This last month has certainly brought unexpected changes to all of our lives. There have been plenty of times to be anxious and fearful as we face these new realities brought to us by COVID-19. I’ve continued to remind myself that God is not surprised by any of this. I’m clinging to God’s promises such as Isaiah 41:10, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” We need faith in God, not fear. He is not confused or unable to act, and He has promised to be with us. In Romans 8:28, God promises “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” For those who belong to and love Christ we can trust those good things will ultimately come from even this.

I trust that God will ultimately bring much good out of this. Let me share just a couple of positive outcomes I already know of. It has been good to slow down. There has not been a pull to attend school, sports, concerts, etc… I know our family’s life is much too hectic sometimes. That has also led to more time for building and strengthening relationships with family. Our lives are so full of noise and distraction that hinders our faith. Possibly one of the most severe mercies in this whole pandemic is God revealing if we’re really trusting in Him. Our illusion of control and things we thought we could trust in have been shaken or stripped. Our only hope is ultimately in Christ, and I hope that is where we are driven.

We have also made adjustments to our ministry here at The Joy House in both our Teen Residential Program and our Community Counseling Center. We made the decision to send our kids home with their families during this time, as we felt it was better for their families to be able to make decisions for them and their health during these unprecedented circumstances. However, the ministry still continues. Our Director of Residential Therapy, Darren, is in regular contact with all our teens and families for counseling via phone and video. The Joy House Academy learning continues as well as we have sent work home with our students. Our school staff is in contact with them regularly throughout the week, providing help and facilitating grading. We are also continuing to interview potential new families that will enter the program when the virus passes. As with everyone else, we hope this will soon end, and we can resume our normal operations and pace. In regards to our Community Counseling Center, we are still maintaining a near-normal schedule but taking advantage of technology to do our counseling sessions via video and phone.

So our ministry here still continues; it just looks a bit different during this season. Let’s all be praying for one another during this time that God would grant us wisdom on how to walk in faith over fear and enjoy this time with our families. Thanks so much for your continued partnership!