“The more we serve……the more opportunities we will be given to serve”. As I reflect upon the past year and a half, I must say there have been challenges both professionally, and personally that have made me center even more on the here and now…. Intentionally embracing each day as an opportunity for service.
Agape, like so many other non-profits have had to adjust to the ever-changing child welfare system. We have remained dedicated to our mission, and recognize our privilege of serving youth, families, young adults, and one another with excellence.
The dedication of our staff, foster families, and our community support are unmatched. While we have been blessed with growth, and added new faces within Agape, our dedication to our mission of serving remains on point.
The 2021 Agape Strong- ‘Shine-On’ Fundraising Gala provided still an additional opportunity to educate others about the Agape mission, the opportunity to build and affirm new and old relationships, and yes, provide a great opportunity to raise monies for Agape’s Youth and Family Fund! This year’s event was especially meaningful as it included a tribute to co-worker, and my wife of 38 years, Sandie who passed away in early 2020.
Like many families, the diagnosis of cancer forever changed our families’ lives. Significant changes had to be made to make way for blood transfusions, both oral and intravenous chemotherapy, follow by stem cell transplant earlier this year. Sandie was beyond amazing in how she took on this disease refusing to be just a statistic. One year and one day after diagnosis she was told she had achieved remission. Amazing yes, however her journey doesn’t end there…..in fact, remission brought with it a new treatment plan with the primary objective to remain in remission until a cure is found.
The doctors, nurses, hospital staff, friends, family, the community of southwest Ohio, and my co-workers here at Agape who wrapped themselves around Sandie and me with prayer, love and support reminding us of a continued opportunity to celebrate and reminded one another of the blessing of the life we share together.
In closing, Sandie being gone, has been unbelievably challenging, and the toughest journey I could have ever imagined…… yet when I slow down, and hit the “life” pause button, I ‘am reminded of the blessings we shared, and these blessings have brought me back to the belief that “life is good”!!
As Sandie would say “remember to breathe, this is just a chapter, not the whole story” ……you still have time to get it right.
Be safe, Steve