Sunday, March 23rd marked a milestone for Lydia’s House, a day which many of us will hold in our hearts for a long time. With the last glasses stored on the shelves, the final touches of paint drying on our chairs, and the last pictures hung on the walls, we opened our doors to the entire community for our house dedication.
To be honest, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. We knew many of our supporters would come, and we hoped some of our neighbors would as well. But none of us were prepared for the response. Our house, empty for so long, was packed full for our dedication service–at one point, guests were sitting on our porch, trying to listen through the wall, there was such little space inside the house!
The service, led by Vineyard Central’s Josh Stoxen, was beautiful. Everyone crammed into the rooms on the ground floor, and even the stairs leading up to the second floor, as the community, the board, founders and workers pledged our dedication to Lydia’s House, it’s mission, and the women and children who will soon call 2024 Mills their home. Looking around the room, you could see the inspirational tapestry of dedication, hard work and passion manifest itself not only in the physical space of the house, but in the people who attended: one body striving together to make a difference. Not one of us had anything but pride in what has been accomplished and excitement in continuing the work that is to be done.
While Lydia’s House staffers have returned to their normal work day, we can’t help but reflect on the blessings evident in yesterday’s service: the hands that helped build our home, the lives we’ve touched and that have touched us, and the love and grace abundantly poured into and onto our work. We have come a long way since we bought this house over a year ago, and we are endlessly thankful for every one who has helped us in this journey. We cannot wait to provide a fresh start for the women and children who will join the Lydia’s House family.
As Josh led yesterday, we pray:
God of blessing, teach us to care for all that has been entrusted to us. Help us to share with others that which you have abundantly given us. Lead us to see what is possible when all seems impossible. Enable us to stand up for justice when all seems to oppress. Help us to love generously and give unconditionally. Give us hope and joy so that we can keep walking this Christian road less travelled. Amen.
Miss the event? Please enjoy some of the photographs taken during the dedication, courtesy of Elizabeth Shanklin.