Have you ever thought about how much God loves, values and treasures you? Knowing this is one of the greatest blessings in life. Think about God’s love as expressed in Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV), “Yea I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”
God loves us so much that He commits to love us forever and intentionally draws us to Himself. There is nothing more precious in life than experiencing God’s unconditional love and knowing that there is nothing that we can do or not do that will separate us from His love.
What difference does love make? It makes all the difference in the world. The application for us is to look for ways to share God’s love with others as we follow the example of Jesus. His life was all about serving others. The reason we receive love is to be able to pass it along to others. We have a great responsibility to love God with all of our being and love others as we love ourself.
1 John 4:8 teaches us that “the one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” How are we supposed to love others? 1 John 3:18 (KJV) provides the following instruction, “Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” Loving God and others may require making a personal sacrifice by giving up some of our personal rights in order to further God’s kingdom.
What are some opportunities to share God’s love with others? At The Mission we try to meet our residents’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Offering a kind word of encouragement is one of the most important things that can be done.
Recently, one of our residents approached me about having a staff appreciation day. She wanted to express her love and gratitude for being allowed to reside at The Mission. Her presentation included a message from God’s word, praise dancing, and singing the favorite song of each staff member in attendance. Think about how much time went into learning the lyrics for thirteen songs. Needless to say, we were all blessed.
In Romans 13:8 we are instructed to “owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”
When we serve our fellow man, we are demonstrating love toward them, and this greatly honors our Lord. As you receive the blessing of God’s love, please search your heart to prayerfully consider how you might help the women and children residing at the Mission of Yahweh.
This spring we are faced with the following challenges:
- Improve the quality of our programs so that more lives are transformed, the cycle of homelessness is broken and the goal of moving toward independent living is achieved.
- Help a greater percentage of our residents build a more solid foundation for life, experience salvation, rededicate their lives and grow in their faith.
- Complete the two major capital projects to replace our kitchen, dining area and laundry room and to renovate the Main Building.
Some of our major accomplishments in 2014 and updates on projects include the following:
- Acquired the house built on two lots next to the Main Building to accommodate our planned expansion. In the short term it will provide much needed storage space.
- Raised funds and broke ground on Phase 1 of our capital project to replace the kitchen, dining area and laundry room. The planned completion date is April 2015.
- Raised funds for Phase 2 of our capital project to renovate the Main Building. The planned completion date is July 2015.
- Purchased 2013 Isuzu box truck with funds provided by 2 churches and 2 foundations.
- Maintained average daily resident cost at $34 which is about the same as last year.
- Improved the percentage of residents with successful exits from 28.5% to 51%.
- Added a Women’s Program Director position to provide better leadership and coordination of activities for this important ministry.
- Provided three weeks of Vacation Bible School at our campus during the summer.
- Established a new music program, including a dedicated room with a piano, so that our resident children can learn and experience the joy of music.
- Developed and implemented a new Mentoring Program for our women residents.
As we partner with God in His work at the Mission, we are able to make a difference in people’s lives for eternity. Through your prayers, volunteer time, in-kind donations and financial support you are helping to make a difference in the lives of our residents, and the people that we serve.
Your continued support is critical to our success and very much appreciated.
The above letter was written my Richard Hill, Executive Director of Mission of Yahweh, a faith-based shelter located in Houston, Texas that empowers, enriches and restores the lives of homeless women and children and provides outreach services to low income families in our neighborhood.