April 21, 2015
Saturday, April 18th we held our event to celebrate and dedicate our new house of hospitality in Langley. The day could not have turned out better. A very large downside, the only downside, was our incredible Board Secretary Faith Wilder was in Swedish Hospital that day and missed this wondrous event. Faith has been, and is, a mainstay, a piece of the heart, an incredible business woman and advocate for justice from here to the east coast. I can honestly say that without Faith, Hope would not have happened. She is home now, working with her Doctors, keeping us tuned by phone and e-mail so the threads of our work stay sturdy. We love you Faith and pray for your swift healing.
This day was brought together and hosted by some of the amazing women of the South Whidbey Homeless Coalition and volunteer Angels who showed up to our work after purchase of the house. A very special shout out to Linda Jacobson, leading the charge, along with Donna Slade Marti Bauer, Coyla Sheppard, Debbie Jones Tresselt, Marla Shelton, Diane Watson.....Oh I know there are many I am forgetting but these were the faces I saw most day and a huge thank you and blessings your way all for the marvelous work and how this day turned out.
SW High School teacher and community hero Charlie Davies manned the front of the driveway to direct parking all day. Thanks Charlie for your diligence! Charlie estimated the number of community folks who showed up at 175. Folks were given a tour of the home, invited to partake of food trays provided by all our local grocers and Pizza from our own Langley Pizzaria. And the music........
Steve and JoAnne started us off in the afternoon with their own wonderful blend of sound that drew us together and became a background of soft and soothing vibrations as we moved forward in the day. Next came Ms. Gloria-Ferry Brennen as a prelude to our house dedication. Well, words are not adequate to describe her music. Suffice to say I had chills as she played and my nephew Daniel stood by me and was mezmerized as well by Gloria's talent. After the dedication came Beverly Graham. Wow!! My first time really hearing her play and listening to the words of her own songs. Laughing and tearing up with her insight and honesty. And the oldies! Everyone was moving with the sound and loving it. May all the stars in heaven shine brightly on all of you wonderful souls here who gave your time and talent free of any charge to your community, in the name of helping the most vulnerable here. You are all Stars yourself!!
After Gloria played Pastor Nigel, from St. Augustines, gave a most thoughtful and moving benediction and prayer upon our new home. Many of us were moved as he asked prayer for those who would be sheltered under the roof in days and years to come. He spoke of the miracle in the SWHC and our purchase of the home. He stated that the property could very well have gone to developers and instead it is going to be a place of community and healing for so many. Thank you pastor Nigel for your words and spirit.
The highlight of my day was seeing and hugging each of Judy Yeakels children, Bob, Ann, Barb, and Jim, as well as Ann's spouse Dan. They came to give us their blessings on the continued use of this home their Mother purchased 20 some years ago, as a place for the most vlunerable, folks without resurces or hope to come to and find their way. We are so incredibly blessed and grateful to the Yeakel family for allowing us this opportunity to serve. We love you dearly and honor your committment to South Whidbey.
And to the community!! Thank you and blessings for turning out this day and visiting our new home. And to those in the community who gave silently and without fanfare to the success of our event our gratitude and blessings go out to you all. Pictures can be seen on my facebook page and we will also update some here when I figure out how to post them here in the blog.
P.S. In a later blog i will go into the work that is being done to prepare our home for occupancy and tell you all about those heroes and sheroes who are engaged in that work. For now, good day and may you be richly blessed this day!!