As I can I want to offer a fresh word of encouragement sharing from my experience how our Father God meets us in the middle of loving and living out our faith to draw others to freedom. The road to freedom can seem long and hard not unlike the experiences of those living as refugees from war torn nations, those walking out of years of abuse and pain in broken relationships, those facing the reality check that comes with unplanned pregnancy, and the great journey to healing from trauma. I fully believe we are offered so much more than we ever experience as Christ followers. We settle for a life in bondage to the elemental nature of this world and continue to live as Hagar when in fact we are daughters of Sarah.

Galatians 4:31
31 So, brothers [and sisters], we are children not of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

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Luke 5:4-7 (NIV)

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anythingBut because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Much of housing ministry is doing the same thing "expecting" different results.  It seems like the classic "definition of insanity."  We train, we pray, we share our vision, we open our doors, prepare the rooms, we cast our nets on the water... Those out in the deep water do not always want to be caught and though we have done our research, we are getting the calls, we have reworked our programs, revisited our how, who and why...sometimes the rooms stay empty, those coming seem to not want what we have or unable to break out of their cycles of loss and abuse even to take the step through our doors.  Yet day after day, year after year, sometimes working out of ministering to the one we do it again and again.  The stories we share of those we are walking with do not often reflect this arduous process, the seasons when the rooms are full and the seasons when they are empty.  The long journey sometimes from that first phone phone call...pause....interview....pause....move in day....pause.  There have been those who have called and come immediately and left just as quickly, those who have come and stayed and walked through the process that keep the hope and validity of our cause alive...and then those whom you give so much time to sharing with, searching for, waiting for not realizing how much time is passing...and just when you think the net will stay empty, the prayers are unheard, the waiting and indefinites are too much to bear... He asks you to put out in deep water and try again.  

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

We are asked to remain ready, to be in good relationship with others so that when the net is full we can work together to meet the need.  When the net is full it is too big a load to carry alone and the needs and demands require good partnerships, patience and persistance.  We do not need to be discouraged when the rooms stay empty...just expectant for the Master to say it again. He is willing and He is able to move hearts and minds but He is so gracious to allow us each our process, our option to reject help and our propensity to remain in bondage....He knows the heart and ask us to trust Him and to be ready.