2016, how, I wonder, would most people describe the year?
Troubles, wars, pain, suffering and despair? And yes, I guess that would be right for many people, and not just the ones in the news.
At Magdalene we could talk about many people who would describe their life thus..... Despairing! No Hope!
We are called to work for the God of Hope and Restoration. Saying this reminds me of a scripture I learnt as a very young person, when I didn't really understand what it meant.
“Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not unto you're own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."
There is much that we may not understand, always needing guidance as we seek to serve the people that cross our doorstep. We can only do this as we live out this scripture. Doing this means every detail of our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Damaged lives can be restored! Hope blossoms and grows, self confidence grows as people are loved and listened to, and learn to love themselves. Ways forward open up as people gradually step out of the darkness of their trauma! Lives of turmoil left behind!
As workers in the project, we need to have peace in our hearts as we walk on the ways of God's love. For all of us working here, and those seeking help, is a need for acceptance, accepting each other as we are. This sometimes means really considering and changing attitudes, offering love and kindness with " No strings attached," For many of us we have to make real sacrifice, and not only of time, to fulfil the work we have been called to do.
There seems to be more and more anguish, pain and trauma being unearthed, people coming forward who have hidden their stories for so long, struggling to cope.
We at Magdalene are never left with nothing to do, quite the opposite. Life gets busier and busier as we seek to cope with all the trauma that comes our way. But, what a joy when we see people recovering, lives and relationships being restored!
So what has 2016 been like for The Magdalene Project? Well, to me it seems like a year when things seem to have, or are, coming together. There has been more deep and significant training undertaken, equipping us more and more for all the traumatic situations coming our way. Now, we are looking to embark on training to help people struggling with Gender Disphoria, which seems to be becoming more prominent in today's society.
Everyone in the project seeks to be more able and professional as the work continues to grow.
There seems to be more and more anguish, pain and trauma being unearthed; people coming forward who have hidden their stories for so long, struggling to cope.
We at Magdalene are never left with nothing to do, quite the opposite. Life gets busier and busier as we seek to cope with all that comes our way. But, what a joy when we see people recovering, lives and relationships being restored.
I would like to acknowledge at this point, the work of many individuals, churches and other organisations who offer us support in so many ways. “We appreciate you." and are most grateful to you, and it is so good to meet up with you from time to time. Please feel free to visit us.
For us here, if we serve God, we are called to serve people, to show loving kindness, help bring hope and restoration into lives that are distressed and despairing through a lot of prayer for, work and effort. Doing so with the best of understanding and ability we have been given.
Irene Alderson, Director and Senior Counsellor.