Tammy and I (Chris) make no apologies for our faith, though often in these times we feel compelled to apologize for those who profess to follow Jesus but misunderstand His words. Our faith is what has led us to serve and try to help, so why would we ever want to hide that? We take seriously the command that we go and make disciples. But we also feel like the best way to do that is to serve; people respond to empathy and compassion and concern. It's rare that people are moved closer to God because of something someone said about God. It happens, but in the meantime there's still work that needs to be done. So, why not just start with the work and let the rest take care of itself in God's time?
Tammy has always told all our kids, "Let your light shine". And she means it - in all endeavors and circumstances I have heard that call to action from her. When our youngest was incarcerated that phrase became a rallying cry and often an admonition. All too often the reply was, "Yes, Mother, I know," but she was really saying to quit telling her to do it.
When we started LITE we didn't know what to call it. Our friends and mentors in Elkhart County call theirs a Jail Ministry, but it's truly a reentry program in the way it operates. They make disciples through their service to the humans held in that jail. We wanted to emulate that. While praying about some of the wording we might use in our entity's description Tammy was looking for a way to portray that Christ is at the center of what we're doing while stressing that the folks we're helping are not in a permanent spot, they'll be coming out into the community soon. She was struck that her "Let your light shine" phrase was fitting, that Matthew 5:16 worked for our organization and those it serves. Our clients are living in a temporary situation, hoping to be equipped to transition from inside to outside, and looking for partners to help them be effective in this journey. Shining light was what we were all hoping to do and see and feel. LIGHT became LITE - Living in Transition Effectively.