When I answered the phone Friday morning, I noticed the out-of-state area code. I was uncertain who would be on the other end of the call when I picked up the call.
"I know someone who is at your shelter," the caller began, "and, I looked up Star of Hope on the Internet and that's where I got your name."
I immediately began the "rote" answer in my head "I'm sorry, we cannot give out information on client who may or may not be in our program. You can leave a message and IF he/she is a client, the message will be left." But, the words never left my mouth.
That is not what this caller wanted. *Julie just wanted to know more about Star of Hope. The story unfolded...
*Gina, was in Julie's youth group at a church in Tennessee MANY years ago. As a 17-year old, Gina was involved in programs at the church and became close to Julie and her family. Now, eleven years have passed...Gina's family has disowned her; three failed marriages behind her; drug and alcohol abuse; seeking love in all the wrong places...and, the police brought Gina to the doors of Star of Hope's Women & Family Emergency Shelter.
"She's there," Julie told me. "She called me from there last night and there was someone there praying for her. I think a staff member. And, we have been texting this morning. Can you please help her?"
I explained to Julie that Gina was in a safe place. I told Julie that our staff are loving and care for each person who walks through the doors. I told her our mission statement and that we are a "Christ-centered" community. Julie was glad to hear that...she had been thinking of sending Gina a bus ticket to come back to Tennessee, but felt confident in Star of Hope's ability to care for her friend. "She's lucky to have someone like you, who cares about her, even if you are far away right now," I told Julie.
"She's hit rock bottom," Julie shared.
"That is where God takes us sometimes," I reminded Julie. "Sometimes He puts us in a place in life where all we can do is look to Him and the grace and mercy he supplies."
Julie was comforted that her friend would received God's love through the staff at the Women and Family Shelter.
When I hung up the phone, I called the staff at the Women & Family Emergency Shelter and asked if they would follow up with Gina. They did...and, she is excited about a future that will include a stay at our Transitional Living Center's New Hope program for drug recovery; finding a job and earning her own money; and, long term housing with the New Horizons program.
Gina has never really lived on her own...she is frightened, but comforted that Jesus said, "I will never leave you, or forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).
She is able to only see a few steps ahead, but knows that she is on a pathway leading to the Lord, and that is enough!
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.