I tried to help two young teen mothers this week. Both are 17. One is at the beginning of her pregnancy and one is towards the end. One is struggling to stay in school. One is staying on track. One has her high school counselor as an advocate. One hasn’t talked to her counselor yet. One is afraid to tell her mom. One whose mom has told her once she has the baby she has to leave.

I tried to talk them through their options when I had to tell them that for now, The Sparrow’s Nest couldn’t be one of them. I gave them numbers of places they had already called. We talked about how to talk with their moms and to give them time to do the right thing. We talked about the possibility of adoption and who could help them with that. Sometimes it was hard to talk with them and get them to focus because I could tell all that was running through their heads was “what am I going to do? where am I going to go?”

The past 2 years have shown me that as we get into the holidays these calls will increase. Finances are tight, family relations are strained, and the complication we have made of what should be a joyous time puts already stressed families over the top. Parents say things they feel they can’t take back for losing the face of authority. Daughters make more poor choices looking for approval when they have been rejected from their family. Simply said, it just becomes a hot mess.

We are pressing in as hard as we can to push towards the starting line. Someone from the Facilities Team and volunteers are at The Nest everyday trying to finish all those little things and complete all the big things assigned from the State Fire Marshall. We are analyzing sometimes vague state licensing requirements and interviewing staff. Once those two pieces are finished we can ship off our licensing packet to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Despite our best efforts to finish,  the holidays and winter weather are upon us and I know volunteers will need to turn their focus towards other things and their families as they should. But 3 things must really still happen no matter what else is drawing our attention.

1. Pray: Pray for those anonymous souls who keep coming to The Nest and fixing things when no one is there. Pray for those who are there 3-4 times a week that their hand and minds will work quickly and efficiently. Pray for those groups coming in that their work will be blessed with excellence. Pray for all supplies to be delivered on time. Pray nothing gets in the way of the work being completed in a timely manner. Pray for spouses and families left for the weekend and their family members give up valuable family time to serve at The Nest. Pray for God to provide the volunteer skilled labor we need for some of these more complicated projects. Pray for strong communication and organization. No matter what keep praying for these young girls who will keep calling.

2. Give: Give to the 5oK in 50 Days campaign so we can finally get started on this mission with strong financial footing in 2014. Give Home Depot and Lowe’s gift cards to off set our costs of these renovations. Find out if your employer would match financial gifts to provide for supplies like mini blinds or professional labor so our volunteers can take a breather.

3. Encourage: If you know one of our volunteers who devotes hours upon hours of service send them a card or an email. Send encouragement to our board as they try to follow God’s lead and hire the right people for the right time. Send encouragement to Mike Etheridge and Mark Atchley as they press forward on organizing and completing the renovations. Send encouragement to our volunteer staff of Shari Hammer, Sue Ottinger, and Intern Jeffrey as we try to manage the day to day operations of licensing and volunteer management. You can just mail it to our mailbox and I’ll make sure they get it.

I promise you that Satan is fervently trying to unravel all that God has accomplished as we inch closer and closer to trying to serve The Least, The Lost, and The Lonely. Frustration is high and tempers can flare but The Flock has to circle up on the wall just as in the days of Nehemiah. Some are facing outward with their spears to protect. Some are facing inward with their nose to the grindstone. All are blessed gifts of God.

Can you respond to this post and tell us if you’re in as part of The Flock?

Can you share with others that you are circling up helping in one or more of those three areas listed above?

What are you looking forward to the most as push through these last pieces? 

The Flock is circling up. Are you in?