Stepping Into Grief

A lovely woman came into the Love INC office last week to donate cloths; a simple, loving act to give what someone else could use. And in an instant she shared her husband’s story. Her husband had been ill and bedridden for more than a decade. He was unable to get out of bed himself, and uninterested in engaging in life. He had been a singer, but not any longer.

One day she heard the shower running and some music. She thought the radio was playing. When she went to check on him she realized he was singing in the shower!! How shocked she was by this, and even more shocked when he asked for a nice hot breakfast. That day was amazing! Her husband walked outside with her, ate robustly, chatted joyously.

That evening, after dinner, he asked to walk the dogs. He went outside, just he and the dogs, enjoying the evening air. As she walked with him into the house he turned and smiled at her and said, “I made it”. Then he sat on the floor and quietly passed away.

Stepping into someone’s story, for even a moment, changes your life.

#LoveINC #inspired #grief

 

Amazed!

This happens so often, and it's so perfect I'll give this to you straight from our volunteer:

"I was so encouraged after talking to a young woman today who we were able to help. She was encouraged and uplifted not only because of our conversation, but also because of the way Love INC helped through the churches and with prayer. What a blessing it was to me to be able to encourage her and show her Christ's love."

Providing Help and Hope

It’s hard to wrap your head around the work done by our volunteers. They spend hours on the phone with people in need in our county, and they’re able to offer what’s needed at just the right time. Our volunteers don’t just help direct people to our partner churches for stuff, they’re also providing hope. Here’s a sample of how they help.

 

A client called in who had been recently divorced. She was raising four children, and her husband had left the state, saddling her with debt. She was also dealing with family health issues and trying to assist where possible. Because of her situation she was living with her children in her mother’s basement. That’s when the heavy rain hit and flooded the basement. She lost most of her furniture.

For most of us this would be an emotionally overwhelming crisis, especially when dealing with all the issues the client shared. However, our volunteer was able to refer her to partner churches that provided her with personal items, food, and furniture. Our volunteer also had the opportunity to pray and share scripture with the client, offering hope and encouragement at just the right time.

#livingstonloveinc #loveourvolunteers #hope

And Sometimes Our Clients Inspire Us

Being a Love INC volunteer is so fulfilling, it’s very challenging sometimes but fulfilling. It’s not easy to step into someone else’s pain, grief, or suffering and try to walk with them through their trials. Our volunteers provide hope and peace to people in trying times. As you can guess there are days when our volunteers feel weighed down.

How amazing it is, even awe-inspiring, when our clients inspire us! There was a young woman who called in needing furniture, nothing else just furniture. As our volunteer talked with her the Love INC volunteer found this young woman had been through an emotional storm. She has a small child, and her husband had battled cancer. Praise God, he has recovered and has a full time job! She is also taking care of her disabled 14-year old sister because their Mom is an alcoholic. Again, praise the Lord, she had the ability to care for her sister. This young woman struggled through the challenges and was positive and full of gratitude. She was such an inspiration. I think God has a plan….

Prayer Helps

One of the great things our volunteers do with clients is pray. They always ask the client for permission to pray with them, and sometimes the answer is no, not everyone is comfortable with audible heartfelt prayer. That’s where Cindy was at (not her real name). She was good with being on our prayer list, but she did not want us to pray out loud with her.

One of our volunteers needed to contact Cindy and asked if she could pray with her. Miraculously it was perfect timing. Cindy had just received horrible news about a close family member who was estranged from the family. Cindy was overwrought with concern. The Love INC volunteer was able to pray with Cindy and comfort her. Even while we are overcome God is good!

From Hopeless to Hopeful

Last week our Director, Kathie Janego, talked about the impact of housing instability. While siting reports and articles can distance us all from the day to day realities, our volunteers at the Love INC Clearinghouse and our partner churches deal with the people struggling in Livingston County every day.

Recently we had a single mother and her adult daughter who were homeless. The mother had been abused by her ex-boyfriend and was being helped by LACASA.  When she called the Love INC Clearinghouse she was feeling exhausted and hopeless because of the trials she’d been facing. Our partner churches  were able to help her with laundry vouchers, gas vouchers, and personal items. Most importantly our volunteers were able to encourage her. She found a job, and she knows that God loves her and has a future for her. If you or someone you know is in need, contact the Love INC Clearinghouse at (517)552-3620. Move from hopelessness to hope.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

#hope #LACASA #TheChurch #livingstonloveinc

 

This Is Why We’re Here

It’s easy to get jaded when working with the public in any capacity. This is especially true when you work with an organization that seeks to make meaningful change in people’s lives. One of our staff members recently shared a story that brings some joy and shows God’s amazing grace.

Love INC has a client who had a very successful career, but struggled with substance abuse. The client worked hard to break the addiction. However, as often happens, the client “fell off the wagon” and struggled again with addiction. They lost their job, became homeless, slept in their car, and struggled with providing the basic needs of life. Sounds heart wrenching, right?

Well that’s not the end of the story. The client got involved with one of our partner churches, The Naz , in Brighton. They have a Celebrate Recovery program, “a ministry whose mission is to assist those who are trying to recover from hurts, habits, and hang-ups that have led to unhealthy and addictive behavior.” Our client is working again in their former career and continues on the road to recovery.

Love INC, with our partner church, has been able to help bridge the gap, provide prayer, and give the client hope. It’s why we’re here.

“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

Blessings,

Katherine B. Janego

Executive Director

Love In the Name of Christ

of the Greater Livingston Area