It doesn’t seem possible, but in just a short time, Christmas will be upon us. And what’s the best Christmas gift you can give this year? A gift that gives back! HOPE!
Traditionally, Christmas is the time when our churches are filled with the sights, sounds, and feelings of Christmas cheer—Christmas music and decorations, warmth, joy, and generosity. It’s a time for family, church, and community. But mostly, it is a time to celebrate God’s love for us as we remember the birth of the Christ-child.
This year it will be different for most of us given the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But for our community’s neediest neighbors, this Christmas will be just another reminder of how bleak and unkind life can be. They identify with Mary and Joseph as they sought shelter from the elements, only to be turned away and forgotten. They are intimately familiar with grief, failure, rejection, loneliness, and emptiness. They are the forgotten ones of our community—the outcasts without a home, the addicted trapped in the chains of alcohol or drugs.
But there is a place for them, a place of safety and hope. For fifteen years now, Neighbors of Hope has been providing hot meals, safe shelter, clothing, life-restoring guidance, and hope for our neighbors experiencing hunger, homelessness, and addiction. This is a place to meet Christ and find new life.
One such person is Russell— “Thanks to Neighbors of Hope, I’ve learned how to deal with stress in new ways. They’ve given me hope for a sober future and a more godly walk. Thanks to Neighbors of Hope, I found God, and I have a new family and a new path for my life.”
Because of the help of good friends like you, we know that we will have an open door for those like Russell that come to us seeking help.
Please share the comfort, joy, and the best Christmas gift, HOPE, today with those in need in Lenawee County. Here are some ways you can help:
- Adopt-a-man: Select one of our men from our Men’s Ministry program and purchase a couple of gifts for him for Christmas. Email or call us for a list of the men’s names.
- Christmas Angel: Be an angel to one or more of our men who have children and have no way of providing gifts for his children this Christmas and purchase gifts for him to give to his children.
- Send personal Christmas cards to the men, women, and children we are housing this Christmas. Tell them that they are not forgotten.
- Collect food for our Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry, our Men’s Ministry, or our Women & Children’s Ministry.
- It costs approximately $25 a day to house, feed, support, and care for an adult man or woman in our ministries, and $14 a day for a child. Would you consider sponsoring a man, woman, or child for a month? We are not funded by the government.
- Send us gift cards to buy Christmas presents for the men.
As you prepare to celebrate Christmas, please don’t forget those experiencing hunger, homelessness, and addiction in our community. They are counting us.
Thank you, and Merry Christmas!
Pastor Steven Palmer