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In The Midst Of The Storm
Entering the summer of 2020, chaos, protesting, riots, Covid-19, financial uncertainty. The emotions fueled by uncertainty, concern, engulfs your mind. Thoughts of the “what ifs” life, a shear picture of what we envisioned 12 months ago. Yet here we are in a pandemic, isolated from the norms we lived and remanded to behave for the social welfare of others. Life for SGM and our clients is turned upside down.
Limited Parole oversite, a changing political policing climate to reentry and offender rights. While for others that continue to commit crime a sensitivity to not confront, arrest or levy sanctions on criminal behavior that just a year ago brought swift justice. To say things are turned upside down is an understatement.
Yet, while madness, chaos surrounds us, “Grace House” remains tethered to truth and justice. For our clients, “Grace House” is home while we struggle to hold on and deliver the supports and structure the clients need to navigate life.
Our work never stops. Client’s needs remain and the emotional tension with clients, staff, volunteers and stakeholders is real.
I am learning as this summer / fall demonstrate that “In the Midst of the Storm blessing comes... In the midst of the storm will God speak to us and yes, in the midst of the storm our destiny can be revealed.
While housing, caring for and supporting men and women, returning from prison to society is our calling, assisting homeless, providing shelter, and advocating for those in need is the core of what we do. This summer we found ourselves responding to a Godly directive to join law enforcement, parolees in prayer and a time to gather one on one.
During mid-June 2020 I received a call from Pastor Gillis of the Chapel at Cross Point. As Pastor Jerry and I had conversation over the last month addressing the tension we both faced surrounding the racial, law enforcement divides our nation was experiencing and how best to respond. What I personally have learned is that: Sometimes the destiny you are attached too invites you into the storm.
Pastor Jerry suggest that God was asking us to consider having parolees meet and pray with Law enforcement personnel. Simple! Simple…. In a pandemic, against all social constructs... Parolees do not meet with law enforcement… history reports generally not a good outcome…Laws of release prohibit fraternization... law enforcement officers subject to protest, ridicule and demeaned. And your suggesting God wants them to gather, pray... As I listened, God responded and guided us.
On July 15th, 2020 at Firehouse church we met, parolees along with Law enforcement. A time of worship and devotion…then officer Steve led the way... forgiving a man that shot him 20 years ago… then Frankie” newly released form prison asking for forgiveness of killing a Erie County Sheriff 42 years ago… as we gathered heaven met earth and we knew a Godly moment of Grace was occurring and we witnessed the power of Christ to change hearts, minds as we became one at the foot of the cross.
So as the covid-19 storm clouds swirl, restriction, protest and life chaos surrounds us it was during this season of storms we experienced the power of God and witnessed a peace and calm only found in Christ.
Often times we have to get into the storm to hear the voice of God.. In the midst of the Storm we may find peace and comfort that only Jesus can provide.
Since July 15th we continue to gather monthly, Law Enforcement, Parolees and Offenders.. forging relationship, prayer, trusting, learning, listening and allowing God’s grace to abound.
While focused on the humanistic needs, worrying about staying afloat God was saying... I’ll help you navigate that...but here... in the “midst of the Storm” I have work for you to do....
Healing hearts, living forgiveness and watching men and women of God find a peace and joy at the foot of the cross.
To think that SGM could be used to join so opposite of forces to find healing and become one in Christ allows us to witness the Godly destiny we have been called to.
While many blessings are beginning to be revealed. A unity commercial “ Another Way To Live” is being released on November 3, 2020 and a new website launches promoting these events and introducing to the world around us “Another way to live” brings us great joy that God is using, “Grace House” to touch and to introduce forgiveness and healing to our communities as we become one “at the foot of the Cross”. As we shared the happenings of July 15th 2020, others responded providing the funds to air the commercial, the Chapel at Cross point providing the media, technical expertise and many hours of Gods people serving, organizing, editing and preparing to cast the vision and the message that we all have the opportunity to chose “another way to live”. When God is the center everything in our world changes for the better.
What we learned through this season of “storms” is the will of God to bless and allow us to be a blessing for those willing to get into the storm and do His will.
We must remain on guard to not become the cynical Christian believer that keeps us from serving, and actively getting right into the center of the storm.
We learn of the secular cynic the non-believer who mocks the storm...pundits is the 20th century term....those that find fault with no solution. But do we or have we created the Christian Cynic. Those that believe we must isolate, fellowship and remain insulated from the world around us.. creating a lifestyle isolated from the call of ministry and those hurting and desperately needing Jesus.
Is the Lifestyle we created the very barrier from allowing us to actively pursue our Godly calling in the “midst of the storm”?
As for us and the SGM experience we are serving right in the “Midst of the Storm” experience blessings and aware that we can be a blessings to so many desperately in need of a savior and introduced to “Another way to Live”.
Your financial and prayerfully support tangibly assists our mission and our calling. Please know it is good and lives are impacted positively.
As you read the newsletter updates please know our needs continue and grow… Please prayerfully consider how you may assist us meet the needs of those we serve and support SGM for years to come.
Grateful and humbled to Serve
Rev. Terry King, CEO