It’s a really interesting time at the Drop-In Center. I feel like I share that sentiment almost every time I write, but it’s true. Especially for a guy like me who is experiencing a year with this crew for the first time, but this time is genuinely new for all parties involved. When preparing for the winter, I assumed the worst was yet to come in my time at Hosea. That we were going to be experiencing utter chaos on Drop-In nights, with kids new and known pouring through the doors with their brokenness on full force. It’s interesting though right? That every single time you think you know what the next step is, God has something completely different in store. You think and think of all of the ways in which the tide can turn, or all of the outcomes that could possibly come, yet almost every single time, something different happens. In my opinion, it’s thankfully that way.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ~Isaiah 55:8

In all reality, and if we’re being honest, it’s because most of those outcomes aren’t good ones. It’s like when we list out what could possibly happen, we start with the very worst case, the most life shattering scenario, to the one that still really sucks, but we’ll eventually pick up the pieces. WHY DO WE DO THIS?!

I raise this point because things are going really well at the Drop-In right now. We have plenty of food to go around, plenty of space to operate physically and relationally, and plenty of amazing volunteers that get the vision, and want to be a part of something greater than themselves. The coolest part is that we have a core group of kids that are beginning to see the light of the Lord shining on their lives. They are beginning to see that they are created, and for more than their current reality. Don’t get me wrong, there are growing pains galore, and huge mountains that lie in the wake, but there is a firmness taking place in the foundation of the lives of this core group of young people. Tauna and I are starting to meet with these kids in a circle called Real Talk Wednesdays. This is my brain child, and it’s as simple as can possibly be: get these kids in a circle, and love them. We want to let them speak, let them hear, let them be heard. These new beginnings in a walk of faith and walk of life with these kids was something I could have never imagined when I last wrote to you. I couldn’t imagine things being this good. Again I would say, thankfully so.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. ~Isaiah 55:9

I think whether we know it or not the issue at hand is never one of circumstance, but one of the heart. God did not intend for us to carefully risk assess our lives away, but to live in such union with Him, no matter what circumstantial strike hits us, we are able to with stand the storm. Not without fear, not without struggle, not without looking the enemy straight in the face, and sharing of your God’s victory. We have to know that our God is good when we wake up in the morning, or the labor is in vain. To know that our feelings and fears don’t define the love that our God pours over us, and always has. His love isn’t dependent on my thoughts of Him, or my fears, or my failures. His love is huge, it’s everlasting, and beyond compare. I’m really thankful for that, and hopefully this week we can share in that thankfulness. No matter where we are in our own stuff—at a new beginning, or in a place of familiarity—we’re not alone.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. ~Jeremiah 31:3

~ Zach Leiken, Drop-In Center Staff

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