Faith, Hope, and Love
by Dennis Sanders, Content Specialist
In the Christian New Testament, the evangelist Paul says the three most important things in life are faith, hope and love. Through Peggy Indahl’s work as a Host Coordinator for Beacon’s Families Moving Forward program, faith, hope and love are lived out in hosting families experiencing homelessness.
Peggy is a fifty-year member of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Bloomington. It was at Christ the King that Peggy saw these three ideals expressed, especially through the founding pastor, Milo Engstad. With Pastor Milo, she learned the faith in confirmation class and experienced the love of a community when he later married Peggy to her husband Randy. Peggy reflects the faith, hope and love she experienced out into the world through service at the suburban Hennepin congregation. Over the years, she served as Church Council President, Sunday School teacher and Social Justice Committee chair.
For the last five years, she served as host coordinator, working to provide a relaxing environment for families experiencing homelessness and helping them feel at home. “I remind our volunteers that we serve our guests from a posture of love, and are in a unique position to be able to bring a little light and joy into their day,” Peggy says, describing her role. Peggy reminds the volunteers that what grounds their service to the guests is this sense of love, a precious gift to guests facing stress.
Peggy and the volunteers also try to foster an environment where hope can bloom. She recounts a story where she painted alongside three sisters. “While we were painting our masterpieces, they chatted excitedly about how they were going to hang their pictures in the new bedroom they would have,” Peggy says. “Although I’m sure they were feeling the stress of being without a home, they looked to the future with hope!”
Peggy became a host coordinator not just because of the love shown towards her, but also because of her faith. She was an evening host for several years and moved into the host coordinator role when the position became available. “My decision was guided by Matthew 25:35: ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me…’ Jesus calls us to care for one another as though we are caring for him,” Peggy smiles. “I also believed in Beacon and the results they were getting finding stable homes for families.”
Peggy’s work allows her to understand why people experience homelessness. “Homelessness happens for many reasons: loss of job, lack of health insurance, low wages and lack of affordable housing, to name a few. Regardless of the circumstances, everyone deserves to have a home,” she says. Peggy understands that as important as it is to shelter families, it is imperative to advocate for more housing as well. “I’ve attended a few of Beacon’s gatherings to learn more about connecting with my elected officials to advocate for state funding of affordable housing.”
What would she say to someone thinking about becoming a host coordinator? Peggy thinks it comes down to faith. “Providing temporary shelter for homeless families in transition is an issue of faith. If you’ve looking for a way to live out your faith, consider becoming a host coordinator,” she says. “Families Moving Forward has many training opportunities (through Beacon Academy) to help grow your leadership skills and turn your faith values into a meaningful hosting experience for the families and volunteers.”
Faith, hope and love. As Peggy will tell you, this is what serving through Families Moving Forward is all about.