Unchanging in Changing Times
There is comfort and peace in knowing that God is unchanging. He is perfect in all ways and does not need to adapt or adjust to whatever is going on in the world. As He has been He forever will be – in His Character, His purpose and His promises. He remains the same even in these changing and uncertain times. Stability and a solid foundation are so important in these times.
Our local partner agencies and organizations and the people who work in them have faced challenges and change over this past year. However, God has been faithful. The provision of much needed services, programs, and giving of Hope to those they come in contact with and serve has continued.
Hope Mission, The Pregnancy Care Centre and Aerie Maternity Home, The Outreach Centre and its Dragonfly Centre for children affected by trauma continue to provide the same outstretched and welcoming hand to those in Central Alberta who are in need. Things may look a bit different on the surface but the underlying values and message remain the same.
All of our agency partners and the schools that we have relationship with report increased need within their client population. Whether that be for emotional support and counsel due to relationship distress and the trauma in its wake, the stresses and decision making around an unexpected pregnancy for a Mother and other family members, the need for mentoring and positive role models in young people’s lives. All of these situations are magnified and become more complex within a pandemic. Isolation, financial hardship and food insecurity are being experienced as well and can increase and cause further strain in households and relationships. It is a cycle that goes round and round. These are difficult and challenging days for families, for parents and for children.
Just as God is unchanging, so is His word to us, which tells us that we are to care for the orphan and widow, with those in need, to share with others what we have, to love others as Christ has loved us. We see that care and sharing in the organizations that we support and who allow us to impact our city.
At Hope Mission in Red Deer, their focus continues to be caring for vulnerable children and families. They continue to reach out to kids through Zoom, offering online conversation and Bible lessons, art and craft classes and connecting through delivering meals and lunches to kids at school and their homes.
Most importantly, Hope Mission is allowing children to develop healthy relationships caring adults who share God’s love with them.
This summer, they will be offering outdoor Day Clubs for small groups of kids in a physically distanced environment as well as continuing to provide nutrition for families in need in Red Deer.
Over the past year CrossRoads has continued to communicate and build relationship with schools in our city. Providing clothing and emergency food when requested by a school social worker has opened doors for conversations and sharing of stories. We continue to accept your donations in the bins in the café area.
Some of your donations go towards breakfast programs. With new protocols in place, breakfast programs are being rolled out differently and serving higher numbers of students than ever before. When hungry kids have access to healthy, nutritious food, their whole day can change. School staff can see the difference in learning abilities, concentration levels and behaviour. We have been able to provide for many children this year, some in significant and life changing ways. Please read the story in the link provided to see how God can use a donation.
PREGNANCY CARE CENTRE
The Pregnancy Care Centre and Aerie Maternity Home have come through a year of great adaptation as they continue their ministry of instilling hope. In a season of unexpected pregnancy where there are feelings of hopelessness and confusion CAPCC is offering hope through compassion and truth. For an organization that relies heavily on fundraising events that have not been able to happen this past year they are grateful for God’s provision. This has allowed them to continue to provide services and trust that God will make a way so that women, men and families can find the grace and support offered at The Central Alberta Pregnancy Centre. The Maternity Home has continued to offer stable housing and although restrictions have proven challenging, moms and babies are thriving and on the path to successful parenting.
This past year, the effects of COVID on relationships has been especially telling at Outreach Centre. They provide guidance for adults and youth who are walking through difficult circumstances, offering programs, services and supports that enforce the truth that all persons are to be valued, respected and safe. Specialized help for children is available at The Dragonfly Centre. Their purpose is to nurture, protect, enrich, educate and provide healing avenues for children and youth who are experiencing trauma from domestic violence, homelessness, and suicide. We look forward to opportunities to show our support in new and practical ways with Outreach in the near future.
The organizations that we walk with locally have shown resilience this last year. They continue to look at the needs in our community and not give up in meeting them. They are shining light in places of darkness, offering pathways towards healing where there is hurt and hope in places of confusion and difficulty.