Every month our staff puts together a newsletter for our employees that encompasses positive moments, inspiring stories and encouraging words for our teammates. With Easter coming up, we believe the below excerpt from Fort Collins Rescue Mission’s Senior Director, Seth Forwood, would be impactful for you to read.
My church celebrates Lent this time of year. Together we read the biblical passages that travel with Jesus through his temptations and into the events leading up to Easter.
Lent can be simply translated as “spring.” Author Alexander Schmemann describes this “spring” season leading up to the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection as a time of “softening our hearts” in his book, Great Lent: Journey to Pascha.
Seth Forwood, Fort Collins Rescue Mission’s Senior Director, with a guest.
The demanding work at Fort Collins Rescue Mission and Harvest Farm requires that I continually allow God to soften my heart—to accept the sometimes destructive choices of those we care about, to work alongside other humans with weaknesses and differences and to accept my own frailties and limitations. Yet, I find that when I soften my heart to receive God’s work, rather than force my will in each of these areas, He sustains those I thought lost, He brings the right coworker into my office to encourage me and He multiplies the fruits of my labor.
This is the hope of Lent and of spring in the midst of winter’s grip.
This season has brought about many challenges for us at the Mission. From work challenges to personal hardships at home, in the wake of a year full of disappointments, our hearts sometimes feel so cold they could be ice, they could be the frozen ground.
Yet, Spring and Resurrection Sunday are just around the corner. Easter reminds me of Psalm 65:
You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.Psalm 65:9-11 (NIV)
I remember Dan Spencer at Harvest Farm telling our participants that, just like water on our crops, God’s blessings settle in the lowest places first.
The Blue Spruce Temporary Shelter
What a privilege that our work is in those low places!
The Blue Spruce Temporary Shelter was just approved to extend our maximum capacity due to the demand in guest numbers. The New Life Program at Harvest Farm is continually on the verge of being full. And, most crucially, our staff at both facilities are courageously meeting the physical and spiritual needs of our guests and program participants as our numbers keep increasing.
The cold weather that’s likely still ahead this spring may drive more guests and participants to our doors, but it is the abundance of the Resurrection that they encounter from God through us that truly changes lives, much like the promise of the softness of spring.
Let’s look to this year to be crowned with goodness and abundance as we follow closely on the heels of God’s work!