Sally loads up her dirty laundry, along with her three young children, and commutes to the laundromat by bus. The trip home is rewarded with the sweet smell of clean clothes, but still no easy task for a woman trying to raise her children alone. Grocery shopping holds the same challenges and the neighborhood where she has found shelter in is not safe to be out in at night.
Anna’s abusive husband kept her isolated in an apartment without food. New to the United States, she was slow to learn of the laws that would help protect her. Eventually she found help and safety for her and her children, but she still had no beds, furniture, food, or a community that spoke her language. Life was hard and lonely.
Sally and Anna are not isolated cases. In one Redlands school alone there are one hundred children who are homeless. Jesus understands the plight of those who have no place to call home. He told those who wanted to follow him in Matthew 8:20, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” We are thankful to have a ministry at Trinity Church that reflects Christ’s compassion for those without the comforts of home.
The Welcome Home Team Ministry was founded in 2013 by Trinity member, Maureen O’Keefe. When Maureen moved from the area, Martha (pronounced Marta) Daggett became the coordinator and serves passionately in this Trinity Church ministry.
Martha was raised in the Dominion Republic. Her parents were always involved in missions and Martha developed a heart for people in general, especially those who are hurting. Once a month she joined her parents at a soup kitchen and Martha would sing the song by Ray Boltz, “Thank you for giving to the Lord, I’m a life that’s been changed.” Martha makes The Welcome Home Team a priority, along with being wife to Marc, mother to Rachel and Rebekah, and working four days a week as a clinical therapist.
The Welcome Home Team is alerted when a homeless family has located transitional housing and the team welcomes them to their new home with dinner, groceries, and a listening ear to hear their story. Their needs are assessed, and needed items, such as appliances and furniture, are retrieved from our storage garage and delivered.
Martha believes that taking time to listen to the stories of the people is what makes a difference, and to hear “you are an answer to prayer” inspires her not only to continue, but also to reach more families in need. The team has helped five families this year, but with more volunteers and funds even more families can be reached. It’s important to act swiftly when Martha receives a call from the many agencies that make her aware of critical needs, but Martha cannot do it alone. Please go to the Welcome Home page on Trinity’s web-site to find out some of the needs of this ministry; from organizing our storage garage, driving a U-Haul, providing food, to making donations.
It was the Welcome Home Team who provided a washer and dryer for Sally, so her laundry days are much easier now. It was the Welcome Home Team who brought furniture and food to Anna and shared helpful resources beyond her basic needs, one of which was being connected with a family in our church who speaks her language and who remain supportive friends to this young mother.
We can help more Sallys and Annas by joining Martha in changing lives, one family at a time. This important ministry poignantly reflects our Mission Statement: “We are a community of Christ-followers longing to glorify God by loving God, loving people, sharing the Gospel, and serving the world” and our Advent Conspiracy: “Spend less, give more, worship fully, and love all.”
What a beautiful Christmas it will be to hear the echo of voices saying, “Thank you, for giving to The Lord. I’m a life that was changed!”
To learn more about or become part of the Welcome Home Team contact Martha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Linda Arnett