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It's all about Faith

“Is Mission Granbury a faith based agency?” the young man in my office asks. He’s a trainer from one of our state affiliates in Austin and he’s out visiting partner agencies. It’s kind of a loaded question because our state and federal grants require us and other similarly funded organizations to draw pretty clear lines between church and state. My answer is always the same. No, we are not faith based but everything we do is grounded in faith so you might see evidence of it while you’re here. We don’t wear it on our shirt sleeves but it’s as much a part of what we do as answering the phones or making copies. We have faith in each other, faith in the community and faith in ourselves. We have faith that we can change lives.

Our case managers are at eye level with hopelessness almost every day. CASA advocates hold the hands and dry the tears of hurting children on a regular basis and shelter advocates comfort the bruised and broken women who long ago lost faith in just about everything. One might think the atmosphere here would be gloomy and solemn but in fact, it’s just the opposite. No one shows up to work here expecting to meet the impossible. We show up believing we can and will make a difference.

Take for instance our Food Pantry Manager, Nancy. Nancy is one of the most joyful people in the building, always carrying a mug of coffee and wearing a smile. Her humble nature and love for helping others is obvious.

One day last summer, a family who just moved to Granbury came in looking for help. Dad had been looking for work for months and finally landed a job here but he needed work boots and clothes. The children had managed through the summer with shorts and flip flops but they were getting pretty ragged. The Resale shop was closed but Nancy assured them it was okay. She arranged for a case manager to get them clothing vouchers, opened the shop and turned on the lights. While she helped Dad find boots and work shirts, Mom picked out clothes and shoes for the rest of the family. They left the shop, eyes bright and arms laden with the beginnings of a new life. Hope restored. They were almost out the door when Dad turned around and came back in. He thanked her one more time and asked if she would pray with him. Not in her job description - but something she was honored to do and a moment she cherishes still.

Almost every week, a case manager steps into my office with a file and asks, “do you have a minute?” It’s always a special case, one that requires a little more help than normal. Like the case last week when a case manager asked if he could drive a homeless client to the shelter in Fort Worth or when Jean asks for funding to purchase football shoes for a foster child. While it doesn’t sound like much, that ride will provide safety and increased options for the homeless client. And the football shoes just might be the catalyst that child needs to begin adjusting in a world that seems completely foreign.

Every day, a host of staff and volunteers come to work with one mission in mind – to help someone who is hurting. And every day, they come to work smiling, joyful and with a happy heart for what they do. Faith is the substance of things hoped for – and we’re all over that!

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