Last week Ms. Stone dropped off three of her children to enjoy our daily breakfast served to our elementary school students. Something wasn’t right. There were tears in her eyes when she asked Mrs. Raines, our principal, if they could speak privately. Mrs. Raines took her to my empty office and closed the door so they could sit together. Mrs. Raines is one of those people you can just sense the spirit of God in, someone you can trust to shoulder a burden.
“I didn’t want my kids to stay home today,” Ms. Stone began.
Ms. Stone’s kids have great attendance. Why would she say that?
“I needed to bring them to school so they can be around people who can pray, where I know they will be comfortable. That will give me peace. Knowing they are here and that they’ll be prayed for.”
Why did Ms. Stone need peace today? What would we be praying for?
The previous day one of her older sons was visiting a friend’s house when there was a drive-by shooting. An innocent by-stander, he was hit, and seriously wounded. Ms. Stone had been with him all night in the hospital. Her kids wanted to go visit him. It would have been so natural to just keep them home, but Ms. Stone is a woman of faith, she knows and trusts our community, and she knew being at UrbanPromise could offer peace as she returned to the hospital.
Ms. Raines listened. And then they prayed together. And the balance of the day we sought peace for Ms. Stone’s children.
Ms. Stone is an impressive Mom. She’s done a great job raising her children. I have always admired her and felt thankful that she entrusted us to partner with her to educate her children and support her goals for them. It weighs on me that she has to suffer this injustice, draw even more from her remarkable reservoir of strength, and persevere.
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” That’s how the angels introduced the arrival of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, at Christmas. I know God is pleased with Ms. Stone.
It’s not UrbanPromise that offers Ms. Stone’s family peace, it’s God with us – with our staff, with Ms. Stone and our other families, with volunteers and supporters like you. I thank God that His presence and your support allows UrbanPromise to be a place of peace. Our community, our programs, our presence across the city and our reach into the suburbs position UrbanPromise as a place of peace. I’m asking you to be generous with a gift that allows us to offer peace to Ms. Stone and hundreds of families like hers.
Normally when I write to you I offer a menu of benefits that your gifts can support. I could discuss our amazing teachers’ salaries, our heating bills, curriculum and supplies – all the practical things needed that allow us to be a place of peace. It’s Christmas and it’s the end of the year. This time I am just offering giving amounts for you to reflect and decide how you value peace. Please consider the response card enclosed and offer a gift of Peace.
Thank you, God Bless you this coming year, and Merry Christmas.
Pray for Peace,