“ARE YOU SURE?” people would ask. “Do you understand the risk of what you are wanting to do?
When God called Joyce Tabor to work with homeless men and women in Yakima, He did it in the midst of a global pandemic.
A woman marked by her gift of hospitality, Joyce began serving the Mission by working at our YUGM Thrift store. Her warmth greeted every customer and donor. But it wasn’t long before Joyce felt God calling her to lean in, trust Him, and step forward to minister to people impacted by street homelessness in a more hands-on way. The only catch? A shelter-in-place order urging people to be distant and safe.
Joyce knew what God was asking her to do and applied for a position as an Adult Shelter Coordinator. Director Chelsey Bell recalls warning Joyce about the risks: about COVID, and violence, and the many challenges which would come with taking this position. When asked whether we had scared her off she didn’t waiver, “I feel called. I just want to love them. I just hope I can do a good job.” She shared on the phone how she’s wept each night in prayer for our hurting guests, and can’t wait to work with them.
Soon after beginning her work in the Shelter, Joyce began to experience COVID symptoms. Tests confirmed what the rest of the staff feared: Joyce was positive for COVID-19. Hospitalized and on oxygen, her faith remained unshaken.
Joyce says she never felt afraid, but felt like she was being held in God’s hand, full of peace. She thanks you for praying, and asks that you continue to ask God how He might want to use YOU to share the hope of Christ even during the coronavirus era. She is fully healed and back at it- loving the hurting and broken in Jesus’ name.
We praise God for her healing, and for the testimony which came out of this time.
In Luke 14, Jesus talks about ‘counting the cost’ of becoming a disciple. A holding-in-open-hands everything that we hold dear, up to and including our lives. It is, like the song says, His breath in our lungs, and so we pour out our praise- and our time, and our comfort, and our safety- in the hopes that others would know the profound love and peace which has set us free.
Thank you all for the joy-filled, life-giving work you do when you support the Mission.
Letter from Mike
The Price of Love
Show me what you will suffer for, what you will sacrifice for, and that is what you love. For example, the love of money typically results in sacrificing family. Loving your children will cost you too.
In this newsletter, you’ve read about how Joyce’s love for God and his broken children has been seen in her willingness to risk suffering and even death. Joyce is so inspiring to all of us here. We love her so much!
Perhaps God is calling you to come volunteer. Maybe he has called you to financial giving. He calls each of us to serve and sacrifice in the way that’s right for them. It takes all of us working together to make this Mission. We are the Union in the Union Gospel Mission!
So, thank you for the giving and sacrifices you’ve made to keep hope alive in the darkest night. We can’t do it without you. Thank you for the prayers you have offered for our team and for those we seek to love in Jesus’ name. Please keep it up.
And thank you for loving God and your neighbor right now. We need it now more than ever.
– Mike Johnson, CEO
Article from the YUGM September 2020 Newsletter.
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