Note from Emillie 2020-07-25

Connecting people is a very important part of my role at Rockford Reformed Church both in my job as the Kids Hope Director and in my volunteer role as part of the Hospitality Team. I love when people connect because there is such amazing potential for good in positive God-centered relationships. As the Kids Hope Director, I have been blessed to facilitate relationships by connecting mentors from our church and children from Valley View Elementary School. As a part of the Hospitality Team, I am a part of creating an opportunity for members and visitors to connect to volunteers and each other over coffee and cookies in a comfortable and inviting environment. During this unique time of quarantine, social distance, distant learning, and Covid-19, I feel a little displaced in both roles. I miss seeing people and connecting with people and I am struggling with what this looks like for this Fall. I know I am not alone in feeling unsettled at this time. These passages have brought hope and joy for me these last months. I pray they will for you too. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” Isaiah 41:10. “And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
 
My Kids Hope summer work has looked very different. I am keeping up on reading and staying informed on what is going to happen with the schools as it relates to my volunteers. I am connecting with other directors through prayer groups and Zoom meetings. I have reached out and maintained communication with Valley View Elementary to let them know our church community stands with them and would like to serve their needs. I am staying updated on new and innovative ways that Kids Hope USA, our church, and mentors can serve our students this Fall. This ministry needs prayer. Please pray for wisdom for me as we move into an unknown year of ministry. Pray for Kids Hope mentors to be willing to try a new approach to mentoring. Pray that a new approach will bring new mentors forward. Pray for Rockford Public Schools and especially Valley View Elementary as they make difficult decisions for the school year ahead. Pray for the children and families who are scared and uncertain about this coming school year. Pray for the children who are struggling because of academic, behavioral, emotional, and social challenges. Pray for good health and safety for the children in our community. My heart is so heavy for the Kids Hope families right now.
 
As we continue during this uncertain time, I encourage you to reach out and connect with people. People in our community are struggling with loneliness, mental health challenges, financial crisis, and addiction. What is God calling you to do? If you don’t know what to do, just pray that God opens your heart and eyes to the needs around you. How we connect and support may look very different right now because of Covid-19 and the precautions, but dropping off a meal to someone, a phone call, or taking a walk outside with someone could be an incredible encouragement. How are you connecting? Please share your story with me and others as it may encourage and give an idea to do the same. “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” Hebrews 10:24.

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