Dear PARC Family,
Relationship. That is the core principle of the PARC. It is behind everything we do and every decision we make. Relationship is the reason Robert and I started the PARC. We knew that those experiencing homelessness needed and wanted to be known; to be valued. They needed to know that they were cared for and cared about. We knew it was a need, but we had no idea how very powerful it would be. The changes we are able to see on a daily basis still catch us off guard. We celebrate victories every day as we witness how the power of relationship brings about things that were not even thought possible before.
The thing about relationship, however is that it puts you in a place of caring, and that is often not so easy, or rewarding. Yes, we get the opportunity to celebrate often, but what about the times when those for which we have grown to love and care about so deeply make decisions and choose to go in directions that we do not believe are for their best? At the PARC we get the privilege of seeing those that are homeless for who they truly are. The walls come down and we see their hearts and recognize their potential. So, when they go off and do something that we be believe is harmful or 'stupid' we often don't know what to do with those emotions. We believe in them! We are rooting for them. Now what? What do we do? What is our role?
Relationship is hard. It takes a toll on you and requires vulnerability and honesty. It also takes acceptance. We must accept our 'friends' for who they are and walk in grace to allow them to take the directions they choose. Isn't that what God does for us? We must realize that when they leave the PARC each day that they are not our responsibility. They belong to God; a loving Father that won't leave them. He goes with them wherever they go, even to the darkest places, and He cares for them more than we do. That is HARD but it is necessary.
If we are going to do this, if we are going to choose to walk in relationship with one another we must release them in to the hands of God, and in that releasing keep our hearts ready for their return. We must decide to keep our hearts open so that when they do come back and get on the right track again, we are standing ready to welcome them with open arms and open hearts. We choose to keep believing and keep giving them chances. At the PARC no one ever runs out of chances, but that is hard when we care so deeply. Sometimes we just get angry. Often it hurts. We have to decide to face our pain and grief and release them to walk this path they choose. It is grace. It is the grace that God shows us every single day. Do we choose it? Do we choose relationship no matter what it takes? With a resounding proclamation we say 'YES'! There is power in relationship. It changes us. It changes them. We choose relationship. Thank you for choosing to walk with us and choosing relationship to impact and truly change lives.
Dear PARC Family,