As many of you know, I am on the Board of Directors of the Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia; we had a meeting last night. It was an emotionally peculiar meeting as there are very exciting things happening with the Clinic – such as a couple of new locations in the works (including expanding in to Delaware County) and some great potential additions to the Board – but also some very anxious things happening as well, most significantly, our financial situation.
So, we are at an interesting crossroads. We all believe that we are truly doing God’s work (e.g.: Acts 20:35, Amos 5:24, Deuteronomy 16:20, James 1:27), and we see the fruits of that each Clinic as we serve sometimes dozens of people per month and see them leave in a better situation than when they entered. We also see the spread of the Gospel to these people as many reconnect with Jesus Christ after interacting with the Clinic or, for some, connect with God for the first time. We are one of the only – if not the only – legal assistance agency which is embedded within neighborhoods as opposed to in Center City. A new location is being opened in Delaware County. Another location in the City may be opening soon. Clearly, the Clinic is making an impact among the people we are called to serve. These are developments in this City which we believe God wants and will bless.
On the flip side, our finances are not where we need them to be. In fact, we are behind were we were last year. We need contributors and benefactors. We seem to be “doing the right things” but God has not seen to it that we receive the funds at this time. So, now what? Well, St. Paul says there are three great virtues: faith, hope, and charity (love) (1 Corinthians 13:13). We are continuing to fight the good fight in attempting to raise money. We are continuing to be faithful in our calling to advance the ministry of the Clinic. We also have hope. We have hope that God does what he promises and provides for his faithful followers who do his will. We can see the tangible benefits the Clinic has offered to its clients and the neighborhoods where it finds itself. So, we have hope that God will be faithful and continue to provide for those who are faithful to him. Finally, we are all proceeding in love: love of God and love of neighbor pursuant to our calling to fulfill the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-40).
The Scriptures and Christian history have shown us that God wants the glory due to him. One way he does that is to allow us humans to become completely weak in order to demonstrate his overwhelming strength that could not possibly have come from us. We are called to delight in our weaknesses because if we do so we can rely on God’s grace alone which will show itself to be stronger than anything we could have imagined (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). In this way, the weakest, that is those who are “last,” become strong, or “first” (Matthew 20:16).
So, all this to say please (monetarily) give what you can to the Clinic to allow our ministry to move forward. Please pray to give us the strength to move forward, so that we can continue to bless our clients and the communities in which they are found, to give us the perseverance to follow God’s calling in all of this, and to give us the ability to remain faithful despite the trials the Clinic is and may have to go through. Pray that we have the faith to know that persevering through these sufferings will give us the hope that is from God the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:3-5). Finally, after last night’s meeting, I can truly say the Clinic is thankful and joyful for what God is doing through us despite this rough patch we are going through (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Thanks a lot!