Center of Hope Newsletter
The CENTER of Hope is Jesus. At the Center of Hope, we are not ashamed of the Good News of Jesus. In fact, we are unapologetic that we exist to help our guests deepen their relationship with God. We recognize that Jesus is not just our greatest hope; He is our only hope. Due to our rebellious spirit and depravity, we deserve God’s wrath for a holy and just God cannot turn a blind eye to sin. Yet, in our brokenness, God came incarnate through Jesus to pay the price for our transgressions on the cross. Because of his sacrifice, we can live life to the fullest right here right now, be assured of our eternal security, and have a lasting hope that drives us forward into his mission in the world. We cling to this reality as we engage our guests who are often hopeless. The majority of the people we serve are facing homelessness, addictions to various substances, and traumas from their past. Serving at the Center of Hope allows us to share the hope we find only in Christ with the struggling in Sioux Falls.
I reflected on this hope last week
when the staff and volunteers of the Center of Hope heard about the passing of our friend and co-worker, Gloria Weber. She was our Faith Community Nurse before she retired last December. We were all in shock when we heard the news because her death was sudden and unexpected. Many of us spoke with her a couple of days before she died because she came in to drop off a bunch of clothing donations. She was in good spirits, full of life. Gloria was known for her kind, hospitable heart and her ability to work hard to serve our guests. She will be dearly missed.
In the past week, death has been a constant theme as we have interacted with our guests. One of our guests’ brothers died in a motorcycle accident, and he was doing his best to handle the news in healthy ways. Another guest lost an aunt to an overdose, which reminded him about where addiction often leads. Death is a reality that we all see and face. Yet, there is hope and the hope has a name: Jesus.
Scripture is clear. Romans 6:23 states: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Psalm 23:4 states: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Even though death is a reality in this world, the hope of Jesus is freely given to those in Him, which should give you comfort and boldness as you move forward in life. Yet, the pain of death demands to be felt and should be felt for when you lose someone, there is certainly a temporary loss. We must be empathetic and present with those struggling from a loss of a loved one for death is unnatural and a result of sin. Yet, there is hope in Christ. “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Jesus has given us victory! Thus, we press on knowing there is hope and the “center” of that hope is Jesus.