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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Finding each other

New England congregation gives family stability

When Denise Brown drove the forested hills of New England wondering where she and her son would sleep at night, she fantasized about living in the elaborate toolsheds she saw in back yards.

After all, it couldn't be worse than sleeping on the streets or in shelters. It might even be better than sleeping in her car, which she and her son had done some nights last winter — one of the harshest in 20 years.

On one of those nasty nights, the church secretary tracked down Ron Fournier, pastor of Advent Lutheran, Rindge, N.H. She told him a woman and her teenage son were at the church and needed a place to stay.

Four days later, Advent formed a sponsorship committee to find housing, employment and stability for Brown and her son, Ron Jett, 19. The two had spent most of the past 19 years struggling for survival.


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