As I look out of my office window while writing this letter to you, the beauty and goodness of new life springing forth in creation reminds me of just how good God is. In turn, I am reminded how beautiful and good people like you are in supporting God’s life-transforming work in the lives of those we serve Jesus among here at Neighbors of Hope.
I have witnessed the beauty and goodness of lives being transformed so many times during my seventeen years here. I recall our very first LifeChange program graduate, Jeff, back in 2007. He came to us hooked on heroin and running with the wrong crowds. At our annual banquet that year, on the eve of Mother’s Day, as he shared his testimony, he looked out into the crowd and said to his mother, “Happy Mother’s Day Mom, you have your son back”. Jeff went on to give back to his community, accepting a position with a nonprofit organization that served the homeless population in Toledo.
I think of our first Fresh Start program graduate at our Women & Children’s Ministry Center that had secured employment, saved money, and was able to buy her first house for her and her children to live in. And I think of a young man who once struggled to make ends meet and came to our Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry to shop for food because he had nothing to eat. Many years later, after we opened our Women & Children’s Center, he began bringing bread to the center for our guests staying there. When I asked him why he was doing this, he replied, “You were there when I needed help and now I have a good job and family of my own and I want to give back.”
So many stories of life transformation have taken place here over all of these years. Thank you for being a caring and supportive partner in God’s work at Neighbors of Hope. I pray you will continue to help support this beautiful and good work.
Pastor Steven Palmer