A crazy idea came into my head a while back. What if Caleb & I could use our gifts to tangibly bless people at our amazing church, while also giving back to our church? Our church feeds and serves thousands of people a month. What we see them do amazes us always. They bring hope and dreams to those who thought there was no hope left, and putting dreams in the hearts of those who maybe were never able to dream before.
Ellie approached me after service as our stand was set up to bless families with beautiful holiday photos while giving half back to the church. She said she knew families living at the dream center that had never gotten their families pictures taken and they’d love the chance. When I told my mom about it, she said she would support this mission.
Last week we took pictures of 10 beautiful families from the Dream Center. I told Ellie I didn’t know that she was bringing models to me to shoot. How gorgeous is she?!
This is Juanita and her son. How beautiful is she? While you may not believe this, her story and her heart are even more beautiful. There was a time she was homeless with her son. And both of them trusted that God had a plan for them even through their pain.
She told us “God’s love and faithfulness is so evident in my life & my son’s life through the Dream Center. This is a place of hope for me. I know God’s promises are real and He’s a good father.”
Juanita grew up with a step-dad. She was abused, beaten down. Made to constantly feel not good enough, rejected, depressed and an outcast. She didn’t realize God was always with her. But now she knows He was.
Wouldn’t you think that all hope would be lost? They were homeless, her son’s father was heavily into drugs and eventually shot. What hope could be left?
But God, ....
has put new hope in her heart. He brought them to the Dream Center. The light in her shone brighter & she brought more hope to Caleb, Ellie and I than we could ever imagine.
God never forgot her or her son. He’s loved them and has been for them all their life. She’s not an outcast. She’s accepted into the kingdom of God. She’s not beaten down, she’s a beautifully crowned as a child of God.
And the same’s for you friends. And the ones you see today. No life is too gone, to lost, too broken to be made new again by who brings dead things back to life.
Juanita’s favorite verse is Philippians 4:13
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
I hope I hold onto this truth today, and I hope you do to.
If Juanita inspires you today, will you tell us how? Love to hear from you!
Ellie is in the picture to the bottom right!
There's so much hope for you today, friends!!!