“But Mom, he looks just like me!”

“But Mom, he looks just like me!”

We had volunteered nearly every time Families Moving Forward was being hosted at Hope since Ivan was a baby, but it wasn’t until 2 years ago, at age 9, that Ivan met a kid exactly his age. The two boys had a great time playing and sharing stories about the latest YouTube videos and video games. In a mere two hours it was like they had known each other forever. When it was time for us to blow up our air mattresses and call it a night, Ivan asked me why the kid wasn’t going home. I was confused but then realized that he thought the kid was one the volunteers from the shift before us, not part of one of the homeless families we were serving.

“He’s homeless? But mom, he looks just like me!”

I was grateful that he got a better view of homelessness that night, one that I hope will stick with him for a lifetime. The picture of homeless people we are given in the media or those that we see on the off ramps are not the people we are serving through FMF. They are families that are working hard to get back on their feet, they are sacrificing a lot for the sake of their kids’ futures, they are often “just like us.”

 Heidi “Wally” Walstrom


Right after Christmas we will be welcoming families who are temporarily homeless to spend evenings and stay overnight at Hope Church for a week as part of the Families Moving Forward program. Help make the Christmas season a special one for these families by spending a couple of hours at Hope Church during this time—it’s a great way to serve together as a family, or with a couple of friends. On Sunday you can help set up classrooms as private bedrooms for each family and turn the Courtyard Room into a living room area to relax in. Prepare a meal. Pick an evening to hang out with families playing games, doing crafts, or watching videos. Or stay overnight with the guests.

 FMF hosting week: December 27 through January 2. Sign up in the Link any Sunday in December.

 Peggy Turnbull, Missions Coordinator