Grand Opening Success
It is hard for me to wrap my head around the thought that the 2019 Holiday Season is upon us!
It seems like yesterday that we were setting up and getting ready to open The Food Pantry and The Family Feeding Center at 838 W Marquette Road. Actually, we have been providing food to over 1000 guests and their families per week for months now.
2020 is just around the corner and if it is anything like 2019, I can’t wait for it to start!
Our Grand Opening was successful; about 250 people attended the event. The ministry partners were very pleased with the interest generated by families that had no idea what this building was all about. If there was anything below expectations, it was the number of people from outside the community in attendance. GOD is in control. ( Click here to see photos of the event).
Goals for upcoming year
Our goal this year will be to promote education, job skills, adding more after school sports ministries, and sponsoring Friday evening events for the youth, teens and young adults of the Englewood community. These programs will be in addition to the ministries that are already operating.
The educational piece will focus on teaching people how to eat correctly through a class called The Basics of Culinary Medicine taught by a doctor from the University of Chicago. This class will show our neighbors how to prepare meals using healthy foods that will keep them vibrant so they can remain active as they age.
The job skills program will be overseen by a retired housing contractor who will be teaching the basics of carpentry, plumbing, electrical and HVAC. This program will include classroom instruction as well as hands on experience renovating buildings in the community. By GOD’s grace these buildings will be purchased by a church we have been working with for the past 5 years. ONLY GOD!
We are also working with a ministry that brings together fatherless young men and establishes one on one mentoring relationships using sports activities as a tool, teaching them how to live a Biblical life, which in turn, will build them into the leaders GOD created then to be.
The Friday evening events will begin in January, 2020, with the first event being an open mic event that will take place every fourth Friday. These events will have ex-drug addicts, victims of violence, ex-gang members and ex-drug dealers that will share their journeys out of darkness into the light as they explain how their introduction to JESUS CHRIST changed their lives. Following the presentations there will be a Q&A session. Our prayer is that after hearing these stories the youth, teens and young adults will think twice before they get involved with drugs, gangs or violence. To end the evening, refreshments will be served in the cafeteria after the event.
What a year this is going to be!
Continuing GOD’s Mission
None of this happens without you, the people GOD has chosen to support this ministry. Our dedicated staff has almost doubled in size and we have also increased the number of volunteers. All of this brings increased cost – in salaries, volunteer stipends (bus passes), supplies, truck rental, gas, and professional services. The monthly cost for Shepherd’s HOPE Food Pantry and Family Feeding Center (including our proportionate amount of rent to operate the building) is about $21.000/mo. In our increased space we are serving more people than ever, and we are able to share the LOVE of JESUS CHRIST in ways that weren’t possible in our original venues. THANK YOU, GOD!
That’s why Shepherd’s HOPE continues to need your support. The new building is in a position that if each ministry pays its rent, it is self-sustaining. Shepherd’s HOPE is an important cog in that wheel. We need your support so the LORD’s work can continue in this community.
By GOD’s grace and GOD’s grace alone the mission of Shepherd’s HOPE will continue to bring glory to HIS name.
A preacher that I have the highest regard for, in a sermon said that there are only two ministries in missions: either you are called to go down into the well where darkness prevails or you’re called to hold the rope for those who go down. Myself, our staff and volunteers are in the well every day. But to sustain our mission, we need you, our donors holding the rope, making sure we are not left down in the well with no way out. As this preacher said in closing, “If the people in the well and the people holding the rope don’t have scars on their hands, the mission does not survive and the advancement of GOD’s kingdom no longer prevails.”
We at Shepherd’s HOPE are entering uncharted waters, but with the LORD guiding the team, we are up for the challenge. We are adding new support team members all the time and we stand in awe of all you that have held the rope supporting us for the last ten years. We are working on a plan where a for-profit part of our mission will help support the mission of Shepherd’s HOPE in the future. That is still about 3-4 years away. In the meantime, we need your support more than ever!
Please grab onto the rope and keep the mission of Shepherd’s HOPE glorifying our LORD. We love you all and hope that you will find time to come down and visit us at THE CENTER of Englewood.
I miss you all!