Hello, beloved of God!

Andy and I have lived in nine different places since we got married. James joined us for five of those and Ethan for four. As a matter of fact, Ethan had three different addresses before he was 2 years old. But we’ve always had a place to call home, whether it was an apartment, a rental house, a house we were buying, or a parsonage.

We also have the extra layer of blessing of living, loving parents. I still recall, with embarrassment and gratitude, that our parents had to co-sign for our first apartment in Denton since neither of us had a job yet. And, if we needed it, I know our parents would still provide a soft place to land if we needed it.

Not all folks are this fortunate. I am incredibly grateful for the work of Family Promise of Grayson County in caring for those who need this kind of support. Family Promise envisions a nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future.

For over 30 years, the national organization has worked through local affiliates, such as the one in Grayson County, to help families achieve stability by providing prevention services before families reach crisis, shelter when they become homeless, and stabilization programs once they have secured housing to ensure they remain independent.

Every year in America, roughly 3 million children experience homelessness. These children are 8-9 times more likely to repeat a grade and 7 times more likely to attempt suicide. 42% will drop out of school at some point and 47% suffer from anxiety, depression, or withdrawal. These are God’s beloved children and I am grateful for how our church responds.

Our church is one of twelve host churches for Family Promise. I asked Google how many churches there are just in Sherman and I stopped counting at 60. Beloved, it is a deep honor that we get to serve in this way. Host churches provide lodging, three meals a day, and caring hospitality for families.

Our next opportunity to host families is coming up soon – September 17-24. If you feel God calling you to serve as a part of our hosting team or if you just have questions, please get in touch with Peach Portman ([email protected]) or call us at the church office.

I’m praying for you. I hope you are praying for me. I am grateful to be in ministry with all of you!

grace & peace,

Pastor Jessica.