Compelled by extravagant love (Story 37 of 50)
Updated: Feb 4
CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). As our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry hits the home stretch, we’re pleased to once again celebrate our sacrificial and compassionate staff in story #37 with a closer look at the work they do each day to help people experience their worth in Christ.
In one of our very first stories in this series, we shared a COMPEL nomination one of our former employees wrote for another employee. COMPEL, inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:14, is an acrostic for:
Christ Others Me Possibilities of Extravagant Love
Each quarter, staff from our family of ministries send in COMPEL Award nominations for fellow staff members who have shown the love of Christ to others while upholding our core values of relentless commitment, selflessness and kindness. These nominations are then read aloud and celebrated at our quarterly All Staff luncheons.
Today, we have a trio of COMPEL Awards from our most recent nominations. These stories of extravagant love provide just a glimpse into the powerful ways our staff are impacting lives at CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling each day. They also remind us of the importance of placing the needs of others ahead of our own.
“Rebekah recently had to take a girl to court to testify against her abuser three days in a row. The first two days, the trial was postponed, which was discovered after arriving. The hearing was about three hours away, so Rebekah knew it would be a long day and that it could potentially be a long week. While taking residents to court is in her role, volunteering to do it three days in a row without complaining – while refusing to give in to fatigue, frustration and despair with the process; while providing a sense of safety and security for this hurting girl – is IN HER CALLING. We found out the day after the trial that the verdict was not guilty. The man against whom this girl testified and had to face had gone free. Naturally, this invoked some pretty intense behaviors such as self-harm and running away, but guess who was there with her walking down the road, asking to stay with her and showing her unconditional love all the same. Rebekah! What an example of relentless commitment, selflessness and kindness coming together to show a hurting girl her worth in Christ even if it may take her a lifetime to recognize it. Rebekah has surely planted this seed regardless of whether she will ever see the increase. Thanks, Rebekah, for showing us how Jesus would handle those four difficult days.”
“Marissa acted quickly in getting two foster children into counseling with Encompass and with our Thrive program in Green. As soon as the children were placed with one of our families near Cleveland, Marissa anticipated their treatment needs given their exposure to severe domestic violence, when they witnessed their mother stab their father to death. Marissa also assisted with getting the children to and from their Thrive visits that week so that the foster mother could attend to the needs of her other children while also running her own business at The Westside Market. Marissa makes most of the counseling appointments so they can facilitate the court ordered contact with their mother, which Marissa does as well. Thanks, Marissa, for displaying relentless commitment to these children and helping to fulfill our agency’s mission!”
“Perseverance is a word that concisely describes Kateri! She helped a young man in Cottage 1 understand that his past did not have to define him. She helped calm anxiety that was so crippling that it threatened to steal any amount of joy that he could find. She waded through depression that all but prevented him from even getting out of bed. She advocated for him at every turn and ultimately helped him discover his worth in Christ. This young man left recently to go to an independent living program with a better outlook – one that involves hope and the same perseverance that Kateri meets each kid with every day she walks into cottage 1!”