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Amanda L Fisher

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Our Universal Family
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Finding the Light
By Amanda L Fisher
Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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This book starts out with two separate storylines between Jenna, a girl who was left homeless after her mother dies in an accident and being tossed through several foster homes until she was of age; and between the workers of Lighthouse, a christian based homeless shelter who's owner Michael in the past as taken in homeless young adults and rehabillitated them using the limited resources of charitable donations. Those who Michael has been priviledged to help now return the favor by volunteering to help Michael continue his dream keeping Lighthouse running and the candle in the window burning. Jenna's street life will inevitable cross paths with Lighthouse on more than one occation and as the two storylines intertwine by the end Jenna is the newest cause for not only Michael but all of those who've been where she's been and have see the Light at the end of the tunnel that is living on the streets.

Anya busied herself in cleaning the table and setting each place as perfectly as possible. She realized that for many Lighthouse shelter was a last hope and she wanted to keep everything as respectable as possible to make those who came, feel as much at home as she could with the supplies she had. Anya glanced through the dinning hall windows at the flurries swirling in the air. “Oh man… it’s going to be a very early winter.” Anya knew that each year when winter winds started to blow there would be a massive increase in attendance at evening mealtime. Soon Lighthouse would meet its capacity and inevitably people would have to be turned away. Anya hated that. This place is to many a last resort when the light of hope is about to burn to ash. She knew. She herself had been on the other side of Lighthouse. This place had saved her from becoming yet another statistic. It had only been a year and a half since she first came to Lighthouse. Cold and near starvation she’d seen a candle shining through one of the windows near the front door. Somehow it had drawn her to the old house. That was the night her life had changed.
“Anya! Stop daydreaming and finish setting the table, it’s near dinner time and the people are starting to come in,” a male voice shouted from across the foyer. Anya snapped out of her memory and finished setting the last place before heading to the sitting room to greet people.
“Hello, welcome to Lighthouse. We’re glad you could make it to be here with us today. Please make yourself comfortable and we’ll soon call for dinner.” Jessie greeted a small family that had joined the growing number in the sitting room. The room had been furnished with several chairs and couches. Soft music played from a surround sound system that had been installed a couple years ago. There were magazines laying around on several end tables and coffee tables. At the far end was a big screen TV that played VCR tapes of popular cartoons. Currently Bugs Bunny was on and over a half dozen children watched and laughed at the comedy provided by Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. It was a rare time for them to be able to laugh. The streets made children hard and cold. It was good to see them laugh and be children, even if only for a short while. An old grandfather clock in the corner of the entrance to the sitting room chimed. Six o’clock, dinner would be ready any minute. The workers at Lighthouse began to seat those who where in the sitting room. Back in the dining hall adults where seated along the formal oak tables while several smaller tables, one at each end of a formal table would seat the children. Anya helped the others serve plates of pot roast and salad to the people sitting at the large tables. Hotdogs with macaroni and cheese were given to the smaller children. With the food distributed among those in attendance Michael entered the dining hall. “Thank you all for joining me and my friends in the feast we have before us. Times have been hard on all of us lately, however we cannot lose faith. If we lose that then we’ve lost everything. Now I know not all of you believe in what we do and we’ll respect you for that. We do ask that if you will not join us in prayer before we feast that you please stay seated quietly until the rest of us have finished.” Michael spoke with strength however there was a still kindness within the strength. He was respected by everyone that Lighthouse and his dream had saved. And so Michael began, “Lord, Father in heaven; Thank you for all these wonderful people here tonight. Guide us to help each other and follow the path that you have chosen for us. Bless this dinner and all that we are about to eat. Protect those who are still out in this unseasonable cold, and show those who are in the dark the light to find the way home. Amen.” Those that had bowed their heads and joined Michael in prayer slowly lifted they’re heads and Michael gave the cue for everyone to begin eating. The hum of several indistinct conversations could be heard through the halls. It warmed the old house with life.
Lyssa and Matthew having eaten they’re portion of dinner in the kitchen were able to finish quickly to begin setting up the three rooms full of cots to which several of their guests would call home tonight. Matthew was unfolding the cots and setting them in place as Lyssa followed behind placing a pillow and two blankets at the foot of each cot. Each room would allow 50 cots to be placed and still leave just enough room to walk.
“Matt, do you think we’re going to have to turn people away tonight?” Lyssa asked with a concerned tone.
“I’m not sure Lyssa, depends on if this cold and snow keeps up.” Lyssa looked over at Matthew. She knew her background with Lighthouse and wondered if Matthew shared a similar background. Lyssa knew that many of the volunteers that helped with Lighthouse were at one time in the same position as the people they now helped. She also knew others volunteered as means for community service for credit in extracurricular school activities. Matthew noticed Lyssa watching him and smiled warmly. “Don’t worry Lyssa, things will work out ok.” Lyssa snapped back to reality and finished placing the blankets and pillows.


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