Updated: Sep 1
Summer is almost over (well, maybe not yet for us in Texas) as I write this. This summer has been busy,
with a lot of travel overseas that we didn't get to do in the past 2 years. We finally got to visit India again
and see family and visit a few great non-profits that are working with marginalized communities. It was great to finally meet people we have been communicating with over the phone these past 2 years.
This time, we had the opportunity to visit a new ministry, called Reheboth, in S India. This amazing organization, provides rescue, shelter, medical care, job skills training and employment to mentally challenged impoverished, homeless women. These women are often abandoned in the streets by their families who don't know how and don't have the resources to care for them. Left on the streets, sadly, some are exploited and raped. Reheboth rescues these women and provides shelter and more. Reheboth, which means "open spaces", refers to Gen 26:22 , "He (Issac) named it Reheboth, saying, 'now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.'" This ministry does indeed provide shelter and open spaces for these women to overcome difficult circumstances and begin to flourish. The women are taught sewing, embroidery and screen printing. We got see them working on their handmade products and loved watching a screen printing demonstration.
On my way home from that visit, I was thinking about ways we can join in the work of providing shelter and "open spaces" to these women. One of the ways we can do that, in addition to financial support, is to partner with these organizations and design and purchase products that support livelihood opportunities. Then, as we drove back, what came to mind was another way we can all provide shelter for the people in our lives - a chapter in a book by Bonnie Gray called "Whispers of Rest" . Here, the author writes about sharing our stories as an offer of shelter to others....a way for us to be real in our imperfections, which will provide a space for others to share their real stories too. I also love a quote from Eugene Peterson that she shares in her book, "stories are verbal acts of hospitality."
So, while we continue seeking justice and doing acts of mercy, let's also be inspired to offer shelter to others by sharing our stories, and sharing about the One who rescues us from ourselves, provides us with shelter and "open spaces" to flourish as we walk in the "good works that He has prepared in advance for us to do".