Our newest H2H church partners moved in a thankful family but got more than they bargained for as they too were moved in powerful ways.
New City church is located close to the mission in Los Angeles. It welcomes people living in the downtown lofts as well as people living on the streets of skid row.
Read what Joe Hernandez, New City Church team leader and URM graduate, had to say about the day.
Last weekend a group from New-City Church including a few men from the Christian Life Discipleship Program at the Union Rescue Mission had the opportunity to be part of helping furnish and decorate a home for a young family that was transitioning out of homelessness. Both parents graduated from a program in Long Beach and because of their hard work have been reunited with their baby boy. How could we not be a part of House2Home.
We met on Saturday morning and helped clean their new home before unloading furniture and everything to create a beautiful space for them to live in with their little boy. We had the opportunity to hang paintings and pictures on the walls that made it beautiful for them. We got to see Betty and Pastor Dan turn into resident interior designers telling us where to put what and how. It was fun to see them work together, although we all knew who was calling the shots.
Throughout the day, many of the people who were helping had time to talk and reflect on their lives and where they’ve been. It was deeply impactful to them to be able to help another family get off the street and have a new beginning. It was so beautiful to see the eagerness, humility and sincerity of some of the men as they realized they were being part of something much bigger than themselves. And the most gratifying and reassuring part was that we all had one thing in common and that is our faith in our Lord and Savior.
The highlight of the day was watching the family come home and see the looks on their faces full of gratitude and thankfulness for complete strangers blessing them with a new home where they felt safe and loved. Once they had seen the entire home, the father shared his story about losing his dad and his experience with homelessness. One of the men from the mission could relate completely to his story and because of this, they exchanged phone numbers to keep in touch. There’s nothing quite like a bond that is made from shared experiences like this to care for one another and be there for each other as they start the new chapter in their lives.
This was such an amazing example of people from all walks of life with different and similar experiences coming together to share in the restoration of a family. Everyone played a critical role in restoring hope to this family. It was like being part of the circle of life, looking and watching the baby boy laugh and enjoy his new home. This day and new beginning has given him a different future where he can grow up with his two parents and have much better chances of success because of it.
As we were leaving at the end of a long day a couple of the men who attend New City Church who are currently in theURM recovery program were wiping tears from their eyes. When asked what had moved them so emotionally they replied, “knowing that people like this exist who will be there for us when we are ready to transition makes us feel like we are not alone in our journey.”
“He has sent me to bring up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated for generations.”Isaiah 61:1-4