Dear Inner Circle,
An old school mate decided to visit Wayside before I finish up as CEO and Pastor. As we walked around, he suggested that my presence will be missed. Two or three times in the following ten minutes someone called out, “Are you still here?” and “I thought you’d gone” and “How much longer will you be here?” It became fairly obvious that the community will cope!
The highlight of my day often comes when I can afford a few minutes to sit at the front of our building. Earlier today I sat next to a bloke I’ve never seen before. He was making unusual movements with his head. It was almost like he was having an argument without words or without a partner to the argument. It was a pleasant surprise when he spoke rationally and with an educated voice.
He told me that he was, “lost”. He told me that he’d hurt everyone he’d ever loved. “You’ve come to the right place,” I told him. “I doubt it” he said. “We’d rather be lost with you than saved without you,” I said.
For the first time his rather wild-looking eyes, fixed on my face. What I saw was a longing for love. I checked outside my window just now and saw the same young fellow engaged in a conversation with one of our fabulous staff members. Another important journey I suspect, has begun.[vc_row columns_on_tablet=”keep” padding_top=”0″ padding_bottom=”0″][vc_column h_text_align=”left” h_text_align_mobile=”left” v_align=”v-align-middle” use_background=”” width=”1/1″][tm_image image_id=”1188″ link_image=”none” textarea_html_bkg_color=”#ffffff” caption_type=””][/tm_image][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row columns_on_tablet=”keep” padding_top=”50″ padding_bottom=”50″][vc_column h_text_align=”left” h_text_align_mobile=”left” v_align=”v-align-middle” use_background=”” width=”1/1″][tm_textblock textarea_html_bkg_color=”#ffffff”]There are more people sleeping out in the cold around Wayside just now than at any time before. Winter is very tough going for people who are homeless.
The mere struggle for survival and sense of loneliness is magnified by cold, wet nights. The demand for our support is at a peak with people lining up for hot showers, warm blankets and a safe place to shelter from the elements.
We are at the pointy end of our Winter Appeal and we need your help. Over the past 14 years nothing has caused me more anxiety than our Winter Appeal because it determines whether we move ahead with full steam or whether we pause to make difficult decisions. This is my final Winter Appeal as CEO and Pastor of Wayside. It is an important moment in Wayside history, and on my way out of this role I ask for your support. We need to raise just over $1M before 30 June to continue delivering love and support to people who have no-where else to turn. Our staff and volunteers are passionate and keen to do all they can to make a difference in the lives of those who need it the most. Everything depends on how this appeal goes in the next week. I’m asking you who have loved Wayside over the years and appreciated our contribution to the world, to allow that love to seep into your bank account. If you’re ever inclined to make a donation, this is the week to do it. Let your love of humanity consist not only of sincere sentiment but of solid sacrifice.
If you can make a donation to our Winter Appeal, please do so here. This is our hour of need and this is the moment where every donation will make a difference.
As inner circles go, you are the best.
Rev Graham Long
Pastor & CEO