Julie Paine on Strengthening and Preserving Families Through Biblical Hospitality

During the past year, community and kindness — two values many of us took for granted — shone brighter than ever: a neighbor dropping off a bag of groceries, thank you notes to front-line workers, neighbors cheering and singing from balconies, or a friend calling to check in. How we live and respond to challenges affects those around us, and these small acts helped us to feel less alone in the world.

For the past 10 years at Bethany Christian Services, I’ve worked closely with vulnerable children and families to build a community of connections rooted in biblical hospitality through Bethany’s Safe Families for Children ministry. Safe Families is designed to help connect vulnerable families experiencing a crisis to volunteers ready to surround them with support and friendship. The focus of the relationship is not to fix anyone but rather to say, “You matter, just as you are.” At the core of Safe Families is the belief that grace-filled presence makes a difference to those seeking community.

Among the families I have worked with, Lisa’s story stands out to me. Lisa grew up in an abusive home that lacked the support and love she needed. Broken relationships with her family left her alone raising her two sons, Asher and Alexander. Lisa struggled with homelessness and job security, and when she was employed, she was unable to secure childcare for her boys.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Julie Paine