2019 – 2020 Season
This has been a season of many trials and tribulations and we are charting unprecedented waters. We are grateful for so many things and have seen God’s continued hand of provision, however, we are now facing a new trial, which is affecting our Nation and this Ministry. Today on March 18th we closed our doors for the season, six weeks short of our original close date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you might imagine this was an extremely difficult decision, but we feel it was the most responsible thing to do. After talking to many resources within the community it was determined we were not set up to handle this virus while hosting an average of 16 guests per night. Many volunteers had already expressed real concern about serving, and as most of you know our greater population of volunteers are “mature” and fall into the “at-risk” group. We had increased our appropriate preventive measures as of last Friday only to find we were still passing around the intestinal virus. This was a clear sign we would not be capable of preventing an outbreak of the new COVID-19 virus within the shelter.
We are not alone when we say our guests are important to us, and therefore we are encouraging them to connect with a family or friend. We did not promote camping, hotel, or another shelter, as none of those options are optimal choices in the midst of this pandemic. Finding a place where they can join family or friends where they are safe and cared for and they are able to care for others is ideal. We are offering up transportation to those that do no have options within our community. We are willing to go the extra mile (literally) to get them wherever they need to be, after confirmation of a “plan” is in place. So far everyone is seeming to find a place, however, they have our number if there is something we can do for them. The guests will be allowed to continue their laundry at Brite n Clean as they would have through the end of April. We do want to comment on the camping option as we know some were already enjoying their freedom and have a strong preference for tenting. In these cases, we do not have a voice and know they are going to do what they want.
Last night at the gathering the guests were sharing their gratitude and thankfulness for all the volunteers and all they have done to care for them through this challenging season. We know this storm will pass and we look forward to hearing the God moments as we get through to the other side of the pandemic. Our prayer for these guests is that they would be safe and there would be stories of restored relationships. As you know, many of them have more broken relationships than healthy ones. Wouldn’t it be great if they too would see the hand of God and what He was able to orchestrate in the midst of the storm?!
We continue to be in awe of our amazing Volunteers and Community at large. Thank-you for all that you have done to help make someone’s life just a little bit brighter. WE know for a fact you make our lives much brighter and our village would not be complete without you. Eventually, we will be looking forward to Season12, starting November 1st, but for now we are practicing social distancing and look forward to a time of resting in Him, the one wo gives us hope and eternal life.
In what has been a continuously evolving and challenging time globally, we are confident in our anchor, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Psalm 46:2-3 says: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
With Love & Blessings,
Tammy & Tim
Hospitality INC Directors