We just had a “first” in the Lighthouse Resource Center! We had our first ever graduation, and celebrated with 6 “lighthouses” that are now ready to shine! The process has had ups and down but our clients and our staff have persevered and it’s safe to say there weren’t many dry eyes at the graduation ceremony!
Rosa, one of the graduates, shared her own story with everyone in attendance. She shared about her own struggle with addictions and poverty and the great hurdles she faced as a single mom fighting against years of chains in her life. But she also shared the great freedom that she found when she was seen as a person, when she was seen as someone with value. The way our staff delivered food to her and her son during the pandemic, the way she has the tools she needs now to have a job and to make her son proud. She thanked everyone for making the Lighthouse Resource Center a ministry, not just a job.
As her son looked on smiling she addressed her fellow graduates and proudly shared, “We are the work of the mission…Others have died because of their struggles but with God and support, you can do it. I am a testimony. They have taught us that we have value as people.”
And she is right. She has walked in the value that has been given to her by God, and she has made the most of the opportunities she’s had to put in the hard work to walk in freedom and make a new way in her own life. She truly is an amazing woman. She also thanked others among the graduates who have inspired her through their own victories and support.
After Rosa’s testimony, special rings were given to each graduate along with certificates for the workshops they had completed. They each received a diploma, and then each graduate demonstrated that they are now free to shine by taking a light from the table in front to create their own lighthouse surrounded by family and friends.
There is nothing magic in the work we do each day…it’s simply showing up to call out the image of God in each man and woman that walks through our doors. It is just being present through the ups and downs. It’s being faithful to the mission that God has laid on our hearts, and on that graduation day we all celebrated the work that God is doing...the work of the mission.