A CityHeart Moment … Peace, Love, Joy and Hope

Advent | Christ Episcopal Church Dayton OhioThe season of Advent is characterized by anticipation and expectation. We long to find Peace, give Love, experience Joy and receive Hope.

It is a season in which the stories of the most vulnerable in our community are crying out to be heard.

Peace – Anita reached out to Christ Church and CityHeart seeking peace. A 24 year old young woman who has recently begun “hearing voices” in her head. She is struggling to understand what is happening and insists that she is not “crazy.” Unable to focus her mind, the torment led Anita to quit her job. After speaking with both the clergy and CityHeart staff, we helped Anita make the connections to get an appointment for mental health assessment later this month. We also met her immediate need for food and coordinated rental assistance to help stabilize her situation. And in the presence of those who cared for her, Anita found peace in the moment.

Love – Early each month many recipients of Social Security benefits are at-risk of becoming victims of theft or abuse. Lauren contacted CityHeart on behalf of her neighbor Agnes, whom we believe is a victim of elder abuse at the hands of her own children. Lauren says that Agnes never has enough money to pay all her bills. This concerned neighbor has reached out in love to help, contacting churches throughout the community to pay the gas and electric bills. When CityHeart suggested that Lauren might report the suspected abuse, she informed us that they have already begun the process of setting up a legal representative for Agnes. We were able to keep the heat on by splitting the Vectren bill with another church. Two days later a very nice card came in the mail from Lauren thanking US for our help! Agnes is lucky to have such a caring and loving friend as Lauren. She deserves all the thanks.

Joy – Another vulnerable and unaware victim was our neighbor John, a simple man. He came to CityHeart asking for help with his rent because he said he “lost” his wallet. After receiving his monthly Social Security money he was visiting at the home of some family. He said there were many people gathered there that he didn’t know, and when he got home his wallet was missing. A social worker in his apartment community confirmed for us that two other churches had already pledged to help with his rent and CityHeart agreed to pay the balance. When John came back over to pick up the rent check he was filled with appreciation and joy.

Hope – In each of these circumstances, CityHeart brought hope to the lives of those who were suffering.

And for those of us who wait in anticipation of the coming of our Lord, our hope is fulfilled in the assurance that God’s presence is indeed here among us, working in and through all those who love and serve in his name.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God . . . and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:1, 1:14)