Monthly Archives: June 2014

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Testimonial from Phil

Phil WA couple of months after Shepherd’s Hope opened I started volunteering at the food pantry.  I met Darryl Coleman,  a minister and a regular volunteer at Shepherd’s Hope who tried to help me and a couple of other guys from the neighborhood.  I was a gang member and had done some time in prison.  The other guys were also going nowhere in their lives.

Darryl spent many hours with us.  We all volunteered on a regular basis for about 8 months while Darryl found us day jobs working for people he knew.  Life was rough for all of us trying to keep a roof over our heads and working sporadically.  We also attended church with Darryl on Sundays but eventually the 3 of us broke away and stopped volunteering at the food pantry.  Darryl kept in touch with me but things were going south fast.    I faced many tough situations during the next 6 months.  I would call Darryl and tell him how bad life was for me and that I needed food and a bus pass so I could go look for a job.  We would meet and Darryl would give me what I asked for, but he also prayed with me.  He urged me not to go back to the old ways and to remember what I had learned about dignity and staying on the straight and narrow while serving with my Christian brothers at the pantry.  He reminded me of the hope I can have in Jesus who will get me through all the tough times.

ChoicesThen I had my biggest test; my older brother got out of prison.  About a week after being released from prison my brother called and told me that he had a line on a large amount of crack cocaine and all we had to do was work the streets selling the drugs and we would make a fortune.  I went home and thought about it, and all I could think about was the food pantry and what I had learned there about living the right way and the narrow path that separated the Christ followers from the ways of the world.  The following day I met with my brother and told him I was done with his life style.  I had been trying for months and had come a long way and I was going to keep struggling until I found a job.  One week later my efforts paid off.  I got a (legitimate) job in sales where I get to travel all across the country.  Now I enjoy stopping in at the food pantry and letting them know how well things are going.  It is truly amazing what can happen when you are faithful and obedient to our Lord, Jesus Christ.

-Phil W

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The Yellow House

yellowBuildingAfter Brian had been feeding the homeless man and was unable to find him after a month or so of meeting, the Lord directed him to use a bungalow he and his wife owned to make a food pantry.  When the team of volunteers from the suburbs first started working on the 1,000 square foot bungalow at 5732 S Lowe in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, the neighbors were very aloof and skeptical.  One day as Brian was working on the renovation, a young man, who lived in the house next to the pantry, approached him and asked what he was doing.  Brian told him they were preparing to open a food pantry to serve the community.  The young man’s face lit up with a smile as he exclaimed, “I knew it!  They all thought you were setting up some sort of sting operation (there were 3 drug houses on the block at the time).  I knew you were bring something good.  I am going to paint my house yellow so they will know this is a place of light!”  This was on a Thursday and when Brian came to work on Monday, the entire house was indeed all painted a very bright yellow. Donate secure green small

How Shepherd’s HOPE Began

In 2005 Brian encountered the same homeless man each day at an expressway exit on his way to work.  One morning as he was preparing his lunch, he decided to prepare a lunch for the homeless person too.  On the third day of giving him lunch, he greeted him with “Good Morning,” and in return the man thanked him for the lunch.  He then proceeded to ask about the tomatoes included in the lunch stating that they were the best he had ever eaten and concluded by saying, “tomorrow could you put a little more mayo on my tuna sandwich?”  At that point they began to talk every morning.  As the weather got colder Brian would buy him a cup of coffee and they would talk about his life.  Brian asked him how he dealt with the cold winters.  He said that on really cold days he would panhandle for enough money to ride the “L” day and night.  He felt he had made a new friend, but one day the man wasn’t in his usual spot.  For the next few weeks Brian would get off at different exits looking for him, but he was never able to find him.  In his quest to find him, he began to notice how many homeless people there were on the streets.   He felt such a burden that he asked God for a plan.  Weeks later he realized he could use a 1000 square foot bungalow he and his wife owned and rented in Englewood. The building stood vacant, having been wrecked by the previous renters.  He saw the potential for rehabilitating it into a food pantry.  Shepherds HOPE Chicago opened in March, 2009 and served supplemental food to 60 families its first day.

pantryBuildingHelping that first man was a good deed, but Brian was not content with that action. Instead he persisted through many obstacles, created an organization and today the pantry feeds over 500 families per week during 2 four-hour days of operation.  Shepherds HOPE Chicago has fed over 6000 different families (more than 20,000 men, women and children).  That is heroic!  But even that was only the beginning.  Bible studies are held once a week.  Thanksgiving Dinner food distributions and Christmas parties for the children have been provided.   Add to that a block party, soup kitchen, aquaponic farming, ministry partner church services.  All of this can happen because one man decided to do something about a hungry homeless man and God blessed his efforts.

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GOD and Only GOD!

We have been praying that GOD would send us someone to help us with the community center, somebody with experience in guiding and educating youth and teenagers.  About a month ago a woman sat next to Brian in his northwest suburban church and he quickly learned she had traveled all the way from 110th and Morgan in Chicago.  Marsha Eaglin introduced herself and in discussion Brian found that she was the executive director and founder of a ministry called Impact Family Center.  This ministry’s focus is youth and teenagers in the Roseland community.  Thank you GOD!

home for familyA few weeks later while Marsha and Brian were meeting at Shepherd’s Hope discussing how she could bring her expertise to our community in Englewood, she mentioned the need of a family who had four girls that were part of her ministry.  Marsha shared the story of this single mom with 6 daughters and one grandchild living in a house for over 2 months with no heat or hot water.  They were desperately looking for a new place to live.  Brian offered the name of a friend who had a beautiful 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house for rent.

Some weeks later, Brian was attending an event at Impact Family Center in Roseland.  A young lady shared her testimony with tears running down her cheeks explaining that Miss Marsha had found their family a beautiful house with heat and hot water so they could take showers again after living for over 2 months without heat and hot water.

Brian, realizing that this was the family Marsha and he had talked about, put his head down, holding back the tears and saying, “Thank you GOD!  Thank you GOD!

https://soundcloud.com/shepherds-hope/only-god-moment

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Family Feeding Center

5 Years of Serving Englewood; Only GOD!

Perseverance through Faith…

That is the Shepherd’s HOPE journey.  Perseverance according to Oswald Chambers means more than endurance – more than simply holding on until the end. It means being a bondservant to our Lord and Savior, placing our lives in HIS hands, going wherever HE sends us, obediently serving HIM.

Because of the perseverance and faith of our generous donors, our dedicated board of directors, our hardworking staff, the best volunteer team in Chicago, and most of all the people we serve, our LORD made 2013 a great year at Shepherd’s HOPE.

In 2013

  1. From the Food Pantry we distributed over 750,000 lbs of food to our neighbors.  This amount of food has a retail value of over $900,000.
  2. We started the construction of our aquaponic farming project. Our first farm should be fully operational in late spring.
  3. Our Saturday morning Bible Study is still going strong after 3 years.  It is the highlight of my ministry week, being able to watch the guys I’ve grown to LOVE grow every week in Christ.
  4. About 2 years ago we started a Sunday evening church services and by God’s grace they are still going strong.
  5. Because of your faithful giving, our obedience and GOD’s grace, 98 cents of every dollar donated goes toward serving the needs in this Englewood community.

When you are obedient to the LORD, it is amazing what HE can accomplish!

Ministry partners open Family Feeding Center

kitchen-group2014 has gotten off to a great start.  Six months ago we began planning for a new addition to our ministry.  It is an undertaking that Shepherd’s HOPE could not operate on its own.  It would take the collaboration of 10 ministries (THE WAY) to make this a reality.

On April 23, 2014 we opened “The Family Feeding Center” at 6455 S Peoria, a building across the street from where we hold our Sunday evening church services.  This is a place where people can come twice a week (Wednesday and Friday) from 12:00 pm until 2:00 pm  to get a nutritious HOT MEAL.  On April 23rd we served 135 people; the menu included barbecued pork loin, chicken and cod with au gratin potatoes, vegetable fried rice, green bean casserole, fruit cup, pumpkin muffins, soda and water to drink.  A great beginning for this new venue.

This project is more labor intensive and requires more resources to operate than the pantry per number of people served.  We are getting most of the food donated; it is the paper goods, plasticware, aluminum serving pans, spices, barbecue sauce, charcoal etc that eat up the resources.  It takes 16-20 volunteers to serve the people efficiently.  The cooks start at 8:00 am, we serve from noon until 2 pm and then the clean-up team finishes about 4 pm.  This is a large undertaking but with huge benefit because it facilitates our developing relationships easier than the pantry because people are seated at tables and there is great opportunity for conversation.  The combination of the two (pantry and feeding center) makes Jesus really come alive to the people we serve!

It has been a glorious start and we expect to be serving 500 people a week by the end of May.  Of course this opportunity to build relationships and share Jesus with people in need comes with cost.  Even though we are getting most of the food donated, the cost per meal will still be about $1.40 per meal.  We plan on serving about 26,000 meals this year.  Our monthly cost to be able to feed and develop relationship with the people will be about $3,000.00.  The collaborative ministry partners live and serve in the city and will provide what they can, but most of them are struggling to stay alive.  Most of the burden will be on the Shepherd’s HOPE team.  This is the reason the LORD sent us to Englewood: to be a catalyst for HIS work and to provide GOD’s resources to this under-resourced community.

We are asking for your support again in 2014 that GOD’s kingdom can grow exponentially.  We are looking for monthly commitments so that we know what we can count on month to month.

Our total monthly cost to provide groceries from our food pantry for 6,000 people a month is $4,000 and to provide a hot meal from the family feeding center twice a week for 500 people/week will cost $3,000 a month.  For $7,000 we will be able to touch the lives of 8,000 people a month in this Englewood community.  What an opportunity to share GOD’s grace!

  • 100 commitments of $70/month will allow us to do the LORD’s will.
  •   50 commitments of $140/month will allow us to the LORD’s will.
  •   25 commitments of $700/month will allow us to do the LORD’s will.
  •     1 donation of $7,000 will allow us to do the LORD’s will for one month.

Please remember when donating to Shepherd’s HOPE that 98% of every dollar goes directly to serve our neighbors in need.  GOD is sovereign over all.  He created everything, including the under-resourced.  HE promises to take care of all our needs and never forsakes us.  HE blessed most of us with resources and when we share them with the LORD, HE can fulfill HIS promise and take care of the needs of the poor.  This is the true test of who we are in Christ.

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Family Feeding Center

Ministry Partners Open Family Feeding Center

Six months ago we began planning for a new addition to our ministry.  It is an undertaking that Shepherd’s HOPE could not operate on its own.  It would take the collaboration of 10 ministries (THE WAY) to make this a reality.

kitchen-group

On April 23, 2014 we opened “The Family Feeding Center” at 6455 S Peoria, a building across the street from where we hold our Sunday evening church services.  This is a place where people can come twice a week (Wednesday and Friday) from noon until 2:00 pm  to get a well-prepared, nutritious HOT MEAL.  On April 23rd we served 135 people; the menu included barbecued pork loin, chicken and cod with au gratin potatoes, vegetable fried rice, green bean casserole, fruit cup, pumpkin muffins, soda and water to drink.  What a great meal!

This project is more labor intensive and requires more resources to operate than the pantry, especially in the beginning.  We are getting most of the food donated; it is the paper goods, plasticware, aluminum serving pans, spices, barbecue sauce etc that eat up the resources.  It takes 18-20 volunteers to pull this off.  The cooks start at 8:00 am, we serve from noon until 2 pm and then the clean-up team finishes about 4 pm.  This is a large undertaking with the huge benefit that it facilitates developing relationships easier than the pantry because people are seated at tables and there is great opportunity for conversation.  The combination of the two (pantry and feeding center) makes Jesus come alive to the people we serve!

It has been a glorious start and we expect to be serving 500 people a week by the end of May.  Of course this opportunity to build relationships and share Jesus with people in need comes with cost.  Even though we are getting most of the food donated, the cost per meal will still be about $1.50 per meal.  We plan on serving about 26,000 meals this year.  Our monthly cost to be able to feed and develop relationship with the people will be about $250.00.  The collaborative ministry partners live and serve in the city and will provide what they can, but most of them are struggling to stay alive.  Most of the burden is on the Shepherd’s HOPE team.  That is the reason we were sent to Englewood.

We are asking you to support us again so that GOD’S kingdom can grow exponentially.  We are looking for monthly commitments so that we know what we can count on month to month.

  • $30.50/mo will feed 20 people 2 hot meals a week for a month
  • $120/mo will feed 80 people 2 hot meals a week for a month
  • $240 will feed 160 people 2 hot meals a week for a month
  • $600 will feed 400 people 2 hot meals a week for a month
  • $1200 will feed 800 people 2 hot meals a week for a month
  • $3000 will feed 2000 people 2 hot meals a week for a month

We need monthly commitments that total $3,850.00 per month.

Please remember when donating to Shepherd’s HOPE that 95% of every dollar goes directly to serve its neighbors in need.  GOD is sovereign over all.  He created everything, including the under-resourced.  HE promises to take care of all our needs and never forsakes us.  HE blesses us so we can fulfill HIS promise to those in need.  This is the true test of who we are in Christ.