Happy Birthday Hannah (& thanks for prom night)!

Friends,

Just under a week ago, I spent the evening of my 36th birthday at Sanctuary Night, and I could not have had a better time! Thanks to some extraordinary people on this team, we were able to throw a bash that the ladies really got into, replete with prom dresses and photo booth accessories. One dear woman got lots of pictures and posted them to her Facebook page the next day! She kept talking about how she never got to go to prom, and how much fun it was to dress up. One highlight was when she held up a T-shirt from the donation bin, asking to take it for a friend. On it was this Bible verse: "Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you." (Hebrews 13:3, The Message). It was really a prophetic night: may we all look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them happened to us. And may we all join together in one Big Party. We grieve together, and we rejoice together: this is community. This is sanctuary.

A few reminders for August:

  • Sign up to host or provide food here! As a general reminder, it's really helpful if you sign up and don't just drop-in when you feel like it. ;) Though we love seeing you all! Also, please plan to arrive by 7:45pm to get the room set up. We are known in the neighborhood, and we usually have a few ladies waiting right at 8pm!

  • If you haven't yet, please consider attending the next She Has A Name human trafficking training on Friday and Saturday, August 9th & 10th.

  • Next Sanctuary Night training: Tuesday, August 13th 7-8:30pm (location TBD).

As a final note (not merely an aside), you should know that we are in the process of some pretty BIG THANGS. I'm prepared to BEG for your help over the next few months. We need money. We need sweat equity. We need stuff. We need your time. We need your connections. Let's chat. I'll buy you (Roosevelt) Coffee and we can dream, dream, dream. Cheers!

Much love,

H

Sanctuary Night
Many Threads Braided Together

A Story from Dan Olson:

In early June God started to reveal something beautiful.

 Our part at Sanctuary Night started when Tammy (not her real name) stopped by our drop in center. One of the volunteers asked her if she was ok…if she had been beaten, because one of her eyes appeared swollen shut.

 Tammy shared how when she was a young girl, eighteen years earlier, an accident had split her eyeball and doctors had to remove it. She continued to tell us that she stopped using her current prosthetic eye because of repeated infections and since she was living on the streets, she could not get the proper solution to keep her prosthetic lubricated.

 When I heard this, the Holy Spirit compelled me to tell Tammy that I would check around and try to find some of this solution for her.

 A day or so later I was in my local pharmacy, staring at what seemed like hundreds of eye solution options. Again, a compelling stirred in my heart and I went to ask the pharmacist her opinion. After she heard about Tammy’s dilemma, the pharmacist told me she was seeing her optometrist in several days and would ask for his recommendation.

 The call from my pharmacist came the same day of her eye exam. “Dan…this is amazing! I told my eye doctor about Tammy and guess what? He is one of only three optometrists in central Ohio that specialize in eye prosthetics! And…he wants to treat Tammy for free!”

 Getting in contact with Tammy was challenging, however another drop in center that we at Sanctuary Night had recently connected with was able to pass along the eye doctors message to Tammy.

 When I was working to arrange transportation and coordinate Tammy’s appointment (the doctor’s office is located in Grove City), the doctor said, “Let’s get Tammy in tomorrow at 11am.”

 Long story short, everything fell into place within hours! And so the following morning, Caroline (one of Sanctuary Nights volunteers and a member of our steering committee) and I picked up Tammy and a friend of hers for the appointment.

 When Tammy stepped out of the examination room, it was like the sun shining inside that doctor’s office! She was beaming!

 The doctor had cleaned out her eye socket and had discovered that Tammy’s prosthetic eye needed to be reshaped, which he did right there.

 Tammy shared her gratefulness and gratitude for everyone involved in helping her get to the eye doctor while the four of us had lunch together after the appointment.

 Every one of you is integrated somehow, whether directly or indirectly, into this story! As if each of you are a thread. Each thread by itself could not carry the weight of Tammy’s needs. However, only as we become intertwined and braided, can we withstand and support the tensions and traumas women, like Tammy, who find a safe place…at Sanctuary Night.

 

 

Sanctuary Night
We All Need A Sanctuary Night

There's an old Ignatian practice of engaging Scripture through imaginative prayer. Instead of reading a passage, it's more like stepping into and walking around in it, noticing what one sees, hears, smells, feels, and tastes.

I was recently up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and I was walking around in this familiar passage:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG)

My imagination took me to Sanctuary Night, and I think it's because our invitation there is similar - to come and rest. I was imagining being one of the women who stumbles into our space on a Monday night, and I noticed a few things: I saw familiar faces, thrilled to see me. I heard an upbeat playlist and joy in your voices. I smelled coffee and a homemade meal. I felt an all-encompassing hug, you not afraid of what I smell like. I tasted extravagance.

As I continued to pray, this is what I heard: I WANT TO BE YOUR SANCTUARY NIGHT. See My face and hear My voice, thrilled to see you. Welcome to the party.

Friends, I hope you have found a Sanctuary Night for your soul.

Because the women walking on Sullivant Ave. aren't the only ones in desperate need for rest.

***

I'm pretty sure the highlight for May was the memorial for a woman who spent many many years on the street and died in April. Many of our friends knew her, and it was right and good for us to honor their (and our) grief. See photos attached for a small sense of what that looked like. I am incredibly thankful for the volunteers who planned and participated in this beautiful ceremony. Thank you!

***

There is a lot going on in June, my friends!

And stay tuned for lots of new things coming! Expansion of services! And MOOOOOOORE parties!!

Bless you all,
H

Sanctuary Night
1 Year In!

Friends,

There are always so many stories to tell, but the one that stands out to me this past month is what some of us often refer to as “the slow work of God.” We’ve been holding space at 1067 Sullivant Avenue for over a year, and I would say that we’re just getting started! I’ve had conversations with several of you this past month about dreams that you have for the neighborhood, for these women, for Sullivant Avenue in general, and for YOU, our army of volunteers! We’ve talked about the dream to have a 24 hour drop-in center, a transitional house for women after treatment, a Sullivant Avenue flash mob, a rehabbed corner store, and so much more! Maybe it’s just the Spring weather talking, but I’d say that we’re beginning to blossom! It seems He is making all things new, even on Mondays.

Here are a few practical matters -

The She has a Name trainings are currently happening! I’m sorry I didn’t send a reminder out before it started, but the training consists of three consecutive Wednesday evenings: May 1, May 8, and May 15th. If you missed the first one but have been wanting to go, please consider attending the last two classes! Sanctuary Night will be represented there on the 15th - anyone interested in joining Carmen for this? Ideally, we’d love to have two volunteers there that night.

The next Sanctuary Night training is also coming up. Details coming soon, but it will likely be Friday, May 31st or Sunday, June 2nd.

Gratefully, Hannah

Sanctuary Night