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children's drawing of a family


Third Sunday of Advent

God’s Faithfulness

Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11
John 1:6–8, 19–28

by Margaret Donovan

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me
    because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
    to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and release to the prisoners . . .

They shall build up the ancient ruins;
    they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
    the devastations of many generations.

—Isaiah 61:1, 4
Margaret Donovan
Margaret Donovan

As Epworth Family Resources in York, Nebraska, enters its 135th year of providing services to children and families, we are very cognizant of God’s faithfulness in providing a community of support, guidance, and pathways to transformation when change is needed. From starting as an orphanage called Mothers’ Jewels Home in 1889, transforming to Epworth Village in 1959 with residential treatment care for minors when orphanage care went out of style, to the present, in which we transitioned from residential to community-based services for children and families and changed our name to Epworth Family Resources.

With these most recent changes, we renovated and relocated our offices to the York First United Methodist Church. During the renovation construction, we witnessed God’s work on our behalf in clearing obstacles and supply chain issues to make this new partnership with the York First United Methodist Church happen. We stand as witness to the fact that God has provided the pathway for our mission’s long existence and continued ability to serve children and families so they may heal and rebuild to thrive. 

At Epworth Family Resources, we rejoice in God’s grace and faithful presence in giving people the strength and resilience to heal and rebuild what is broken in their lives. Just as Isaiah describes God’s perfect restoration, we are privileged to participate in God’s work as we witness the healing and empowerment God provides daily.

Our In-home Family Services team all talk about how fulfilling it is to witness families rebuild their lives.  This is especially true after first seeing parents in their darkest moments, then seeing them gain hope, heal, and then become empowered to change and turn their lives around so that their children can thrive. For this, we celebrate and rejoice! 

Margaret Donovan is CEO of Epworth Family Resources, a National Mission Institution, in York, Nebraska. She continues to be in awe at the long history of past and present support of United Women in Faith, the strong leadership of Epworth Family Resources’ board of directors, and the resiliency and longevity of the Epworth Family Resources ministry.

The children’s art is from the 2023 Daily Prayer Guide.

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