Mentors at work…

UMC Preston Hollow Community Outreach

Dear PHUMC Family,

A family that several of us have been mentoring for a couple of years now have had a rough summer. Actually, since the Stay Home orders came down. Imagine if you will, two children, one going into the 7th grade (girl) and a boy going into the 3rd grade living in section 8 apartments near our church whose only parent is a father who is blind and on kidney dialysis. The apartment itself is a crime against humanity, but compounded by the pandemic…. well, it is just a tough situation.

Two weeks ago, the little boy called one of PHUMC’s congregants, Rebecca Love and asked if his sister could have a bike. With her usual generosity, Rebecca found one of the few bikes in Dallas. She also helped out with the August rent. 

This last week, the refrigerator went out and while the apartment maintenance folks repaired it, the food inside was ruined. I received another call from the boy, asking for food because the next check does not come until September 3. 

I told him to make a list and text it to me. Since the list was a little sketchy…. Hot dogs, lunch meat, gogurt, pickles, butter, frozen fruit, juice, and water. I called Jim Gray at our church and asked for help.

He encouraged me to bless this family with a fill-up and since it was 10 am in the morning, he advised to order them lunch as well. Jim said that because we have not been able to do our usual community outreach projects, the budget had not been tapped and this would be a great chance to let the church help. I was so relieved. Those of us who have been helping feel tapped out at times, and this was one of them.

So, I picked up the 7th grade girl and asked her to help me pick out the groceries they needed and liked. We had a good time. She just kept thanking me. I said, this is from the church. They want to help you. She stood very still; her eyes were glassy. Then she said, ‘Is it ok to get cleaning supplies as well as food?” At that point, my eyes were glassy.

So much responsibility on this sweet girl; to be the momma, housekeeper, cook, shopper (she walks about a mile to the store to buy groceries in amounts she is able to carry) homework checker, and laundry. I can’t even imagine myself at that age with that kind of responsibility!

I do not have a silver bullet for fixing this situation, but I am hopeful that with the church’s help, we can help them make some long-term decisions for a better life.

Thank you friends for your support of our neighbors in-need, your support for those working with them, and your prayers for their protection, health, and education.

Fran Lobpries

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