A Joyful Time of Year

Joy, unspeakable joy! It is advent a time of waiting on our Lord, a time to be expectant of all He will do. At Water Street we get to see God come through every day in so many different ways. We are full of joy and gratitude to those that God has used to provide for the needs of our guest and residents. Recently we have been overwhelmed with joy and excitement for the things happening at Teen Haven our youth ministry here at Water Street.

Teen Haven was given the opportunity to take the students to a Christian Hip Hop concert at the Junction Center.  WJTL offered us free tickets and it was a blessing to be able to take the students.  For most of the students, it was the first time they had ever been to an event like this.  While some of the staff woke up the next more with joint pain, it was a great time of bonding with the students.  They danced, jumped and waved their hands in the air like they just didn’t care. What’s beautiful about these activities is that it gives an opportunity to connect relationally with students in a different environment.  For the staff, it’s the extended van rides with the unscripted conversations that we get to have with students that brings us joy.

We also received a donation of 40 used bicycles from Recycle Bicycle in Harrisburg.  Through this donation, we were able to give our students bicycles.  As we were unloading the bicycles, a woman stopped to ask about them for her step-son.  She allowed us to pray with her and we were able to give her step-son a bicycle.  Another mother came asking for her 2 middle school children, we told her that later on that evening we were going to be giving the bikes away to students who come to the middle school program and asked if they could come back then.  They showed up, stayed for the program and got a bike.  The children loved the program and said it was so much fun.  We hope that they’ll continue to stay involved.  Those bikes were a way for God to give us a few divine encounters, He provides above and beyond our expectations and needs.

We have many students that come from lower income and/or single parent homes this can make the holidays a little difficult.  This year we were able to give many of our students Thanksgiving Bags.  As we were passing out the bags, one of the students said that her mom just got a text from her Aunt with a list of what she still needed for Thanksgiving dinner and it’s literally everything in this bag! This same mother then immediately sent our staff a text expressing her gratitude and what blessing this Thanksgiving Bag was to her family. Another mother also sent a text saying, “You have no idea how on time this is. Thank you.” She had just lost her job and was very grateful for the provisions. Another student said that her mother teared up when she looked in the Thanksgiving bag. We are thankful for the partnership with Auntie Anne’s Pretzels who provided the donated goods.

These are just some of the testimonies of the provision that God is bringing to this campus daily. We are overjoyed that He continues to provide for our guests and residents but we are even more joyful for the provision brought to each of us through Jesus Christ. May we continue to approach life with joy and expectancy this Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.