All posts by Duane Sell

WALTER’S STORY

Walter is one of those lost sheep that Butch’s contagious spirit brought to bible study.  Walter enjoys learning about JESUS from people who have walked with HIM for many years and from others who have only been on the journey a few months.  He loves the camaraderie and the joy that the Holy Spirit brought to the gathering.  Walter, at a point, was not ready to live according to God’s will.  He didn’t yet understand the power of the Holy Spirit working in a man totally surrendered to JESUS.  I’ve known Walter for about 3- years and finally, a few months ago after 54 years of living according to his own will, getting the same results, he has decided to try JESUS’s way.  He is a stubborn man with a lot of pride just as I was at his age.  We pray for him everyday.  He is now working for the ministry and helps lead the bible study we have every morning before we go to work.

I love to watch JESUS come alive in someone.  Walter, who has been resisting HIM for years, has finally come to understand John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and life.  No one comes to the father except through me.”  Walter now understands the truth of why we were created, to glorify JESUS , and JESUS alone.

BUTCH’S STORY

Butch is a gentlemam I met about 5 years ago at our feeding center one Friday afternoon.  Butch had come there to promote a humanitarian program he had put together to help kids in under-resourced communities.  Butch was raised in Englewood back in the 40’s and 50’s and had a rough childhood.

On this Friday as I was greeting people as I normally do on days when we are serving hot meals, I was introduced to Butch.  After a brief exchange with him, I continued on to greet other people when the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear to “go share your story with that gentleman”.  Immediately I went back and reintroduced myself and asked Butch what type relationship he had with JESUS CHRIST.  He told me that he had given his life to Christ 3 times at Billy Graham revivals but that he hadn’t been to church in years.  I proceeded to share my story with Butch.  Five minutes into my presentation, Butch was in tears.  At this point I knew the Holy Spirit had taken over.  Butch shared with me that the night before he was smoking pot and living sexually outside of God’s will.  As I was ready to depart, I told him we were having bible study at 10:30 the next morning across the street in the basement of the church.  He has been part of our ministry since, volunteering at our food pantry and feeding center and attending bible study on a regular basis.  He is so excited about serving JESUS that about 2 years ago we asked him (and he agreed) to become part of our board of directors.  His love of JESUS is contagious and has been instrumental in introducing JESUS to many lost souls.

We love you, Butch.

Man’s Degeneration vs Hope in CHRIST

It has been a while. A lot has happened since our last newsletter. We had just taken possession of Mays School, and as you may know, it was not in the condition that it was all the way up to just 6 days before we closed. While the locksmith was changing the locks, the CPS engineer and I walked through the building. That’s when we noticed the carnage. I immediately notified the CPS attorney who handled the closing which had just concluded minutes before.

As it turns out, we had no idea what we were walking into. The damage that was visible was bad enough, but it was the damage that was not visible that made our repair estimates not worth the paper they were written on. We are going to present CPS with a demand letter for reparations along with a video of our initial walk-thru and a video of the damage.  We have no guarantee where that is going to lead. We have placed this reality in GOD’S hands and have forged ahead in prayer and in submission to HIS will. As of today, the target date for most of the ministries to start moving in to the building is November 1, 2018 .

Assessing the Damage

The majority of the extra work is plumbing and electrical. The plumbing work is because of theft of the

Damage behind the walls. Click to see more images of damage.

1.5″ copper pipe supplying the hot water from the boiler to the blowers in each classroom, plus the 1.5″ copper that was taken from within the plumbing walls that services the 27 toilets, 9 urinals, 19 lavatories and 1 shower throughout the building. Besides stealing the copper that supplies the water to the bathrooms, they also damaged the automatic flushing systems which will have to be replaced along with the toilets they service.

Then there are the electrical cables that we knew had been tampered with, but we had no idea of the extent of the theft. Our initial assessment after tracing the route (with electrical contractors) and measuring the cable we knew was missing, led us to estimate about 3,000-4,000 linear feet. After the electricians placed a measuring string in each of the empty conduits, the missing cable amounted to 8,000-9,000 linear feet.

We estimated the cost of theft initially between $35,000 and $50,000 and by God’s grace after the theft took place, a new donor became part of the Shepherd’s HOPE team and made a donation that was like a breath of fresh air in an Oklahoma dust storm.

Useless Destruction

Although after the dust cleared, the LORD revealed the rest of the damage, as to say, “this whole journey that we are on together is predicated on your relationship and total trust in ME and ME alone”.

The devil’s minions that perpetrated this theft, had no idea that the cost to replace the stolen material and repair their damages would be $85,000 – $100,000. These people worked 6 days and 6 nights to complete this theft, some of it very hard work, for which they acquired about $2,000 to subsidize their drug habits. The devil knows that if these men are given a real job, their drug use would be minimal or a thing of the past. The reality of this is that the devil would have a much harder time getting them to agree to steal from their neighbors and disrupt the LORD’s work in the community. That’s why the devil loves poverty.

We at Shepherd’s HOPE love our LORD and Savior JESUS CHRIST and trust HIM to bring us through this so HE can be glorified. That’s why HE put the Shepherd’s HOPE team together – the Board, Staff, Volunteers, Donors and Ministry Partners – so the LORD can live in and through each and every one of us to make THE CENTER of Englewood a reality. Through the children’s ministry, the teen ministry, the daycare, the vocational training, the feeding center, the pantry, the church services, the Bible studies, and the free medical clinic, JESUS will show the people of this Englewood community that HE loves them and that HE is here for them. HE wants to be their friend by changing the face and character of this community, by living in and through its people.

Besides the repairs that had to take place because of the break-ins, there were many substantial

Before and After
Click image to see more

projects that needed to be completed to make THE CENTER of Englewood operational. To complete the repairs that were due to the break-in and to complete the projects that we knew existed when we bid on the school, we will need the LORD’s help in the amount of $70,000. The major part of these monies will be used to refurbish and start up the boiler, blower and ventilation systems. The cost for this will be about $35,000, which we had budgeted and set aside, but had to use for the break-in damages because we need electricity and water to operate these systems. We trust the LORD totally and know that HE will provide the resources we need!  Click here to see the projects we knew we had to deal with from Day One and our progress to date.  It’s the $100,000 cost from the break-in damages that we were not prepared for, but we know the LORD is. We will wait patiently to see who HE will use to make the CENTER of Englewood a reality.

Together, faithfully…

Shepherd’s HOPE team, we need your help! We need you to share your gifts, talents, time and resources, the blessings the LORD has given you to bring everything to fruition by November 1, 2018. It can be accomplished, but only if we all work together as a team for HIS glory and HIS glory alone. Please pray on it and let the LORD direct your path! I can’t wait to see who HE uses for HIS glory.
Remember, it is all in the LORD’s hands, but it is in that place of humiliation that we find our true worth to GOD – that is where our true faithfulness is revealed, and HE is glorified! We have been put in that place of humiliation and we have stayed totally focused on HIM and in turn remain completely faithful to HIS will. AMEN!
I love you all and hope to see you soon.
Brian

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The Way Ministry Collaboration

The WAY Partners

When Shepherd’s HOPE moves into the Mays School we are purchasing from CPS, 12 Ministry Partners will be coming alongside to be fully housed in the building and/or to expand the programs and benefit from the services.  This article describes the work of each of these partners.

 

The Way Ministry Collaboration

The Lord started putting together “The Way” about 5 years ago and gradually built it to 13 ministries today (including Shepherd’s HOPE).

  1. God’s End Time Church was one of the first ministries the LORD introduced to Shepherd’s HOPE. Pastor Nathaniel Hill is the founder and the leader of this ministry. Nate was once where a lot of people in this community are or were at one time.  He was a drug addict, addicted to heroin – but by GOD’s grace he was saved and now he is livinging the word of GOD and sharing his testimony.  God’s End Time Church meets Sunday mornings at 11 am (in a rented space).  Nate also does Wednesday evening bible studies at 7:00 pm.  For the past 2 years the church has also been doing Saturday morning breakfasts and discipleship through community outreaches.  Pastor Nate and his team will be coming with us to the Mays School facility.

 

  1. Kingdom Lifeline Ministry is a drug and alcohol abuse ministry whose focus is discipleship through outreach and helping others. Pastor Kurt Williams is the founder and executive director, one of the true men of GOD.  I’ve had the privilege of knowing him personally and watching him grow and mentor men who were struggling with substance abuse.  I can’t wait for all of us to be working together under one roof, so I can have a ringside seat to see the affect that these men of GOD are going to have on this community.

 

  1. IMPACT Family Center is a teen and family ministry founded and operated by CEO Marsha Eaglin. Talk about a ministry that is having a profound effect on the people the LORD has surrounded her with! She knows and loves JESUS; you can feel that love by the fruit she bears through the relationship and trust that pours out of this ministry.  Marsha also does GED classes, computer and web design classes, and community outreach activities besides mentoring these teens in life.  See complete list of services on their website here.  What a blessing it will be for this ministry to join us at Mays School!

 

  1. Pass-it-on-Academy is a daycare ministry that was co-founded by the first community volunteer to serve at Shepherd’s HOPE. Darryl Coleman and his wife Theresa started this ministry to help single mothers that need daycare and cannot afford to pay the going rate.  The most important aspect of this ministry is not the discounted rate for the single mom, rather it is the way the staff shows the LOVE of JESUS to every child that enters the doors of this ministry.  The LORD took Darryl home about 3 years ago, but because of HIS leadership, Theresa is still loving on these kids.  In my heart of hearts ministries like Pass-it-on-Academy and IMPACT are the ministries most needed to change the heart of a community.  I am so proud that they are a part of our team.

 

  1. Breath of Life Christian Center is a prison ministry as well as a (Daycare and After School Program) started by Jeff Pirtle and his wife (Nicole). Jeff has been working in the prison system teaching inmates about the love and saving grace of JESUS for the past 15 years.  Jeff really has a heart for the prisoners because of his love for Christ and because he used to be one of them.  Nicole’s love for kids and love for Christ makes her the perfect woman to guide the children of this community.  Jeff and Nicole also do outreaches to bring the community together to show the LOVE of CHRIST in action.  These are 2 special people with plenty of street experience and a dedicated love for people – because they live Christ-centered lives.  They are a tremendous asset to the collaborative and add a quality of leadership that is scarce in the world we live in today.

 

  1. Xperience Church is a Christ-centered outreach ministry and house church led by 2 very talented and dedicated Christ followers that LOVE JESUS with all their heart and soul. From the time you first meet Dwayne and Linda Grant, you feel their LOVE for each other as well as the LOVE for JESUS they exhibit freely to everyone they surround themselves with.  The first time I met them they were doing a Friday evening outreach in front of a liquor store at 67th and Halsted where loving on the least of these is a way of life.  Dwayne’s real talents are in his ability to preach the word of GOD as well as his talent as a worship leader.  As you are beginning to see, he LORD has had HIS hand in creating a diversified and talented team of men and women of GOD.  Believe it or not, that liquor store where I met Dwayne and Linda is one block from Mays School.  How ironic.

 

  1. Kody’s House is a ministry started by a young girl while going to nursing school. Idella (Washington) in the midst of preparing herself for a nursing career decided that on weekends she would prepare meals for the homeless and unreached.  She came to the pantry about 3 years ago after talking to one of our volunteers.  She asked if we had any food we could share with her for her ministry.  From that point on we have supplied her food on a weekly basis to make it possible for her, her boyfriend Vince and another friend to be able to prepare and disburse meals every weekend on the street to the homeless or anyone they encounter in need.  She is now a nurse and continues her ministry.  I can’t wait for the day when we have a kitchen open 7 days a week so we can supply and prepare the food for Kody’s House and give Idella and her team a break to focus on distributing the meals and spending more time on building relationship and trust with the people they serve.

 

  1. Nehemiah Construction was started by Ed Domagal and his partner. Their construction company takes young men off the street and teaches them work ethic and job skills. As they spend the time in instruction, they disciple them by introducing them to the saving grace of JESUS CHRIST.  The goal once we get the Mays School facility will be to start their training in the classroom in the evenings and when the “students” are ready for hands-on experience, they will place them with a crew and then give them on the job training.  They will teach them to be team players, how to complete a job and what a finished project looks like.  Over and above job training, they will teach them how to live a CHRIST-honoring life as they disciple them, which is the most important part of their job training.  Pastor Ed is the perfect man to disciple the young men.  He has been mentoring young men for years through his street preaching ministry.  Along with discipleship he will be teaching them good work ethic and skills.  I am looking forward to Pastor Ed being a part of our team.  He is a man of integrity and character, something very much lacking in today’s world.

 

  1. God’s Helping Hand is operated by Pete Harvey and has been around for at least a decade. Shepherd’s HOPE started partnering with them about 4 years ago.  They came to us through a friend of mine.  When I met Pete, the number of people needing a hot meal was a lot greater than the food they had available.  After partnering with us they were able to feed 4 times the number of people they were feeding before Pete met us.  Pete and his volunteers have to prepare the hot meals and as he has shared with me, the volunteers aren’t always available.  By GOD’s grace sometime in the near future we will have a kitchen operating 7 days a week that will be able to prepare the meals for God’s Helping Hand, as well as all the other  ministries in need of hot meals.

 

  1. Arrows Outreach is a unique ministry but with the same mission. Their mission is discipleship but how they accomplish that mission is unique. House churches are not common place in America but are very biblical.  Michele and Ojo Patterson are a young couple who LOVE JESUS and LOVE to share who HE is and are not shy, but zealous about what HE has done for them and the people they have discipled.  I met Michele and Ojo a little over 5 years ago as they were doing street outreach and bible studies, which they are now using to build house churches.  I believe house churches are the future of the American Christian movement.  We have lost the tight-knit community of families that worshipped, prayed and walked through life together and as a result have lost the transparency that existed when small groups of people did life together.  That is what separated true followers of Christ from all other types of religiosity.  I think Mays School is the perfect venue for building a house church network and is a perfect place for the leaders of the house churches to meet on a weekly basis to discuss how things are progressing and how they might work together on community projects.  Michele and Ojo will be there to spearhead these meetings mentoring and guiding the leaders.  If there is one ministry that I cannot wait to see blossom, it is this one because it could easily have the most explosive effect on this Englewood community.

 

  1. Heritage Church. Three years ago I walked into Heritage Church because my wife and I had moved to Grayslake, IL and were looking for a place to call our church home.  The pastor that Sunday preached a message on discipleship that was straight from the Bible, telling everyone in the church what real discipleship means and what a genuine discipleship is.  From that day forward, Heritage has been the church my wife and I attend.

 

Every year in November they showcase a ministry that they partner with for the coming year.  In 2016, they chose Shepherd’s HOPE and it became the beginning of a great relationship.  They made a commitment to support us financially.  What a blessing! But what blew me away was how they got involved by volunteering on a regular basis.  This allows the church that’s serving to grow as followers of Christ because the people get the opportunity to see JESUS come alive. In Matthew 25:40 Jesus says: “As you have done for one of the least of these, my brothers, you’ve done it to me.”  I can’t wait to see how the purchase of Mays school will open more opportunities for more people to see JESUS come alive.  Thank you LORD for bringing us together.  ONLY GOD!

  1. Greater Chicago Food Depository is our largest provider of food (and one of the largest in the country). They have been with us since the beginning.  Beside the food we have a great opportunity to partner with them on a much larger scale.  We told the CFO that we were looking for a larger venue and they told us that when we get a place, they would like to help us turn our food pantry and family feeding center into state of the art facilities by supplying walk-in coolers and freezers, sinks, stoves, prep tables, tables and chairs and whatever else they could get donated.  I  can’t wait to see how the LORD is going to use this great organization to raise up this Englewood community from the depravity that exists into the hardworking, family-oriented neighborhood it was.

 

Thank you LORD for the Mays School and all the ministry partners that will be a part of your plans for this building.
The Way Ministry Collaboration

More Warmth, More Space & More Peace for Englewood

Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you’re looking forward to the New Year as we are at Shepherd’s HOPEThe winter Coat, Hat, Glove and Scarf drive continues through January 15, 2017 and then we pass them out as the need arises.  The needs in our community are great but remember we have ministry partners that serve the homeless as well in other under-resourced communities in Chicago.

These coats and accessories will not last long! 

 Please keep us in your prayers for a larger venue.  We have outgrown our current facilities and would love to bring all our ministries and ministry partners under one roof.  What a blessing that would be!  We will be bidding on Woods School at 62nd and Racine on March 3, 2017.  Please pray that God will bless us with this facility if it is his will.  The afterschool program will be starting soon.  We are looking forward to the opportunity to start mentoring these young kids.

In addition to the new venue and the youth program, we are going to start partnering with the 7th District Police Department by providing 150 bags of non-perishable food a month so that officers in that district can use the food to rebuild the relationship and trust needed to bring this community back to where the officers and the people in the community embrace each other and begin working together again toward peace.  It’s working in the 11th District and through God’s grace will keep working there and it will also work in the 7th District as long as we all work together with God in the lead!

As you see the LORD has a glorious plan for Shepherd’s HOPE in 2017.  This only happens because of people like you, our financial support team.  We need your help.  To date we have only raised  62% of our operating budget for 2017.  We are pursuing grants and other resources, but we still need your help financially and most of all your prayers.

Next time  you receive our newsletter, I hope we can tell you that we have met our financial goals, and that God has provided the larger facility we so badly need.  Look forward then to some video of the afterschool program and a picture of the Shepherd’s HOPE-Xperience Church-7th District Team!  AMEN!

By the way, the Kid’s Christmas party on December 17 was a success. Thank you to Chris at Heritage Church for putting the video at left together for us! And thank you for your support that made the filled Christmas stockings and hot dog meal possible for our kids and their families!   Click here to see the video.

We love you all very much and wish each of you and your families a joyous and peace-filled NEW YEAR!  Thank you again for your continued support and prayers.  Thank you for being a part of this journey that the LORD called Shepherd’s HOPE.

Love always,

Brian

Being Alive to Thrive

Merry Christmas everyone and I hope you’re looking forward to the New Year as we are at Shepherd’s Hope.  The winter Coat, Hat, Glove and Scarf drive continues through January 15, 2017 and we pass then out as the need arises.  The needs in our community are great but remember we have ministry partners that serve the homeless as well in other under-resourced communities in Chicago.

These coats and accessories will not last long!

Please keep us in your prayers for a larger venue.  We have outgrown our current facilities and would love to bring all our ministries and ministry partners under one roof.  What a blessing that would be!  We will be bidding on Woods School at 62nd and Racine on March 3, 2017.  Please pray that God will bless us with this facility if it is his will.  The afterschool program will be starting soon.  We are looking forward to the opportunity to start mentoring these young kids.

In addition to the new venue and the youth program, we are going to start partnering with the 7th District Police Department by providing 150 bags of non-perishable food a month so that officers in that district can use the food to rebuild the relationship and trust needed to bring this community back to where the officers and the people in the community embrace each other and begin working together again toward peace.  It’s working in the 11th District and through God’s grace will keep working there and it will also work in the 7th District as long as we all work together with God in the lead!

As you see the LORD has a glorious plan for Shepherd’s HOPE in 2017.  This only happens because of people like you, our financial support team.  We need your help.  We have only raised to date 62% of our operating budget for 2017.  We are pursuing grants and other resources, but we still need your help financially and most of all your prayers.

Next time we you receive our newsletter, I hope we can tell you that we have met our financial goals, and that God has provided the larger facility we so badly need.  Look forward then to some video of the after school program and a picture of the Shepherd’s HOPE-Xperience Church-7th District Team!  AMEN!

By the way the Christmas party on December 17 was a success. Thank you to Chris at Heritage Church for putting the following video together for us! And thank you for your support that made the filled Christmas stockings and hot dog meal possible for our kids and their families!. Click here to see the video of that event.

We love you all very much and wish each of you and your families a joyous and peace-filled NEW YEAR!  Thank you again for your continued support and prayers.  Thank you for being a part of this journey that the LORD called Shepherd’s HOPE.

Love always,

Brian

Loving the Youth of Englewood

Prior to Christmas the LORD put it on Brian Anderson’s heart to focus and love on HIS children of this Englewood community.  We have always LOVED them, but the LORD wants it to be our main focus for 2016 and beyond.  The LORD wants to show HIS LOVE to the youth and teens of this community.  By talking to the people we serve and through the research of others we are finding out that the youth and teens in this community don’t eat on a regular basis and the food that they eat at home and in school is very nutrient deficient.  The LORD has placed on the hearts of our Shepherd’s HOPE staff and the board of directors to start an afterschool program feeding hot meals to the youth and teens of Englewood on 3 days a week.  This would take place at the Family Feeding Center from 4-6 pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  We have tentatively worked out the arrangements to get the food donated, but just like the feeding programs we operate from 12:00-2:00 pm for 2 days a week, we have to pay for the plates, cups, napkins, forks, aluminum pans, foil, seasonings, head cook, building rental etc.  To operate a feeding program for 300 youth and teens 3 days a week will cost us $24,000 per year.  $0.53 per meal is a small price to pay to make sure the young people of this community get at least 3 nutritional meals a week and most of all it gives us the opportunity to develop relationships and trust needed to share the saving grace of JESUS and really LOVE these kids and young adults the way GOD designed it.  This will call for a team effort again.  We will be trusting in GOD again to supply the food and volunteers.  Our goal as the Shepherd’s HOPE team will be to supply the oversight, transportation, guidance and leadership, the extra finances and most of all the LOVE of JESUS that the youth and teens of this community so badly need.

Our prayer is that GOD would bless this endeavor and have it operational by the beginning of August, 2016.  It is all in GOD’s hands.  HE will give us the discernment;  HE will supply the food and volunteers; HE will tap the team members on the shoulder who HE wants to provide the financial resources needed to make this program a reality.  Like GOD said to me on the corner of 57th and Lowe when I was praying to HIM about even joining HIM on this journey, “All you have to do is be obedient to my will and I will take care of all the rest.”  After watching all that HE has accomplished in the last 6 years, my faith and trust in HIM is so much greater today than it was back then.  I hope all of you who have been blessed to be on this journey with me feel the same way.

What a great opportunity to LOVE this community like never before and be the catalyst that starts the next generation on their journey with our LORD and Savior JESUS CHRIST.  I don’t know about you, but the thought of that gives me goose bumps!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Obedience

In 2007 Brian Anderson encountered the same homeless man each day at an expressway exit on his way to work. One morning as he was preparing his lunch, the Lord prompted him and he decided to prepare a lunch for the homeless person too. On the second day of giving him a lunch, he greeted him with “Good Morning,” and in return  the man thanked him for the lunch. He then proceeded to rave 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 take him out and 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 about one and a half months later 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 prayed to God for a plan. A month later the Lord asked him about 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. The Lord prompted him to rehabilitate the bungalow converting it into a food pantry. Shepherds HOPE Chicago opened in March, 2009 and served supplemental food to 60 families its first day.

When the doors to Shepherds HOPE opened in 2009, there were 3 drug houses on the street and violence was almost a daily occurrence; that is no longer the case. From the beginning Brian realized it was not just about the food, but about establishing relationships and trust that lead to personal and community transformation. The guests are treated with respect and dignity. Typically they will be greeted as they wait in line by one of our leaders whose primary goal is to hear their stories, build relationships, and share the hope Christ can bring to their lives. Over time incredible relationships have been built and people return not just for the food but to find help for the struggles they face every day. The pantry has become a safe haven and children regularly stop in after school to show homework, get a treat and simply feel loved. Shepherd’s HOPE has only two paid staff people. (Many of those volunteers were among the troublemakers when the pantry first opened.)  An attitude of mutual respect and positive behavior is encouraged and now  the volunteers and guests even monitor those qualities among themselves when someone forgets or a new person arrives. A specific example of change occurred on November 22, 2011 when the bags of  food for Thanksgiving Dinner were distributed. People began to arrive at the pantry at 6:30 am and waited patiently in a line  during a 40 degree rain storm.  The line extended all the way to 57th  street (about ¾ of a city block – more than 350 people) by the time the food distribution began at 9:00 am. Brian walked the line and greeted each neighbor with a Happy Thanksgiving, a hug and a blessing from God. Each person returned the hug with their own gratitude and blessing. This was an unbelievable transformation from previous years. Moreover, the servant hearts of the community volunteers who also warmly greeted their neighbors throughout the day in the challenging weather were an inspiration to all. Today the neighborhood around Shepherds HOPE is a safe and more compassionate community!

Brian and his wife Laura have made huge personal sacrifices to make Shepherd’s HOPE become a reality. When Brian first proposed the idea of creating a food pantry in the bungalow they owned, Laura wondered if Brian had lost his mind and pointed out that this was one of the poorest and most dangerous areas in the country!  Brian’s response: “That is what makes it so appealing to the Lord.” After months of conversation and prayer, they decided to launch their ministry to feed people and rebuild lives. As the journey has progressed, Laura also has been amazed by the transformation that has occurred in the community. Brian and Laura’s dedication and hard work have resulted in a leadership team of volunteers who help guide the organization. They have inspired many individuals to come alongside and support the ministry financially.  Perhaps the best testament to Brian’s character is that he (a white man from Inverness) has been accepted by the people of Englewood as someone they trust.  A man of God who trusts God totally and  puts his faith in action.

With grass roots support of family and friends, small businesses and church groups, Shepherd’s HOPE has been able to provide groceries to thousands of families.  The food pantry is the catalyst and Step 1 of the 5-step program that will allow them to make the Lord’s vision of transforming lives, rebuilding communities, and creating HOPE through Christ a reality.

In March of 2016, Shepherd’s HOPE will have completed 6 years of serving their neighbors in Englewood.  We will have gone from serving one homeless man a homemade lunch to touching the lives of over 8,000 people a month (providing them with over 1.4 million pounds of food annually) all out of that 1000 square foot bungalow.  God gets the glory!

In 2010, we started a Saturday morning men’s bible study that is still going today.

In 2011, the Lord prompted Shepherd’s HOPE to create a collaborative of like-minded ministries and call it “The Way.”

“The Way” started church services in 2011 in a rented church and today “The Way” has 2 church services a week along with 3 bible studies.  This was all done to make step 2 of the 5-step program – combating lack of spiritual awareness in this community – a reality.

For more information on the 10 collaborative partners in “The Way” ministry click here.

Story Behind the Journey

On April 6, 1949 the story begins.  Brian Kris Anderson was born to Marie and Norman Anderson on the northwest side of Chicago.  Brian was the first of three children brought into this world by Marie and Norman and the only son.

I was raised by a school teacher and full time housewife in the West Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.  We lived in an apartment building which was owned by my grandparents.  So besides my parents, my grandparents were a major influence in my life.  I was an average student.  My interests were in math and science.  I loved playing baseball and football and also speed skated in national competition.  My love and ability to play the game of baseball got me a scholarship to Northeastern Illinois State University.  It was the only way I would have been able to afford college.  My life was one blessing after another by getting to play baseball at a very high level and at a young age getting to know Jesus as my Savior.

That relationship with Jesus continued all the way until my senior year in college.  In my sophomore year I met a beautiful young lady.  This relationship with this beautiful lady changed my life forever….(Click to read more)

On December 26 Brian was interviewed by Robert Lambert on WYLL’s Faith Marketplace program.  Click here to listen to his 12 minute interview.

You can also listen to the full program and other faith stories on the WYLL website.