Tales from the New Hope Center: January 2019
The New Hope Center served more than 15,000 people in 2018. Men and women who needed everything from new coats to that evening's dinner. Who struggled to make it on their own, for reasons that stretched from drug addiction to unexpected tragedy. Many simply can't support their families on a limited income.
But no matter what brought them here, we believe in the inherent value of men and women made in the image of their Creator. We believe in human dignity and divine compassion. Because of those beliefs, we are endeavoring to share more stories from the New Hope Center. More accurately, we want our guests and volunteers to be given the chance to share their own stories in their own words.
Carla Stroud – Volunteer
“About a year and a half ago, I found myself — a widow of just a little over three years — with too much time on my hands. So I started praying and asking God ‘where do you want me? There are so many people that are reaching out and pulling and wanting things, but I want to be where you want me to be…’ I’ve always thought that 6 Stones is a place where God is working. Maybe this is a place where He’s wanting me to come.
“I think one of the most important things we can have is a grateful spirit. Working with people who are in a much less fortunate place than I am really causes me to look at myself and appreciate what I have.
“A man came in shopping for his family, and as we were talking back and forth I asked him how he was doing. And he said ‘you know, I’m doing OK. I’ve finally forgiven the man who killed my son. Ten years ago, this man killed my son. He’s being released from prison today, and I have been able to forgive him.’ He pulled out his phone and showed me a picture of his son’s grave, and talked about him a little bit. He was killed at a very young age. It was very touching, and I’ve never forgotten that.”
Ruth – New Hope Guest, CPR Homeowner
“6 Stones did a wonderful job with the house, and me and the kids really appreciate what was done. I don’t have to worry about the roof leaking anymore. It’s the little things that people don’t think about… life keeps going on. There’s still tragedy and turmoil and drama, but we’ll make it through that as long as we stay a strong family.
“It’s a blessing. At first, honestly, I was ashamed and embarrassed. But the people here are so nice. You realize that everybody has hard times. It’s not just me. I’m not a failure. The people here really make it easy to not feel so down on yourself or weirded out or scared.
“The life that I’ve had, everything sooner or later — no matter how bad it got — it does pass. Things turn out better on the other side. You’ve just got to be patient and wait for it, and keep reminding yourself that it’s not forever. It’s temporary. It may seem like it’s never going to end, but eventually, it does as long as you just believe. I’ve started going to church since we last spoke; it was my daughter’s first experience with Bible School and she loves it. So just being around honest, nice, Christian people that believe in God and pray [helps me to have faith].”
Ron and Dylan – Volunteers
“This relationship is more of a mentoring opportunity. What Dylan and I are here to do is just give back to the community. We were talking this morning over breakfast about some of the things we’d like to see happen in our communities. One is to eradicate hunger, community-wide. Dylan also mentioned that one of his passions is to eradicate hunger worldwide. In order to do that, we first know that we have to give back to the community. When it starts small on the community level, then it can expand to more of a Statewide level and a national level.
“I will clear my schedule to make sure that this happens for Dylan. They mean that much to us, as far as friends and partners in life. When we talk about ‘Doing Life Together,’ it’s more than just grabbing a bite to eat or going to church together… we are true friends. We’re there for each other; good, bad, or indifferent.
“When you surround good character — like Dylan is — with good character, good-minded, Godly men, you know that relationship can continue. It’s a long-term mentoring, a long-term example, growing up in life, of someone who is willing to spend time and money and resources with the person you’re looking to mentor.”
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