Thankful for Facebook memories.
Living proof God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called…
A memory popped up on my Facebook timeline recently, it was from a trip to Place of Hope in Palm Beach, Florida. I wanted to show my husband the place where a seed was planted in my heart for youth aging out of foster care and give him a first-hand look at where I hoped The Open Door House would be one day. Marc and I took that trip in February of 2019, four months after I left my career in furniture and design to focus on The Open Door House full-time. Josh Kolkana, the Executive Director, set aside two full days to give us tours and meet their staff.
The first day of tours was at their Palm Beach campus where they serve foster families, youth who have aged out of foster care, and homeless young adults and young moms. The campus was beautiful, the cottages were perfect, the staff top-notch and their programs and services speak for themselves with their success stories. We left that day, and I was completely overwhelmed, how was I going to accomplish even a fraction of what they have built? I felt defeated. The next morning, I woke up early to read, I had started the One Year Bible and was currently in Exodus. The chapter for that day was Exodus 36 and when I read verses 3-5 I knew everything was going to be ok. ‘Moses gave them materials donated by the people of Israel as sacred offerings for the completion of the sanctuary. But the people continued to bring additional gifts each morning. Finally the craftsmen who were working on the sanctuary left their work. They went to Moses and reported, “The people have given more than enough materials to complete the job the LORD has commanded us to do!” I felt God was telling me to have faith, keep moving forward and we will have what we need.
In January of 2020 we were gifted the use of a house to begin our mission of providing safe, stable and supportive services to youth aging out of foster care. The vision was coming to fruition and I was elated. I started painting and making plans for fundraising events, there was so much to be excited about and then, the pandemic hit. Remember that defeated feeling from 2019? It was back. Finally, with the end of April came looser restrictions and I knew I had to get back in our house and see it, touch it, claim it! May came and so did wonderful volunteers, things were moving along again. There was so much work to be done, more than I and my volunteers were capable of, and we needed a lot of materials. The only hurdle was the lack of funds. I remember writing a deposit check for our kitchen cabinets and wondering where the rest of the money was going to come from and then, God showed up in really big ways. Between June and December, we raised more money than all of 2019! People who we had never met sent us checks because they believed in our mission and wanted to be part of the solution. It was nothing short of miraculous.
To say that I am humbled would be an understatement. I still question why God chose me to care for his most vulnerable children, the ones who have been forgotten for far too long.