The First Family Friday At Albany Park
The noises of fifty people enjoying a meal together ricocheted throughout the building on Family Friday, as laughter and conversation flourished. As Kristen (my wife) came upstairs to begin preparing for the next activity, she was surprised to find Leticia sitting alone. They immediately struck up conversation, and Leticia began to share about a recent divorce and the painful way it has left her feeling lonely. She talked about her desire to raise her children well, and her uncertainty about how to ensure they stay on track. As they worked together to clean up and put out the supplies for the next activity, Leticia and Kristen began to build a friendship. By the end of the evening, Kristen and I had made plans to spend time with Leticia. In this small moment, we were thrilled to live out the mission of Family Empowerment Centers: to glorify God and to love our neighbor, Leticia, by helping to strengthen her family. In recent days, we have been thrilled to care for many of our neighbors through English classes, Family Friday events, and other programs, but our favorite moments are the ones in which we get to connect individually with our neighbors and care for them personally. Leticia, George*, Margaret* — we are honored when these neighbors feel safe with us and allow us to get to know them as unique people with unique stories and unique journeys. Thank you for making it possible for us to serve our neighbors in this way in Jesus’ name.
-Pastor Phil Palmer