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.
- 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.
- We started the construction of our aquaponic farming project. Our first farm should be fully operational in late spring.
- 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.
- About 2 years ago we started a Sunday evening church services and by God’s grace they are still going strong.
- 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
2014 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.