If your family is like ours, the December mailbox at home is full of wonderful Christmas greetings. When I return from the office each night, I flip through a stack of beautiful cards and photographs. It would seem there is no shortage of cute children and happy families!
Sadly, the same scenario cannot be said for the “mailbag” here at Focus. Each day we receive hundreds of letters and emails. Many who write are hurting. Some are frustrated. And some are downright despondent.
I’d like to share excerpts from three letters, if only to give you a glimpse of how your generosity touches lives through our ministry. As a donor-supported organization we are entirely reliant on charitable contributions.
Lenny, who is married and temporarily working far from his wife, was direct and to the point:
I NEED HELP PLEASE. Mary is my world. She is constantly on my mind. She told me that she cares for me but is no longer in love with me. She told me she wants out. I would rather die first. Is there a way you can help me?
Indeed, we did, and connected Lenny with a counselor. The Lord is working. For this family, Focus was akin to a life preserver in a stormy sea.
Audrey had written us earlier this year and received counseling over the telephone. She recently wrote a candid follow-up note to let us know how it was going:
It was so difficult for me to call the counseling phone number but I felt so desperately alone and needed to speak to someone. The woman that answered the phone was very sweet and caring. Lon (a Focus counselor) was kind and encouraging. I am doing well now. Your kindness and thoughtful gesture has reinforced to me the greatness of our God.
Bob found himself in a similar spot and wrote to thank us for the counseling he received. The conversation was timely and effective:
Your counselor was more of a lift-up than I could put in a letter. I know there is a reason we have to go through these things. Your [help] was truly a gift from heaven.
Bob was acknowledging what so many of us who have gone through tough times have concluded: life can be a struggle, but the Lord is sovereign and His ways are perfect. We consider it a tremendous privilege to be used by Him to put an arm around many who are struggling. But we couldn’t do it without the help of so many caring, sacrificial friends who make our work possible.
As we’re catching up over cards and letters with family and friends near and far, I hope we might remember there are still many people who are hurting and in need of hope and healing. I am grateful for the wonderful and wise counselors on staff here at the ministry. These are professionals who use their gifts to help families – but only because our friends have committed to helping Focus on the Family.
Lenny, Audrey and Bob, thank you for trusting us enough to call on us.
A wonderful way to contribute is to commit to pray for those who share their burdens with us – and those here entrusted to lend a listening ear and helping hand. Either way, we would be very grateful.