Autumn with The Good Shepherd Community, Birthdays and New Homes
Autumn has been a beautiful time here at the Good Shepherd Community in Fort Myers, Florida. The air is light and clear as the humidity disappears in the gentle wind. The days are warm and bright and the evenings cooler giving energy for all that must be done. Our young people have their feet on the ground after their mid September Trip to Washington D.C. They are working hard at College and school and, along with their younger family members and friends in the Junior and Little Lambs classes, they are again working hard to learn what it means to love and follow Jesus. Several have had Autumn birthdays.
This is Linda, mother of seven of our young people and teacher of our Little Lambs who celebrated a September Birthday.
Jolinda, Natasha, Keeondra and Keeron all have Autumn Birthdays
This is Natasha celebrating her Nineteenth Birthday with the church yesterday, 11/2/14. We are so proud of her as she works hard at her first semester of college courses at FGCU and holds down a part time job. Natasha also took the time to write an account of the trip to Washington. She described her awe at the”very tall and amazing King Memorial” noting “I was in love with the many MLKJr. quotes surrounding his statue”. She also enjoyed “The Roosevelt’s Memorial” where “I particularly liked eleanore’s Monument because of what she represents to me. She is a strong woman who wanted to make change…and strive for peace”. She thought many of the First Lady’s dresses exhibited at the Smithstonian were beautiful but that “going inside the White House was amazing, and something that I will always remember.” She, like the others wrote about all they saw and enjoyed, but she added another level of what the trip meant to they young people: “I also got to witness many sites that may not have been so historical,for example the sight of two old friends reuniting when Pastor Judy Lee and youth group friend Martha met after several years, and the sight of someone just excited to show kids something they haven[t seen before-Pastor Judy B. is the best tour Guide! Our church and our Pastors really care for their kids!”. Keeron wrote about the excitement of seeing “the President’s work place-his office in the White House-a rare-once in a life-time experience” , and his amazement at the King Memorial. “It was an honor to see a black male statue created to serve as freedom and justice for what he stood for. Seeing his Monument is a breath-taking sight…. ” He concluded with his gratitude for all the firsts this trip represented: “first airplane and bus and subway rides and all the history”. Jolinda and Keeondra also wrote a beautiful travelogue and focused on the firsts. Jolinda added ” Going to Washington is really something I will always remember….everything about it….I enjoyed the company of everyone and we all had the best time ever! Thank you….I would not have seen any of this if it were not for our church”. Keeondra added “I couldn’t believe I rode in an airplane, a trolley and even a subway for the very first time in my whole entire life…and what sealed the deal was doing this with the people I really love”. Keeondra’s “whole entire life” will be fourteen years on November 27th and Jolinda was seventeen in September and Keeron will be seventeen two days before Keeondra is fourteen. It is a very special joy to share this beautiful growing time in their lives.
Happy Seventeenth Birthday, Jolinda
This is Marcella with her friend Aleigha on Marcella’s 13th Birthday.
Our ministry partner,Good Shepherd Board Member and friend Stella Odie-Ali also celebrated a special October 20th Birthday last week. This is Stella with her family, including her sister Doreen also our supporter.
Keion also had a thirteenth birthday on October 20th . Here is celebrating with the rest of the Sunday School members. Eric,standing next to me, also has a November 2nd thirteenth Birthday. And our triplets will be 6 on November 6th. We are enjoying celebrating our Autumn Birthdays.
We also had two other very important celebrations. Good Shepherd helped Aleigha and her Aunt Jody move to into their new apartment home at the end of October. Aleigha was especially excited about having her own room for the first time. And we also helped Lydia,74, to move into her own Senior housing after having to move in with her large family after illness and the death of her husband. Lydia fell in love with Palm Harbor when she visited in May and she was able to move in at the end of October. She is so happy to have her own affordable place again. We are truly blessed to accompany our people as they make milestones in their lives. Thanks be to The Father’s Table Foundation for assisting us in our work. Thanks be to God for our walk together.
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee,RCWP,
Co-Pastor The Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community of Fort Myers