All posts by Duane Sell

Healing Englewood Part 2

When we started this ministry, I thought the LORD’s goal was to provide food and build relationship with the people of this community. I was dead wrong. And what a surprise – HIS plan was grander than anyone could imagine.

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Healing Englewood

Welcome to Spring 2021! A year ago we were in the throws of the COVID 19 pandemic. Like everything in life, we have to wait on the LORD to walk us through it because HE is sovereign over all.

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Trailblazers for Life

Throughout the pandemic, Shepherd’s Hope has witnessed unprecedented need across the community. At the height of the pandemic, the organization has served 200% more people in need compared to January 2019. During this time of tremendous need, our mission is still “to recognize and meet the needs of our neighbors, pledging to help individuals to become compassionate contributors to family, community and society; we vow to do this one life at a time.”

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Grace and Mercy

Welcome to 2021! Because of you, our faithful donors, we are able to begin another year serving the LORD WE LOVE! The Lord provided the $100,000.00 we were praying that HE would provide. $45,000.00 came from you, our faithful and dedicated donors, and the balance came from a generous grant from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. We still ended up a little short of what we needed to end 2020 in the black, because some of the monies from the GCFD were earmarked for specific uses.

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Life Transactions

THE CENTER of Englewood is owned and operated by Shepherd’s HOPE, Ltd. and houses our food pantry and family feeding center as well as By the Hand Club for Kids, 1st Defense Legal Aid, IMPACT Family Center, New Hope Medical Clinic, The Vision Clinic, Pass-It-On Academy, Basketball by Blue, God’s End Time Church and Xperience Church.

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The Horizon of HOPE

 

The Horizon of HOPE

God is Sovereign over ALL. HE is our only HOPE!

Greetings to all from the Center of Englewood and Shepherd’s HOPE!

The world is a totally different place than it was the last time we communicated. The crew at Shepherd’s HOPE has not skipped a beat. In fact, we have added a day of service to our Food Pantry and Family Feeding Center to accommodate the increase in the number of people we are serving. We have also had to increase our personnel to be able to efficiently serve the number of people that grace our doors on Monday through Saturday due to the 6 food pantries that have closed in our community. We were touching the lives of 2500 people a week before Covid-19 and now we are touching 4500 lives (and growing) a week, distributing over 50,000 pounds of food a week to our neighbors. ONLY GOD!

The LORD always uses situations like the COVID pandemic to glorify HIMSELF . In this case, HE glorified HIMSELF by introducing us to a ministry (Something Good in Englewood) that is actually only 2 blocks east of The Center of Englewood on Marquette. We met just before the beginning of COVID-19. They had what they called a pop-up pantry one day a week serving items they could get donated from businesses and people they knew. We brainstormed together and started sharing food with them and they ended up creating a full-service pop-up pantry with 4 pop-up canopies rather than one.

Then Something Good in Englewood came up with the idea to supply groceries to two senior buildings (because most of the people were afraid to come out). So working as a team again, Shepherd’s HOPE provided the food and Something Good in Englewood supplied the manpower needed to distribute the groceries for over 200 seniors a week (see pictures below). THANK YOU, LORD!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something Good in Englewood was the beginning of what GOD was about to do through Shepherd’s HOPE. About 3 weeks ago a ministry that is part of The Center of Englewood introduced me to Pastor Jerome Powell from Roseland whose church had just burned down. He was in need of food for his congregation. We were able to provide him with a 1000 pounds of food (meat and produce). Just days later another ministry from Roseland, Kids Off the Block, contacted me in need of food. Diane Latiker, the founder, and I met in 2012 when we were both recipients of the American Red Cross Heroes Award for citizenship. By God’s grace we were able to provide for their needs.

That same week Miss Frye called me. She runs an organization called M.A.S.S. (Mothers Against Street Shooters). She is from Englewood. The people in her community were also in need of food. We had met in the past and I was familiar with her work against gun violence. We were able to provide her with 200 sandwich meal kits and water. A few days later Rev. Charles R. Neal from Englewood contacted me in need of food for his congregation. We met that day and we were able to provide him with 300 pounds of meat and 10 cases of water.

About a week ago, Pastor Dwayne Grant of Xperience Church (a partner at The Center of Englewood) and LaTanya Johnson of The Youth of Englewood organization met with me to share their plans to mediate gang strife on the southwest side between the Latino and Black gangs, They asked me if we had any extra groceries that they could give away to the people of that community as a peace offering. We were able to provide the food they needed. From what I understand the meeting went well and they were invited back next week.

Extending HOPE

Every organization mentioned is still receiving food weekly. ONLY GOD! We are still getting requests weekly and by GOD’s grace we will be able to help these new organizations.

The most amazing thing is that the Sovereign God we serve knew all along that HE was going to give us the opportunity to develop relationships and trust with thousands of people we never knew before and most of all the chance to share the saving grace of JESUS CHRIST with all our new found friends. What a great way to make the best of a bad situation. ONLY GOD!

We still need your help…

Due to the increase in the numbers of people we are serving, our labor and ancillary material costs have increased accordingly. We certainly were not prepared financially for this pandemic and the aftermath. We totally trust GOD and know HE will provide for our needs through the people HE chooses. I want to thank all of you who have supported Shepherd’s HOPE for the past 11 years. If it were not for your steadfast support, we would not have been around to enjoy this special moment in the history of this ministry.

Please continue to pray for this ministry and for the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and clients. Certainly, with all the sadness of the events since Memorial Day, we know that the only real, lasting solution is for people to learn to love our LORD and love each other as HE loved us. May Shepherd’s HOPE continue to shine the light of JESUS in this community.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. We love you all and hope you and your families are well and are walking through this so-called pandemic with your heads held high and our eyes on JESUSWorking together we will get through this by HIS grace alone!!

Love, Brian