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Let your light shine today!

Recently, my electricity went out and the house was in complete darkness. I stumbled around, tripping over the dog, looking for a candle and a lighter when I remembered there was a flashlight on my cell phone. I turned on the flashlight and it brought light to the whole room. It is amazing how one small light can make such a difference.

In Matthew 5:14-16, we read, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

God has called us out to be light in the darkness. It was after 10:00 one night when my front doorbell rang. I thought it was strange because no one ever comes to my front door. As I opened the door, one of our children in care was standing before me sobbing—big tears rolling down her face. I invited her in and shared with her that I first needed to call her cottage parents and let them know where she was and that she was safe. I made the call and went back to sit and listen. She shared how she was going through a dark period in her life and she wasn’t sure if she could keep on trying.

“Every time I feel like I am making progress something bad happens,” she confided.

I shared with her that there are so many people who love her and care about her. After listening to her situation, we talked for a while

and then we prayed. I listened as she poured her heart out to God. As she got ready to leave, she shared that she had planned on running away, but as she was about to walk through the archway, just beyond my house, she looked back and saw that my light was on and decided to reach out for help.

Over the years, I have watched this child grow into a beautiful young lady. She now has a family of her own. She recently called to let me know she is settling into her new home in another state. She gave the phone to her son who said, “How are you doing Granny? Get ready, Mama says I can visit at Christmas.”

For many of those who come to us in need of refuge, the darkness of abuse, neglect, and family crisis can seem overwhelming. They struggle with daily pressures and the flashbacks of the past. It is a very difficult time for them. Sometimes the progress seems slow and to make it through another day is a victory to celebrate.

Once they walk through our doors, they are no longer on this journey through their darkness alone. We are here—you are here to help light their way!

As a child, I would raise my finger high into the air while singing, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” As an adult, I discovered no one’s light is little. When we allow God’s light to shine through us, it can make a real difference in the life of another. For someone in darkness, a glimmer of kindness

and hope is brighter than anyone can imagine.

For the child abandoned at the mall, you are a light. For the young lady sitting at the abortion clinic who chose adoption instead, you are a light. For the baby found in the ditch in Guatemala, you are a light. For the frail aging adult alone in her apartment who found

a friend through NCBAM, you are a light. For the child kidnapped who was then rescued and came to us, you are a light. For the child

who lived in a drug infested environment, whose Mom went to prison, you are a light. For the family with no food, you are a light.

For the child wanting a family of her own, you are a light. For Samantha who just entered college, you are a light. For the thousands who cried out to us for help and heard the message of God’s love for them for the first time, you are a light.

Light has a way of changing a situation, filling the room with hope so that what was formerly frightening becomes clear. Light allows us to see the truth. The writer of I John shares in his writing, “...because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.” Let it be so for each one who walks through our doors.

Jesus challenged us all, when He said, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.”

When our children and families, our staff, the people in your communities, and the citizens of North Carolina see “light” through you, our Heavenly Father is glorified!

My challenge to you is keep your light on, holding it high, lighting the way that others may see their way to hope and healing.

Last year you provided light for more than 195,000 in need of help. There are still so many in need. In our state, more than 16,000

children are removed from their home each year. Every child deserves a family. Every child deserves a home. We cannot do what

we do without you. There are many ways you can shine your light to help. Call me for more information at 336-689-4442. Remember

the darkness cannot hide the light.

Shine Your Light...Glorify God!

Written by Brenda Gray, Executive Vice President, Development & Communications

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