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Holy Week: HopeFULLness

By Lt. Christopher White, Jefferson City Corps

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals

Of all the verses in the New Testament section of the Bible, I think one of the most downcast has to be Luke 1:48 “When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away” (NIV). The “sight” that the verse says caused such grief is the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Surrounding Christ at the foot of the cross were scoffers, loved ones, guards, bystanders and the religious elite who plotted his death, on his left and right hung thieves. Some thought He deserved to be there, others wept as His life faded before their eyes. However no matter what their social class or religious belief, when the sky turned dark and the self-proclaimed Messiah died, pain, grief and hopelessness filled their hearts.

This hopelessness continues to fill the hearts of men and women throughout our country. ph035smallFrom the big cities like St. Louis to the small towns like Jefferson City, MO where I live, the eyes of the people we serve reflect a life of pain and a loss of hope. From my time here there are many stories I could share with you but today I want to tell you about Mindy and her son Christian.

Days before coming to stay with us Mindy’s husband had been deported to Mexico, cutting off her income and leaving her with no place to stay. When Mindy arrived at The Salvation Army’s shelter she felt like she had lost everything and to add to her heart ache she was pregnant with their second child. However at home or in a shelter her five year old son Christian loved to play with other kids. It was not long before he had joined the Moonbeam group of The Salvation Army Jefferson City Corps/Church Character Building Program. Soon after, Mindy began attending the weekly Bible Study and then Sunday morning worship services; the hopelessness that filled her life began to change into hopefulness.

What began as convenient child care became a wraparound system of support. Three weeks after giving birth to her second child, a beautiful baby girl, her daughter was dedicated by the Corps Officers and two months later the whole family was joyfully reunited as Mindy and her children were able to move to Mexico.

Mindy’s radical change mirrors the transformation from hopelessness to hopefulness seen in the lives of the believers after the resurrection of Christ. This Easter Sunday Christians around the world will celebrate the risen Christ. HE is the reason for the hope Mindy has and the heart behind the mission of The Salvation Army.

Lt. Christopher White and his wife Lt. Rachel are the Corps Officers of the Jefferson City, MO Corps.