CCC had some challenges in 2016, continuing a time of transition with a loss of leadership and funding. With the start of 2015, Matt stepped on as Director with multiple abilities, but has gradually and quietly backed-off his work this year due to personal circumstances. Some large sources of beds and grants have been allocated elsewhere. All of this has culminated in a drop in financial giving for CCC. In early February, CCC’s Board of Directors offered me the position of Director of CCC. After much thought, prayer, and advice, I accepted this responsibility. With reliance on God’s strength and guidance, I intend to continue the work to which God has called this community and for which He has been preparing me.
I have been with CCC for almost four years, first as Donations Assistant and Office Manager, and mostly (three years) as Donations Program Manager. I was raised in a family and church focused on compassion for hurting people. We all are made in the image of God. In my study of history, social sciences, theology and Scripture, I’ve seen the need for showing mercy to marginalized people. During college and thereafter, I noticed in myself an ability growing to see people’s hurts. This led to a post-college year of inner-city service. I have felt the desire to serve people in need but had difficulty finding opportunities centered on people’s basic good, and I have encountered others who identify with this view. I see the need to continually work toward better ways for faithful people to work out this faith in meeting the basic physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of neighbors. We’re always growing more into God’s image!
One man whom we helped with furniture had been dealing with cancer and moved to Gainesville for treatment here. “Joe” was physically and emotionally drained. We brought him a bed for rest at home, and he was thankful for the time we spent talking with him and praying God’s love and presence for him. The spiritual and emotional encouragement was as important as the bed we physically gave him.
With our supporters and our Board, Lenora and I will continue to work out CCC’s vision to see the servants of Jesus Christ in Alachua County unify in sharing the good news of God’s love with our neighbors in crisis and those marginalized. This is achieved by equipping the Church to bring mercy and relief to people who are in difficult transitions such as loss, isolation, or recovering from mistakes or mistreatment. This is what we mean by “expressing the love of God by equipping the Church to help people”. Our expectation is for those neighbors and other community members who see this work done to embrace our vision and join us in our work as they are released to bless others more. I have personally seen this happen when a furniture recipient has given us bottles of water, or a home facelift recipient provided lunch to volunteer workers.
I look back from my few years at CCC to its nearly 30 years of service and what our supporters have done with and through this organization. CCC’s mission is being worked out with service-minded persons in the body of Christ. I am thankful for each of you! Without the people of God doing the work, the mission of CCC is not fulfilled. Thanks to God, I see our core support and service remaining strong. In the midst of challenges, we’re grateful for God’s provision this past year. To see an overview of CCC’s work in 2016, read our Annual Report here. In addition to continued and increased financial and prayer support, we need volunteers with demonstrated abilities in various areas. Please see and return the accompanying form to donate financially or volunteer! God has equipped each of us in different combinations of ways. We are looking for those ways which CCC can use more of your gifts and abilities to serve the needs of our neighbors together. I look forward to how we will grow in the image of God!