Painful Pill to Swallow

This has been a difficult, gut wrenching day. The prolonged recession has caused a downturn in our giving and having exhausted every other means of significantly reducing our costs, we were forced to join the humble ranks of those who have had to make the painful choice of letting faithful, diligent employees go.

I sent personal letters to each of the 7 employees who were released, and these couple of paragraphs were included in each of the letters.

“I want to thank you for your faithful, diligent, and sacrificial work that you have provided to Union Rescue Mission and our guests during perhaps the most challenging period of time in our 118 year history.

The prolonged recession has caused a downturn in our giving and we must reduce our costs significantly, and this reduction means that we will eliminate your position with Union Rescue Mission. I am deeply sorry. I have worked hard and prayed much in hopes that it would not come to this.

This decision is not about you, as it is all about these unbelievably hard times we are facing as an organization. I hope you will always remember that you were part of the amazing team at URM that stepped up to meet the great need of 2007-2010, and we will always hold you close to our hearts.”

I am not sure if it is harder for me to swallow the pain, or swallow my pride. I have been so thankful, so proud, that unlike others who cut staff and reduced services, we stepped up, met the need, welcomed all who came to our doors, sacrificed our salaries by taking pay cuts, and stopped receiving a 401K match, all to do the right thing.

Now we have joined the humble ranks of those who have had to make the same painful choice of letting precious people go. I feel responsible, and I am. The problem is that I am responsible but I am not capable of overcoming the challenges brought on by economic forces, and that is a painful pill to swallow.

The following scripture brought comfort to our staff as we met this morning to pray for our fellow co-workers in Christ as they look for other opportunities and to ask the Lord to continue to carry Union Rescue Mission through these difficult waters.

Psalms 138:6-8 (ESV)
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

2 thoughts on “Painful Pill to Swallow

  1. Judy and Jim Halvorsen on

    We will be in prayer for these and the others who have lost their source of income. In addition, we pray that those who desire to work in areas of such need will find employment there. Blessings URM for the courageous attempts to preserve as many positions and services as possible.

  2. Thank you, Jim and Judy, for your sweet prayers and kind words. Much love, Andy B

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