Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bitter-Sweet Endings

Endings are often difficult. We want to hang on to life as it has been. We don’t want to let go of the past. We don’t want things to change. But endings are inevitable. The end of the year is upon us and all of us face a new year ahead. We must say good-bye to the year 2010 and welcome 2011 very soon.

We are personally facing a bitter-sweet ending on 12-31-10. The John Engle Christian Counseling Center (JECCC) in Hamilton, Ohio is closing. The funds to continue this ministry are just not there. My husband and I, along with many other people, helped birth JECCC and nurture it through its infancy. We saw it grow and blossom and most importantly, we saw it help many, many people. We also witnessed a number of Hamilton churches working together to support JECCC; displaying marvelous unity in the body of Christ.

For almost fifteen years JECCC provided professional individual, couple, and family counseling regardless of background or ability to pay. The counseling “heart” of JECCC is closing. This is the bitter part. JECCC also offered educational/support groups which will continue under different auspices. This is the sweet part.

The Third Option educational group for couples started in this area in 1996 under the sponsorship of JECCC. The Third Option is a national program helping couples revive and renew their marriages. The sweet part is this program continues in two locations, at Princeton Pike Church of God, Hamilton, OH and at Montgomery Community Church, Cincinnati, OH.

Mending Hearts group for children continues under the auspices of Companions on a Journey. Mending Hearts, for children 4-18, offers a safe, nurturing environment to explore and address issues related to the loss of a parent, sibling or caregiver.

Pearls, a women’s support group, continues at Serve City in Hamilton, Ohio. This group provides a warm, caring place where women can help each other learn and grow.

When JECCC started in 1996 we “hoped” it would continue at least five years. It has provided life-changing help to many desperate people and has lasted three times as long as we originally hoped. This is sweet. God is good. And the ripples of these life-changing groups continue with mostly volunteer staff. Amazing!

“Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” Ecclesiastes 11:1

Blessings, Dottie

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