Have you ever experienced hopelessness? Hopelessness is defined as a loss of confidence or faith that future events or occurrences will be positive. It has also been defined as a subjective state in which an individual sees limited, or no, alternatives nor any personal choices available. Those that are experiencing hopelessness are oftentimes unable to mobilize their energy on their own behalf. Can you imagine hopelessness?
Please do me a favor and read those last few sentences again then close your eyes and try to imagine living a life in hopelessness. Life can be tough and can also be amazing. We all struggle with our feelings at times and life circumstances and may lose hope for brief periods of time. Gratefully, we have a Lord whom is mighty and who promises us eternity with Him. We have a forgiving Lord whom grants us favor, forgiveness, and mercy as we run to Him and give our will and life to Him. We can find hope in Christ.
Our friends that we are privileged to meet on the streets each week experience a deep hopelessness. They share with us that they have no alternatives at times and have thus accepted this life as a modern day slave. Our friends cry with us. They allow us the opportunity to cry out to God with them as they come to us broken and with a total loss of confidence in who they are. Our friends oftentimes have little energy left to do much but the task they must do to just barely survive. Our friends that we are privileged to meet on the streets believe they have no choices in the life that they are barely surviving. Our friends oftentimes believe there is no hope for them. It breaks my heart to witness this hopelessness. However, I have learned that we best reach the hopeless and broken-hearted when we meet them exactly where they are with His love and no judgment. I gratefully accept that this is Christ’s will for the AWOL team and I am honored I can be a part of it. We believe that He alone restores broken dwellings. We believe that ALL are worthy of His love.
Recently we, as a team, almost lost a friend of ours that we met on the streets. Our miraculous Lord brought her back from the brink of death. We witnessed one of our friends being beaten recently. We have had the cops tell us to leave this neighborhood more than once because of how dangerous it is. Our friends tell us of they themselves, or other friends of ours, being stabbed, shot, beaten, raped, and robbed. We have the privilege to hold them in their brokenness and hopelessness. Only a few miles from my home my friends are being enslaved and accept these atrocities as their life, their only choices available to them. Some of my friends on the streets are hopeless as they have lost faith in anything positive happening for them.
Romans 5:2-7 states “through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die”. We know of the dangers so we have many safety procedures and protocols in place. We believe that our friends are genuinely good and they are as worthy of His love just as we are. God has poured out His love into my heart and those of the team I am privileged to serve with. Christ died for the ungodly which means he died for me, you, and my friends on the street that are enslaved. Christ died for us so who are we to not experience some discomfort and possibly some fear to combat the devil in our neighborhood. He asks us to be bold. As Romans 5:2-7 states suffering produces perseverance. Our friends have, and are, suffering. We see them striving to just barely survive and thus persevere. We are privileged to call them by name and celebrate their perseverance in whatever way that they are. We get to see their beauty within and the character that their perseverance is building. In establishing relationships with our friends due to consistency they learn that they can trust our character also and that we are there to help them to persevere through their pain and hopelessness. Lastly, because of these things we can share hope with our friends. We can help them to become hopeful instead of hopeless. We are privileged to go before the cross with our friends and ask for Him to restore them and fill them with His hope. We are privileged to be able to share His hope, His love, and His promises with our friends. In sharing Him with them they are then drawn to Him and He does a great work within them. Two of our rescued friends were recently baptized – they gave their lives to Christ. He who has done a great work in us, and them, deserves all of the glory and honor and praise!
I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for allowing me to be able to share His hope with those that are hopeless. Without all of the support that we receive we would not be able to restore broken dwellings in His honor and glory. AWOL would not be able to combat modern day slavery in our neighborhood without our prayer and our financial partnerships. Thank you for allowing us to meet our friends in their brokenness and give them hope which is only found in Christ. I am grateful to be a humble servant of the most high God.
Veronica is a licensed clinical psychotherapist and nationally board certified counselor. Veronica works full-time as a clinician at a psychiatric hospital. Veronica also has her own private psychotherapy practice, All Things Possible Wellness Center, PLLC in Mt Clemens, MI. Veronica provides individual, group, and marriage counseling. Veronica finds great joy and satisfaction in helping others both professionally and personally. Her dreams include continuing to seek what Gods will is for her and His courage to fulfill it passionately, continuing to enjoying her huge amazing family and possibly adding to it someday, and seeking ways to continually help the hurting. Veronica has served the church as Sunday School superintendent, teacher, and home communion minister. Veronica is passionate about spending time in His word daily and seeking to serve Him in all ways that He leads her to. As an AWOL outreach member she has learned even more firsthand how everyone is worthy of His love. Veronica believes it is an honor to reach out to those hurting, hold them and pray with them as they cry, and celebrate with them when possible to build rapport. Veronica believes it is a privilege to engage this way with the population we serve. Veronica passionately believes that us meeting them exactly where they are, with love, increases the chance of them demonstrating willingness to be rescued. Veronica stated, “It is a joy and an honor to be Gods hands and feet. It is a privilege to reach out to others and share His love. I know their pain personally and I know that hope can be found for us all in Christ. My life is a testimony to this truth. I am grateful for the ability to walk alongside our friends on the streets and help them to see that they are all worthy of His love.