Every Tuesday morning, St. John’s opens its doors to those in need through T.R.U.E. – Temporary Relief of Unexpected Emergencies. The Reverend Whitney Burton met one faithful woman trying to support her family.
I spend many Tuesday mornings with our T.R.U.E. ministry, and recently worked with a woman named Shannon, a single mom with four boys, one of whom is autistic. The way this mother talked about her amazing children, with such love and pride, brought tears to my eyes. She would do anything for her kids, but she had had a rough few months. She was laid off from a good job in April and won’t start her new job until mid–August. She came to us because she needed help keeping her family in their home.
Shannon searched for help. She turned to family and friends, but when that became too much, she was lost – though maybe not completely. She told me of the time she spent in the front row of her church in the last three months, and all of the prayers she gave.
Crossroads is funded by parishioner donations, and is a ministry that helps people who need help getting back on their feet and becoming self-sustaining. It was the right ministry for Shannon, who needed exactly that. Our committee met with her, and she emanated joy over her family and her faith. She smiled, laughed and showed great compassion, even though underneath it all was a layer of stress. We listened to her story, and when we told her how we were going to help her get back on her feet, she broke down, cried, and immediately started praying. “Thank you God,” she said, over and over again.
We were all teary by the end, and I found my faith strengthened by Shannon. She was in an impossibly difficult situation, and she had been praying and carrying on her own ministry to the world. She had absolutely no doubt that she got all of her strength from God and she didn’t relent. When I told her that the funds for this ministry come from you, St. John’s parishioners, she cried again, and asked me to thank each one of you on her behalf.
I asked Shannon if I could write about her. She said, without hesitation, “Yes! I love to be a testimony!” Through her own trials and tribulations, Shannon kept her faith in and love for God, and it was that strength that carried her through.
On behalf of Shannon and myself, I thank God for the generosity of each of you, giving back to God what is God’s. This is something of a reminder of what we have, and what we have to give. God works through each of us, and because of that, Shannon gets to sleep a lot easier now, knowing that her family is stable, and that they’re going to be all right.
Find out more about T.R.U.E. and other St. John's outreach ministries here.