The Behavioral Health Clinic at George Fox University provides voucher for free counseling sessions for all Love INC clients. Emily stopped by the office last week to let us know that these sessions have been incredibly helpful! Thanks to counseling, Emily now has more confidence in herself than ever. It has even been the springboard for her to be able to finally get a job. She starts her new job at a local department store this week and is so thankful for everything YOU have done for her along her journey to get where she is now!
When we met Teresa she was severely traumatized after experiencing homelessness. She had worked her whole life and due to severe, drug-resistant depression, she found herself without a job and no place to live. “I’ve had so many jobs in my life. I’ve worked since I was 15, I’ve been on my own since I was 17, I’ve always had a job.” Her situation was incredibly difficult to process. She was admitted into the Transitional Living Program (TLP) and upon arrival rated herself a 0 out of 10. She struggled to make eye contact with anyone, and due to anxiety and depression could barely complete the smallest task. Through constant support and coaching from the Love INC staff, Teresa began to see changes both inside and out. She started walking outside most days, applying for jobs and going to Relational Ministry and other community classes to interact with other people in our community going through similar situations. Cooking, completing house chores and yard work became a regular activity. She started to volunteer at local service agencies while looking for work. Our Transitional Living Coach even commented “Teresa is looking the best she has since arriving here almost 10 months ago. She is on task and engaged!” The most exciting (among many) moment came when Teresa was hired at a service agency to be a resource advocate for Homeless and Housing! “God has put me in a position to be a resource advocate for homeless and housing! Getting me back out [...]
When “Sabrina” first entered the Transitional Living Program (TLP) at the Newberg Community Shelter, she was in a state of shock. Her mother passed away, she was injured on the job and was a victim of domestic violence in the same year. There was a moment where Sabrina decided enough was enough and wanted to change her life. She maintained her sobriety and followed her individual success plan through bouts of depression and illness. Sabrina enrolled in the Ready to Rent Class and worked with Goodwill Job Connections, and within a few months of hard work she finally got a job! She is now starting work full time this week as an employee at a local manufacturing plant here in Newberg. We could not be more excited for Sabrina’s continued recovery and success! “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” -2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Last week we were contacted by a mattress company asking if they could donate a 2-month-old king sized mattress (cost $1500 new). Their client ended up wanting something different than what they had originally bought so the company replaced it for them. The company has a policy of donating returned mattresses and since their client lives in Newberg, we were the first organization they called. The day they called happened to have been our last night of spring term of Relational Ministry classes so we announced that this mattress may be available. A married couple attending that class mentioned that they were in need of a new mattress. So on Monday we called the company, they put us in touch with their client, then we contacted one of our volunteers who agreed to pick it up and deliver it. This almost-new, excellent quality mattress will arrive at our client’s home tomorrow evening! “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?” Matthew 6:26
Witnessing the eyes of participants light up with discovery and self-realization is one of the biggest treasures from being a part of Relational Ministry. This term was no different! Nine participants (along with their mentors) learned valuable skills in Money Management. "I was pleased and surprised by how much I learned in this class. The way [the instructor] brought Bible verses into it that I thought had nothing to do with finances was fascinating." – “Megan” "This class was a revelation. I loved it and everything that I got from it." – “Chris” We also had two new Nutrition instructors who gave great advice to five participants who were struggling with a multitude of health problems. "I am incredibly grateful to Casey and Dawn for coming alongside me in my health” said “Heather.” Eleven participants even paid off their debt and were matched $1 for $1 with funds donated by you! The relationships between instructors, mentors and participants grow to strong bonds that continue outside of class more often than not. These special relationships and the Christ-centric teaching are the key to true transformation for everyone involved. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Caleb” is a young man who found himself homeless and came in to do an intake last Thursday. The intake volunteer noted that he is very intelligent and really seemed to want to better his situation. He came back into the office a week later to tell us he got a job and is also moving into Helping Hands tonight to begin their program! He was so thankful for the help YOU and our local churches gave him, and is excited to start his new job. “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.” – Psalm 90:17
When our volunteer receptionist was checking voicemails on Monday, there was a message from “Regina” (a client), saying she just moved to a new place and has "not a stitch of furniture." Since there isn’t a furniture ministry currently, the volunteer knew she would have to call Regina back to try to refer her to another organization that might be able to help her get furniture at a low cost. But the very next message she checked was a donor saying they have a bunch of furniture to donate if we have someone who could use it. We were able to connect the two of them with each other and now some much needed furniture is on its way to Regina. God's timing is so amazing! “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
When we first met “Dawn,” her life was unstable and chaotic. She was staying at friend’s houses or hotels while trying to find a job to keep her and her children’s lives afloat. When she had to give her children up to the foster care system, she knew it was time to get some help. Once Dawn was admitted into the Transitional Living Program (TLP), she felt immediate relief. Melanie, the Transitional Living Coach, was able to give her realistic goals to be able to get her back on her feet again. “I didn’t have anybody to help me before, Melanie gave me hope. I had a sense of purpose.” Dawn, Melanie and Kim during one of their regular meetings When Melanie saw Dawn’s drive to not only get her life back on track but to regain custody of her children, she knew exactly who would be the best mentor for Dawn. Kim has a similar story and has been successfully living on her own with her children since leaving the shelter almost three years earlier. With Melanie and Kim by her side, in just six months Dawn was able to find and keep a job, save enough money to move into her own house and is well on her way to getting her kids back. Praise God! When asked how her relationship with God was before and after her time in the TLP, “I was kind of close to God, but now I’m reading my Bible more [...]
We were so sad to say goodbye to the Resident Managers at the shelter! We are so grateful for the time Katelyn and Miranda have devoted to the women participating in the Transitional Living Program. They have sacrificed a lot to live in the shelter and be a positive Christian influence on the women. We pray as they move on to their next adventures that they remain devoted to the Lord and use what they have learned in this position to continue to serve with loving hearts and minds. God bless you!!
Just out of rehab for drug abuse, James has a five-month-old baby boy who he has not yet been able to meet. His biggest goal right now is to get to a place in his life where he can be a good father. His son gives him hope that he can turn his life around. When James came to Love INC he was hoping we could help him get a bike, but he had no idea there were many other things we could do for him. He was able to pick up his bike that same day and he also walked out of our office with vouchers for non-food pantry items, kitchen items, laundry services, and even diapers for his son provided by Christians like you. While James seeks employment and a place to live, his heart overflows with thanks to God for being his provider, and to the many donors who make it possible for his needs to be met during this time of transition in his life! “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” - Proverbs 13:12