Yesterday I visited the Hull House museum with my husband. I am gathering insight into Chicago during the 1890s.
It is impressive to learn about the work that a group of young women undertook to assist the immigrant population during a period of tremendous influx. They had a vision for a settlement house.
The city was growing faster than it could accommodate the immigrants of many languages and cultures. The tenements around Hull House were overcrowded and unsanitary.
Jane Addams, Ellen Gates Starr, Julia Lathrop and others were willing to settle in an unsavory neighborhood. Did they consider the risk to themselves? Or were they filled with a passion to help make a better world?
After a couple hours at the museum we went to the Chicago History Museum. This museum has a wonderful research library. I found pamphlets about the Chicago Bible Society which was founded around 1850.
The pamphlets detailed the work of the Bible Society, making Bibles available in many languages. The number of Bible Society Workers was also listed.
Young women were trained to make home visits and teach the Bible. I read a couple of accounts where women facing difficult circumstances were encouraged by the visit and looked forward to weekly visits.
It is inspiring to read the stories of women who had a positive impact in a city with many problems.
In the third chapter of Titus, Paul encourages believers to be devoted to good works. He is careful to say that the good works don’t save us. We are saved by grace through Jesus.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior . . . The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. Titus 3: 3-6,8
Sometimes good works involves risk.