Reverberate 2021 – Neighborly Love

There's so much to celebrate!

It’s been 17 months since the world turned upside down and uncertainty painted our lives. Seventeen months of changing guidelines, virtual events, and the complete restructuring of life as we knew it. Seventeen months of missing family and friends, settling for virtual meetups, and canceling plans.

And yet, God is still faithful. He is still good. He is still advancing his kingdom despite masks, social distancing, and the shattering heartbreak of loss. We’ve seen this at Water Street in spades.

At one point during the pandemic, a guest had come to Water Street Mission seeking help. He was filled with anger and resentment. The pandemic was hard for everyone, but for those who had struggled with uncertainty and housing instability beforehand, it was nearly impossible. 

This guest had joined Water Street’s Residential Program but now found himself confined to his room at all hours of the day. 

His roommate had tested positive for COVID-19, so this guest was placed into isolation as a precaution to avoid further spread. The first few days were tough. His freedom had been stripped away and he was additionally tasked with living with a sick roommate. The guest consistently had to be reminded to stay in his room and his feelings of being trapped led to anger and frustration. 

But something changed during his time of isolation, this angry and resentful man found peace.

But something changed during his time of isolation, this angry and resentful man found peace. He came to know God deeper and he began to be transformed. When his isolation ended, this guest walked out a free man in more ways than one. He was free from his anger and he was free to live his life for God. This unfortunate situation was redeemed for God’s purposes. 

Another great story from this past year+ occurred when our food services team was limited to serving cold sandwiches to guests residing on campus for their meals. And at the height of the pandemic, when logistical roadblocks and anxieties ran high, Water Street Mission faced the possibility of running out of bread. The bread stock would only last another day, and the kitchen needed a miracle or they would be unable to serve any more meals. 

So, the Water Street Mission Kitchen Staff did the only thing they could; they prayed. Less than fifteen minutes later, a Pepperidge Farm Truck pulled up to the loading dock to donate a truckful of bread. God provided for his people through it all.

As we slowly begin to see regulations lifted and the virus lessening in impact, we look forward to the celebrating of great stories like these, together.  We also rejoice at the sight of old faces and welcome new ones with open arms.

This is why Water Street Mission is so excited to be putting on Reverberate this fall. Reverberate will be a community-wide worship night that will give Lancaster County the opportunity to gather in fellowship to praise God and celebrate all that he has done through the past year. 

Reverberate will be a community-wide worship night that will give Lancaster County the opportunity to gather in fellowship to praise God and celebrate all that he has done through the past year.

Reverberate at Long's Park!

This year’s event will take place at Long’s Park in Lancaster on Tuesday, September 14 from 7 to 9 pm. It will be a great opportunity for Lancaster to unite in worship and celebrate all that God has done throughout this unusual year. 

God took our struggles and used them to glorify his name and advance his kingdom. From our pain, God brought peace. From struggle came salvation. From instability came restoration. In our uncertainty, God reminded us that he is still in control. 

In a world where our circumstances tried desperately to tear communities apart, we pursued fellowship and unity with unmatched fervor. We sought unexpected ways to love our neighbors and build community in our own ways. We learned that the greatest opportunity for impact is sometimes in our own backyard. When the pandemic gave us sorrow and pain, we found peace and healing. 

This night of praise will feature 4 worship teams from local churches spanning a variety of denominations and cultures.

This night of praise will feature 4 worship teams from local churches spanning a variety of denominations and cultures. Members of our community will also be sharing stories of neighborly love and testimonies of God moving in the uncertainty. The worship teams will help believers to get a glimpse of heaven when all nations, tribes, and tongues will lift up praise and bow before the throne.

Sign Up Today

Water Street is proud to be partnering with radio station WJTL to put on this event. We are so grateful for the local businesses that are also key players in the proper execution of the evening. Thank you to Willow Valley Associates, BCF Group, DavCo Advertising, Brewer Direct, Inc… 

We are so excited for Reverberate and hope you are too! To sign up for this incredible night of community worship, visit our website reverberatelancaster.com 

Thank you to our event sponsors!

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An Update from Jack 5/4/2020

12/17/2020

Dear Friends,

Throughout this season, we have encountered a number of challenges in operating our shelter safely. Thankfully we have been blessed to see no community spread among our guests. This is due not only to the work of our team, but also the ways that upgrades to our facilities came at just the right time.

For example, Providence Shelter, which opened in November 2019, provides additional spacing and a top-tier air filtration system. We have also been able to implement the same air filtration standards in our dining hall prior to the most recent wave of COVID.

Because a high percentage of our guests have preexisting health conditions, we have had to be diligent in our safety protocols, doing our best to ensure their safety. For us that has included implanting all CDC disinfecting, masking and social distancing from the very beginning. This has led to major changes in roles and responsibilities of staff. Staff have taken over disinfecting in shifts all over campus. They have also delivered much of our support services and programs through zoom, hosting counseling sessions and classes virtually and meeting in-person with plexi-glass dividers only when necessary.

For meals, we’ve changed preparation and delivery to help minimize interaction of guests who live in different facilities. At times that has meant delivering meals to certain Residential Floors so we can keep smaller groups in the dining hall. We have also had to restrict guests’ travel on and off campus to only essential trips such as going to work, the doctors, shopping etc., in order to minimize unnecessary exposure.

Another change in this season has been how we do intakes. Currently, the intake process requires new guests to be tested for COVID-19. They await their test results in a separate temporary shelter we have set up, before entering Providence Emergency Shelter.

All of these changes have been made while severely limiting the number of volunteers on campus. At one point, all volunteering was completely put on hold. Now, we are running with a third of our normal volunteers.

And it’s been tiring, for both staff and guests. We have had times where many staff were working remotely due to their own health risks. Other times where staff or guests have been quarantined due to exposures. But even with all of the schedule changes, increased overtime, and cross-shift working, our team has done an amazing job persevering through all of the challenges.

What to Expect This Winter Typically we have over 200 total guests on campus, over 100 in our Residential Programs over and 100 in our Emergency Shelters. Although our Residential capacity remains about the same, we have had to reduce the available beds in Providence Shelter to ensure safe spacing overnight from about 75 to 55.

Winter always presents its own challenges, so we anticipate this year will be no different. Women in our Providence Shelter have moved over to the shelter at St. Mary’s across the street, run by the Lancaster Food Hub. During their stay there they have full access to all of our services, including showers, food and staff support. Not only does having women shift to St. Mary’s enable us to free up additional beds for men, it will help us keep the shelter populations separate and limit the risk of spread.

Thank You We have been so encouraged by the support we have received this year. Without a community coming around us and our guests, we would not be able to keep our guests safe and continue to guide them in their restoration journeys. We truly couldn’t do what we do without you.

Jack Crowley

President