Yesterday I had the privilege and honor of giving the opening prayer for the PACE Center for Girls Annual Luncheon. It is a time where PACE gives thanks to past donors and supporters and they also use this time to promote their mission and vision.
During our time spent together we had the chance to hear from several of the students. They shared with such authenticity and genuineness. They did not alter their stories to make it easier for us; they shared some of the pain they have experienced in their young lives. But through that pain of the past, you could feel their great hope for the future. They were determined and focused to not let the past define them, but rather to make their future that much better. It was so moving and emotional to listen as these life stories were shared.
As I listened though, there was one constant: the PACE Center for Girls. Through the compassion, the attention, and strength of the staff, the administrators, and the volunteers, these lives have been changed. PACE has committed to walk into these difficult situations, stand alongside these young ladies, and see them through to the other side of their situation. They do more than offer an education, they do more than give these young ladies another set of rules to deal with, they give them hope. They breathe an air of possibility into what seems, for many, like an almost insurmountable set of circumstances. Even though they do not have the word “Church” at the end of their organizational name, they are living out the second greatest commandment, “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:39).
The staff of PACE Center, the teachers, the administrators, and everyone involved is sharing love, the way God intended, with these young ladies. There is no judgment for past lives lived, just love, acceptance, grace, and hope offered for their future. All day yesterday, and I am sure for the foreseeable future, I will carry the emotions I experienced that day with me.
I tell you all of this so I may extend you an invitation. During your quiet time with God this week, please pray for PACE. Pray in whatever manner the Holy Spirit leads you; just pray. Then if you feel that God is asking more from you, listen. But any action needs to begin with prayer.
If you would like more information about the PACE Center for Girls, Marion County please click here.
Have a great week and I will see you Sunday!