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When You Encounter a Family in Crisis…

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“And may my God supply all your want, according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19, Douay-Rheims

Shelley thrived on routine. She ran several ministries at her local church, looked after her two toddlers, and had a small online business. Despite all of the activities she was juggling, Shelley loved her life.

But everything came crashing down the moment she discovered her husband left town with another woman. He cleaned out the checking account, leaving Shelley penniless. He refused to see his children and wanted nothing to do with his family.

Shelley had never felt so alone and she didn’t know what to do next. That’s when her community began to step in. A family who lived across the street stocked her fridge and pantry. An elderly couple from her church came over to mow the lawn and trim her hedges. A woman from her preschool group showed up each week with a box of diapers.

Every time Shelley had a need, it was met. She’d spent her life helping others and now, those same people rallied around her, eager to provide for and protect her little family.

Sometimes, helping a family in crisis is hard. You may see all of the things that are needed and feel overwhelmed. That’s a natural response.

But try to clear your mind and focus on meeting one need at a time. Start with the most urgent like food, shelter, or medication. If possible, rally others to help you start meeting these needs, too.

Reflection Questions: Make a list of ways that you could help a family in need. Make this list before you even start thinking about who needs your help. What are you able to offer?
God, sometimes a crisis scares me and I don’t know how to help. Please calm my fears and help me to focus on serving each need as it comes.
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Also published on Medium.

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