Hands down, this has been the hardest few months of my life. At the same time, it has been such a season of revelation for me. 

Let me start off by saying that I would not have gotten through this season without you. God has used so many of you to personally carry me through the last few months and I want to thank you. Please let me explain... in March when this pandemic hit our State and we were forced to close our thrift stores (our primary source of revenue), it was frightening and heart-wrenching. Then a few days later, we had to close our doors to protect our women and children inside our facility, with only myself and a small number of our staff living inside the center. Though I had great support from our outside staff, our board, and my mom, I found myself feeling unqualified for the responsibility. I felt lonely, and to be honest, just overwhelmed. 

Due to being quarantined, the 15 employees inside the center had to fill many different positions. For example, one of our children's teachers took on the role of a client representative, as well as having to continue to oversee our children's program. Our women still had a program to work and our children still needed the opportunity to be children, and both groups needed to have a structured environment. 

For me, generally speaking, considering my position as director, I "dabble" in many departments under normal circumstances, however, in this season of quarantine, the "dabble" increased to total immersion. Suddenly, due to the crisis, I filled many positions to get the job done: development, programming, ministering to a point only God could bring me through, and serving like I had never served before. 

Many nights after curfew, when our ladies were all in bed, I was given the opportunity to complete the "administrative" work that needed to be done. While doing so, it was also a time of reflection. Most nights, an overwhelming sense of the responsibility poured over me with concern about how we would financially get through this. Then I would internalize the decisions I had made that day, I would worry about the girl we could not take in, I would worry about the girl that had left. There were so many very emotional moments in this journey. 

However, one area in which I found peace was opening our mail (another responsibility that was not my own prior to the quarantine). I am so glad that it became my responsibility because every time I opened a donation, no matter the amount, I knew I wasn't alone. I knew we had a partner. I knew we had someone praying for us. I'd open a $5 check and literally cry, I'd open a $1,000 check and cry the same as the $5 check. I would see the digital donations pour in and I felt that with every encouraging word and donation, God was showing me His provision was coming. Every check and letter showed me that someone believes in us during a time that believing can be hard. Every digital donation reminded me someone cared.

I thanked God and still thank Him for every donor that gave during this season. It was so much more than financial provision - in a place that gives hope to the hopeless, your gift made hope possible not just for them, but for me too. It was literally fuel to keep me going. I wish there were words to express my gratitude, but a simple thank you and a very grateful heart is all I have. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

In His Service,

Melinda MeGahee

YES, I will give!
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