Some days are for reminding and confirming. It is like God shines a magnifying glass on the “why” Justin’s Place exists and places it right in front of my face. The why, he has called me and all of the other people that have joined the JP team to share the love of Jesus and affect the life of a child by empowering Mother’s to grow spiritually, mentally and physically; to live a life free of crisis, self-sufficient and walk out of generational poverty.
Yesterday was one of those days.
It was the end of a packed day and I stopped at a random gas station on the East side of Fort Worth, heading home to my family that had just arrived in town from graduate school and college. Everyone ready for Mom to get home to begin the fun family time of preparing for the holidays. My heart and mind were focused on quickly getting gas and getting on my way, I was already 45 minutes late.
But God… he said wait a bit I have something for you.
As I was filling up my car with gas, I heard a voice say, “ Maam” and I met Betsy.
She stood in front of me carrying the burdens of her life on her shoulders, exhausted and hopeless and she asked me for help.
I took a deep breath and stopped focusing on the interruption and what I had planned and asked God to show me what he had for me with Betsy.
Betsy’s life had been hard. As a child she was removed from her Mother and siblings because of physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect and was placed in foster care… Which led to foster family after foster family.
At 17, she was on her own to navigate life. She had experienced abuse, neglect, and exploitation. She became a slave to her addictions and made choices to take what was not hers through theft which led to prison. She had children that she neglected and lost into the foster system due to her unfortunate choices. Betsy’s mom was also abandoned by her mother. Three generations—of what could have been a beautiful family, now strangers to one another somewhere in a system, and a mom at a gas station desperate for help.
This in itself is “Why” Justin’s Place exist. We may not be able to do a ton for Betsy and her family at this point but there are 100’s in Fort Worth, Texas with similar destiny’s… IF we do not extend the hand of the body of Christ that we are called to.
This is “Why” Justin’s Place exists. For all of the Mom’s and family’s like Betsy. To extend the hope and love of Jesus. To model for them a life of freedom in Christ, free of crisis and full of hope. Betsy was once a child. Sweet innocent and deserving of a chance in this world. Circumstances attacked her life early on.
My hope is that for all the Betsy’s we get to meet, young and old—we can rebuild one family at a time and step by step, hand by hand, make progress in helping serve the people, humans, friends, like Betsy out of the depths of cyclical poverty and into life with a chance full of hope. But most importantly the full life that Jesus promises us in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the abundantly” , the only true hope we will ever find in the broken world we’re living in.
So why are we doing this? What is the purpose of this crazy dream and adventure? People like Betsy. That is the heart of Justin’s place, and God is sweet to use a chaotic Monday evening to remind me of this. So pray for Betsy and pray for many more opportunities like this one in both your personal life and with Justin’s Place. Don’t be afraid to be a hand or even just a little finger of the body of Christ. Slow down, look around, and pray for opportunity to serve and love like Jesus.