For the last 6 months, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati has been blessed by the service of a special, wonderful young woman. Her name was Victoria. She loved to serve on Thursdays, at The Bridge Ministry, which is a Prince of Peace ministry to serve the homeless which is headed up by our gifted coordinator, Julie Mills. Kathy McGill, another volunteer at The Bridge Ministry, first brought Victoria to us. Victoria would faithfully come to Prince of Peace and volunteer every Thursday. But, Victoria was much more than a volunteer. Victoria had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Unfortunately, the doctors that diagnosed the tumor were unable to remove it. What made Victoria so special was what made her happy, was to serve others. Even in the midst of her own troubles, she thought of others. She was a witness of unselfish servant hood. She gave of herself so unselfishly. She was a joy to us and an inspiration to me.
Victoria was a wonderful reflection of God's love. Her final desire was to serve others. How many people would choose to serve others if in the same situation as Victoria? Not many.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation came to Victoria and her parents asking what wish that they may grant. Victoria and her parents responded that there was no other wish that they had not already received. However, about three months ago, Victoria and her parents told the Make-a-Wish Foundation that there was a wish they could grant. Victoria’s Wish was to continue to serve the homeless and working poor in Cincinnati. In particular, Victoria’s Wish is to remodel a newly acquired apartment building in the West End that is part of The Welcome Home Collaborative program. It is a 2-unit apartment building that will house the working poor and/or homeless in Cincinnati. Welcome Home is transitional housing program for the homeless and working poor. As Director of Welcome Collaborative, Victoria's Wish is blessing us by rapidly remodeling this apartment building in the West End. This building will provide needy individuals with entrance into an affordable housing program. It is a place of hope. Further, this program will provide housing by empowering people and not just enabling them. There are several requirements to participate in the program. We have renamed the apartment building in the West End to “Victoria’s House of Hope.”
Victoria passed away just before Christmas. I am humbled and honored by Victoria. And through Victoria’s Wish, her witness of service will continue on serving the homeless and working poor in Cincinnati.