Clifton Sanctuary Ministries

23 Jan

Sometimes it can be hard to admit that I might be the problem.

Dave and I have been the shepherds for Clifton Sanctuary Ministries for our church for the last two years. It has always been a struggle to get enough volunteers for the six dinners per year we make for them, and not until recently did I think that my enthusiasm (or lack thereof) might be the problem.

My boss/friend is also heavily involved in this charity, and she asked me to do some media/communications work for them, mostly sending out e-blasts and updating their website. As I began to learn more about the shelter that I had been helping out for almost two years, I realized how little I had involved myself, and every new bit of information I gathered made me excited for what they did.

Last October Dave and I attended the graduation dinner they put on every year to honor volunteers and graduates. They have a band, dinner, and several speakers. I was moved to tears this year, while two years ago I had been bored. Maybe then I hadn’t truly been listening to these men share their lives with me. Lives I have no idea about; things I have never experienced (and to be honest, hopefully never will). These men have journeyed from being the least of society, homeless, to being productive and stable. Owning a business, going back to school, working full time, having a place to live, getting permanent rehab care, etc. And Clifton did that for them — and so many others.

I am so glad my friend shared some of her spirit and fire that she gives to this mission, and that it has excited me to do more than just grudgingly do my part.  There are so many people joining our church, so many young people who are looking for a ministry worth working for, that I am hoping that my attitude will change this problem we have been encountering. I am hoping that my passion for Clifton will spread further than the bounds of our church, to our Atlanta community and beyond, and that we will be able to, day by day, continue giving service to these men so that they can find the same value and grace in themselves that God has given to them at birth. That can be hard for anyone, including myself, to realize, but what a great mission statement.

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2 Responses to “Clifton Sanctuary Ministries”

  1. Sarah January 23, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    That’s awesome that you do that, and even *more* awesome that you’ve found renewed passion for it. You’re an inspiration!

    • mamajohnston January 23, 2014 at 10:06 am #

      Thanks, Sarah! It really is good to be getting into this, finally. I guess it should have been two years ago, but at least it’s better late than never! It can be easy to help friends and family but hard to help strangers. I guess that’s what we’re trying to do with the e-blasts. Share their stories and make these men into friends. Touch more people so we can get more help 🙂

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