2023 April #2
By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)
As you were growing up, did you come from a family who knew that each person in your social group would most likely get a new dress or shirt and tie when Easter rolled around every year?
Did you color or dye boiled eggs and participate in an Easter egg hunt?
Was there a basket full of treats or gifts waiting for you when you woke up Easter morning?
Did you dress in your new clothing and attend a special Easter service at church?
Was there a ham meal prepared for dinner?
Although all of those things are enjoyable, they are not what Easter is all about.
As most of us know, Easter is the day that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He came to earth to live among us, teaching us as He walked alongside us, then died for our sins, and rose again on the third day, to become our Savior. He did that so we would have the chance to receive His gift of eternity by trusting Him with our life. He died in our place, as a sacrifice for all the sins we have and will commit. He redeemed us.
When we choose to receive His sacrificial gift, it changes our lives. We no longer want to go against His will – His plan for our lives.Our hearts are transformed from wanting to live in darkness (separation from Him) to wanting to live by His light, His guidance.
Easter holiday is a symbol of the redemption of humankind, which offers the chance for a new and better life.What could be better than living in Heaven for eternity?
He freely gives us that option, that gift, but we have to reach out and take it.
Offering a transformation from one way of living to another, is also our goal at Joy Junction.
We truly want to help those who need a fresh start.
For instance, one of our ladies explained that she was an addict, and knew that she needed help to break the bad habits she had fallen into.Knowing her kids deserved a better mother, she had tried and tried to break her addiction, but found she just couldn’t do it on her own. Her addiction caused her to lose her housing and they had no other place to go. So, she and her kids got a ride to the shelter and, after she found out about the curriculum offered to help stop addictions (among other self-harming habits), she enrolled in the program. She said she plans to stay with us until she is able to be out in society again, without feeling the desire to fall back into her addiction habits. She admitted she wants to be a good mother, and grow closer to God. She feels this new start in her life is the answer.
As a reminder that Easter represents the possibility of a new start, we are preparing a special meal to celebrate.This meal is to help our guests understand that they are not pushed through each day as if they are cattle headed to the slaughter house…with no hope. We want them to know they are individuals who deserve respect and attention.
It’s vital to let our residents know that they are important.Many feel very low in spirit when they arrive on our doorstep. So, celebrating Easter with a special meal is one way we can lift their spirits and encourage them.
There really are people who care enough to help provide for a new start. Should you want to join us to volunteer or send in a donation, please contact us.(Please call the Volunteer Coordinator at 505-463-4818 to offer your services, or contact our business office at 505-217-9586 to give a monetary donation.)
Transformation is a real possibility. It takes action on the part of the person needing change, though. Reaching out to those who offer a program, like we do, is a wonderful first step.
If you know someone who needs a life transformation, please encourage them to contact us. The program is offered at our shelter located at 4500 2nd Street SW. (505-877-6967)