A few weeks ago I was talking with one of the women who regularly visits our center. After I gave her an update the phone fell silent, then I heard the tears starting to fall. I listened to her reaction to hearing our Drop In Center had been broken into. Her initial anger turn into sadness that someone would disrespect the center and our staff like that. She went on to say that she didn’t blame us if we never opened the center again. She acknowledged that we all have families and lives outside of the center, that we had better things to do than deal with their stuff and what they put us through. This broke my heart but it is the harsh reality that we are up against.
The women that we serve often don’t believe that they are worthy of the time, resources, or love that we freely give them. They often see themselves as a burden. So many of our women have only ever had someone walk away when things go wrong.
We had to close the Drop In Center for a week to make a few repairs. As we reopened the center, it was a beautiful opportunity to challenge those deep seated beliefs. It doesn’t matter what happens or what someone might do, we aren’t going anywhere. Even if we found out who broke in, we would still love them because we knew it was probably out of desperation and not to hurt us. While it could be seen as reasonable for us to close the center, we will choose to help rewrite the narratives that these women have been told for so long. They are worthy of safety, love and healthy relationships. This isn’t our first break in and it probably won’t be our last; but just as Christ has done in our lives, we will always continue to show up and love these women no matter what.
To learn more about how you can get involved, visit www.raisingavoice.org/volunteer.
This story was written by Director of Local Ministry Sara Wilhelm.