Unless you’ve been living in a cave and foraging off the land for the last year, you don’t need me to report to you the significantly rising unemployment percentages or the record number of persons in the U.S. now receiving food assistance. With Arizona’s unemployed workforce over 9%, many of the families in our community are among that number. Compounding the problem for some are naturalization and language-barrier issues, as well as a declining demand for work in the construction or manufacturing sectors.
I could share some very specific, disheartening scenarios with you, but I hesitate to do that in a public online format. Let me just say that the children entangled in these situations are scared, worried, and not sure what lies around the corner for them or their families. I have been praying that God would protect their fragile faith in Him and have been heartened at some of the ways I’ve observed God at work even in these difficult times.
Yesterday evening at Bible study, two sisters were elated that their 3-week report cards reflected “straight A’s.” One of them relayed to me her surprise that she was able to maintain that kind of grade average despite the mounting pressure she feels at home. Perhaps her Heavenly Father is gently sustaining her and giving her the strength to concentrate. She is on track to graduate in December, a semester earlier than planned, and has an unusually tough class schedule for a high school senior.
In other news, we have recently been blessed with two new interns – Matt Yoder, from Ohio, and Emily Chupp, from Indiana. Unfortunately, I dropped the picture-taking ball, but effective immediately, I hereby pledge to get some photos of them posted later this week. Aim Right is hosting a large yard sale this weekend; in lieu of torturous initiation activities, we simply give our new interns the task of conducting a two-day yard sale in 100-plus degree heat! That’s how nice we are.