Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Visiting Hope House

One of Amirah’s founding board members had the opportunity to spend a month at a similar safehouse in North Carolina. Please pray for her as she gains valuable insight and experience! Here’s her latest update:

A week has gone by since I arrived at the Hope House here in North Carolina, and it has been a week of learning – learning about the workings of a safehouse, but even more to just relax, to slow down, to just BE. Although there are difficult things to work through with the pain of what these girls have been through, and keeping a safehouse running is not an easy task, the peace of God is so present here! It is a safe place – a sanctuary from the crazy world that seems to be tossed up-side down and filled with such darkness.

“Those who walk in darkness have seen a great light”

On Sunday we visited a church, and the sermon was looking at the end of Isaiah 8 – where people look to the earth and see only darkness, distress, and gloom… but then in Chapter 9 – the promise that there will be no more gloom… the people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned”

This light that we are now celebrating coming into the world – with all the craziness of the christmas season, but let us not forget why – the darkness – the hurt and the pain and abuse that he came to break through and bring light – Through his pain, rejection and death – his death on the cross (did the angels know what Jesus was going to have to go through when they sang “glory to God in the heavens and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” ?)

So, about the house – I am learning about the difficulties of volunteer coordination, staffing, program development, book-keeping and then just spending time hanging out with the resident here, making jewelry, cooking, exploring the hills and small towns, reading some challenging books, and watching good movies.

We have had some good conversations – working through complications with her mom, and past hurts of abuse and anger. I have learned so much from the resident director – as the three of us spend most of the days together. She is full of life, and the grace and encouragement of God’s love flows from her. She is one of His mighty warriors, even if you wouldn’t guess it right away.

And the resident is also full of life and energy, and we have had a lot of fun getting to know each other. She is starting to write down her story, and feels she will one day be involved in helping other young girls get out of the life of exploitation. It is exciting to see God at work in her life, since she has been here, and even over the last week. She has a powerful voice, and I’m excited to see where she will be in a few years!

As I mentioned, I am learning to relax and am falling into step with this slower lifestyle. There is time to spend in prayer and reading, and to go for a run in the mountains, or at the Y… and to seek God’s direction for this next “chapter” of life when I return to Boston.

The other night our resident really started reading the Bible for herself, and she was looking for a verse to help her. She came across psalm 143 and said “oh hold up!”
So, I leave you with that Psalm:

Psalm 143
A psalm of David.

1 O LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.

2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.

3 The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.

4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.

5 I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.

6 I spread out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.

7 Answer me quickly, O LORD;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.

8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

9 Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD,
for I hide myself in you.

10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

11 For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.

12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.

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