Did you ever watch the “Fantastic Four” when you were a kid?
One character had the super-human ability to stretch for long distances. One could become invisible. Another had super strength, and finally, one could turn into a ball of flame and fly through the air. Somehow this slightly odd combination of super strengths enabled them to address every crisis that arose. Unlike Superman, however, they needed each other. This wasn’t a one-man/one-woman show. Recent years have seen a resurgence of superhero shows, and while I’m not a huge fan, I appreciate the emphasis on team.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” –Romans 12:6-8
In fact, much more impressive to my way of thinking is the team I see operating every day at UGM. A pharmacist volunteers to sort through donated medications. A lawyer assists a recovery resident with legal issues. A legacy partner leaves an estate that enables us to purchase a thrift store and put people to work. A case manager sits down to listen to someone who feels like she’s never been heard before. A surrogate grandma rocks babies in the nursery. A seamstress makes masks. A computer programmer creates an interactive data base. A pastor teaches a class on finding your significance in Christ. An elderly couple donates the vehicle they can no longer drive because they want to help men and women become contributing members of society.
This newsletter is chock full of heroes doing their part, using their gifts, but it’s only a small representation of the thousands of partners who make up the work of UGM: Some give financially; some give of their time and talents. Each gift is beautiful in and of itself, but the combined effort is truly remarkable: Safe-and-healing environments where people can make the first steps toward a whole new life.
Ultimately, there is only one Superhero, Jesus, and we are all partnering with Him to do the work He has set before us—reaching the poor with the love and power of the gospel. Thank you for answering His call.