we lead and participate in whatever communities we are a part of. The main focus was a section in Acts where we see the early believers sharing everything and selling their possessions to meet the needs of everyone in the group. It is here where we are introduced to Barnabas –called this because it means ‘son of encouragement’ – who is so captivated by the early Church that he, too, sells some land he owns and brings all of the money to the apostles to use. As we tried to explain how this radical lifestyle might look today, Riley said it would be like if Gary & Becky sold the Hope House and used the money to meet the needs of the neighborhood. One of the girls made a...