“God doesn’t love us the way our parents loved us”.

This is what I told one of the girls after sitting and talking with her for an hour and a half. This is also what someone once told me after I had experienced a similar situation six years ago. I sat there as she told me about what was going on in her life and about what she had been through; watching as tears came to her eyes with the overwhelming weight her words held. It’s been my experience that this world has a tendency to be painful and exhausting; often breaking the hearts of those brave enough to endure. It has also been my experience that all things can be healed by the hand of God, and that the immensity of His love is something we often struggle to comprehend.

I’ve been an intern with Hosea for almost a year now, and during that time I have had the privilege to hear many of the youths’ stories. For many of the youth who come to the drop-in, they come from broken homes that have resulted in broken relationships and a whole lot of heartache. I think that what makes Hosea so special is that the love of God is intentionally on full display; never being kept secret or hidden. But the thing is that God’s love doesn’t really make sense in a world where brokenness and hatred and selfishness are the norm. God’s love is radical and selfless and kind; it heals and offers understanding. God doesn’t love us the way the world tells us to love one another, He loves us the way He tells the world to love.

I like to think that this is what we do at Hosea: We hear people, we come alongside them in their experiences, and when possible, we speak the only truth that matters: that they are loved and cherished by the King. Thank you to everyone who has ever invested into the lives of these kids whether it be through your time, money, energy, or in any other way. You are a part of a community that allows kids to encounter the love of Christ and that is a cherished blessing.

What a sweet thing it is to see how God uses a place like this to accomplish His mission to love and make Himself known. What a sweet thing that He uses our experiences for His glory no matter how dark or how much time has passed. What a sweet thing it is that He places people in our lives to speak truth in our time of need.

What a sweet thing indeed.

-Hope Taylor, Senior Intern