Little Lights Urban Ministries

2017 Winter Newsletter

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from grief to compassionate action LETTER FROM STEVE At Little Lights and throughout the commu- nity we are still grieving the senseless death of Breyona McMIllian, a former Little Lights student who was 16 years old and had an amazing smile and passion for life. She was shot and killed at Potomac Gardens the day after Thanksgiving. It was difficult and painful to attend Breyona's funeral and see liter- ally hundreds of people, including many young people, grieving and even wailing. Yet I have not lost hope by any means. Personally, I have been encouraged by her Aunt Mozelle, who reached out to us wanting to volunteer with other young girls in our programs. Because of her deep grief she wants to serve, she wants to help others because she can no longer help Breyona. In Mozelle's actions I see a profound depiction of letting our grief move us to compassionate action. At the heart of Little Lights is the belief that there is a God who is compassionate and that this compassion and love is what is truly important in life. I believe that we were made for compas- sion and love and without it our souls shrivel and weaken. Our souls need compassion as our bodies need water. We at Little Lights want to follow in the footsteps of Mozelle and let the heaviness of our hearts lead us to act with compassion, to grieve with those who grieve, and to celebrate with those who celebrate. There has been much to give thanks for and to celebrate, too. What a blessing to hear about Shondra, a middle school student who got straight A's, and the many other students who made the honor roll as well. What a blessing to see new mentors matched up with their mentees and creating positive rela- tionships and new experiences! We have a wonderful team of staff and dedicated volunteers who faith- fully serve day in and day out, rain or shine. Life at Little Lights has been truly full, with tears of joy and grief, with laughter and joyous celebration, as well as with deep mourning. Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts as we start off 2017. Thank you for your ongoing support for our mission of compassion! Steve Park Executive Director & Founder Little Lights Urban Ministries Interested in having Steve speak at a service or event? Visit: "e darker the night, the brighter the stars. e deeper the grief, the closer is God!" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment 2 LITTLE LIGHTS URBAN MINISTRIES WINTER 2017

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