Update from Kate Mears

Consistory Update: Deacons Kate Mears and Katie Van Ark have recently moved and needed to resign from their terms. We will be publishing updates from them. To complete vacant Deacon terms, the Consistory has appointed Lois Maassen (2 years), Jean DenHerder (2 years), and Stephanie Beyer (1 year).

Hi to all at Hope Church,
I’ve missed all of you since I moved out here to Highland Park, New Jersey, just over 5 weeks ago at this writing, and I can’t wait for the time when I can come back and be with you all again. I hope all there are doing well. The drive down here was long, but the move went well. I was graciously set up in one of the affordable housing places that the church operates, mostly for refugees, though there are other people who benefit from the affordable housing as well. I live right across the street from the Reformed Church of Highland Park.

Even though it’s been 5 weeks, I’m still adjusting to things around here. The biggest change for me is that I’m currently living with 4 other women in a two bedroom apartment, as I used to live alone. It’s not too bad though, and it’s definitely a learning experience, which was one of the reasons I moved down here. So, I guess it’s a good thing. Of my housemates, 3 are refugees. One of them came from Uganda, and the other 2 came from Nigeria, though both Nigerians are planning on moving to Texas before the end of August. To be in the midst of the different cultures in this area is an eye-opening experience and I’m glad to be experiencing it.

I’m slowly starting to get to know some people here and build a community as well as some friends. I spend a portion of my days looking for jobs at the moment as I am still unemployed. But between my job huntings, I’m usually trying to help out whenever I can around the church. I was grateful to have been able to be a part of the activities and projects that the group from Hope Church participated in while they were down here as well. I try to help where I can with what this church is involved in, in terms of its Shiloh ministry in helping feed the homeless on Sunday night, the thrift store they operate in their basement, volunteering to help with refugees, or even once visiting the refugees in the detention center. This week, I’m lending a hand with their Vacation Bible School. Outside the church, I did just start volunteering at our local PRIDE center, and I hope to eventually make some friends there as well. However, I don’t know what’ll all be possible once I finally get a job, but we’ll see.

My current job hunt is probably my biggest struggle here. While I currently have a small savings that’ll help me last a little while longer without a job, that’ll probably dry up quickly. I’m starting to get antsy and my anxiety is starting to increase the longer this job hunt takes. I’m trying to find a job in an office setting, however, I don’t know how easy that’ll actually end up being. I don’t really have any experience as my last job in Michigan was 12 years in a warehouse. I’m still holding out hope though as I don’t really want to have to go back to a physically demanding job as I can’t do those jobs as easy as I used to. I do know that if my job hunt takes too long, I will have to just go with my experience and go back to those kind of jobs. I’ll just have to pray for the best in this situation. In a couple more months I can start reapplying for school out here as well as all of the financial aid and scholarships that I’m going to need.

I would appreciate and covet any prayers as this job hunt continues as well as I look towards the future with school applications and the search for the necessary financial aid. I look forward to the day I can attend Hope Church again. Until then, I thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

~Kate Mears