As I reflect on this year, I am reminded of God’s promises and consistent faithfulness to the ministry of Hope Farm. Three years ago, we celebrated Christmas, 2019 with full hearts and optimism for the coming year. I remember that right after our Christmas party with the boys, many of our staff became sick with flu-like symptoms but many tested negative for flu. Fast-forward to March of 2020 when we were able to get together with so many of you at the beautiful Mopac Center. Then, on March 16, 2020, the country shut down.
As a staff we went into crisis mode and did everything in our power to help our families who were losing jobs, unable to pay rent, and had no internet service to be able to connect to schools and work. Low income families were hit the hardest during Covid, and we slowly lost contact with over half of our HOPE Farm families at the time, because many were forced to relocate to survive.
When the school year began again virtually in the fall of 2020, most of our kids were brought to campus to complete schoolwork at HOPE Farm. Our Morningside campus, which was at capacity the fall before, was down to less than 20 students. During the next several months, we were interrupted by outbreaks of Covid, mandatory 10-day quarantines, and a lot of frustration. Masks were a safety tool as well as a barrier that did not allow us to see facial expressions or convey love in the way we were accustomed to doing in the past—it’s so difficult to connect with a child with a mask over half of the face. Nobody hugged, and a fist bump would be followed by a vigorous washing of hands. As a staff, we felt discouraged.
Joel 2:25 says, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”
I am blessed to say that this fall, we are now at capacity with our kids and even have a waiting list for our Morningside Campus. We have reunited with students who seemingly “disappeared” during the Covid period. I am so thankful for God’s blessings, timing, and willingness to restore.
I am thankful that I have been able to witness this incredible restoration and opportunity to serve more boys and moms. Thank you for all that you have done during our rebuilding this past year! We are blessed and thankful to be a part of each of our boys’ lives.
God bless you and Merry Christmas!