We had a client come in who has just gotten out of a violent domestic relationship. She is homeless, staying for the time with a friend of a friend. She has four kids and is trying to find a job and a place to live. To say the least, she has a lot that she is dealing with. A volunteer told her about the dinners the churches have throughout town each night and was surprised when she noticed that tears were quietly streaming down her face. The volunteer wasn't sure what she had said....and asked if she was okay while getting her some Kleenex. She said, "These dinners. I am never sure what to do for my kids for dinner." She feels like she's imposing on her friend and is unable to use his kitchen. Of all of the things the Church could offer, helping her feed her children is the one thing that she needed the most. Sometimes we forget that this great work is impacting real people who are struggling through the hardest, most tender and vulnerable moments of their lives. They need Jesus and his People to lean upon. ”God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1
The bike ministry is back! First Presbyterian Church has generously offered to distribute the bikes refurbished by the Retired Recyclers out of their church building. We are so grateful for this new partnership!
This past week the drop in center heard from several people who have been helped by Love INC in the past. They used to be regulars, in fact! Last week, "Cal" came in to the office to say hello. He reported that he is staying at a place in town and that he is happily working now. Praise God! Similarly we heard from "Donny" who stopped by to say hi as well and tell us that he is now working at a nearby farm. So happy to hear! Not long after those two updates, we received a call from "Mark" down in California, where he had traveled for work. He was hospitalized for a little bit due to an infection, but is feeling much better now. He wanted to let us know where he was and that he was doing well! It is incredibly humbling to be a witness of God's work, and these updates meant so much to us. We are honored to see these individuals where they are now. God places His hand on people to heal and restore them everyday, and when we are able to witness this, we grow closer to Him as well.
Recently we received donations from North Valley Friends Church during their children’s camps. The children were taught the meaning of community service and the plight of homelessness. Each child made a couple of lunch kits and placed a card with encouraging words inside the lunch kits. It was very touching to see the children so excited to serve their fellow man. At the end of their lesson they were able to talk to our Love INC intern, Lexxs. What they had to say was so encouraging. One young boy spoke about how he had set up a lemonade stand and then donated all of his profits to Love INC. Another young girl talked about how she wanted to start a club with her friends to gather donations and raise money for people in need. A child’s giving heart is an amazing thing and our homeless ministry is blessed by their generosity and zeal for helping others. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 ESV
It seems like things always go wrong exactly when you really need them to go right. This is definitely true for car trouble. Dee, a former intern from George Fox University, told us this amazing story: "Last week during an extremely stressful time for me, my car broke down. I called Doran Automotive in Newberg and Mike Doran was willing to squeeze me in last minute. One of the wonderful receptionists here at Love INC followed me over to Doran Automotive in her car just to make sure that my car would make it (it did.). Immediately after I got there Mike took a quick look at it in the parking lot, and by the time I was picked up, my car was already in the shop with the mechanics. I stayed with some family locally since I wasn't able to get home, and that night at 7:00pm I got a call from Mike with a quote for the repairs. He told me that my car would be ready the next morning because he had bought his mechanics pizza so that they would stay late and work on it. I was so worried about how I was going to get to school, my internship, and work, without my car. Thanks to the immense generosity of him and his mechanics I didn't have to worry about any of that. Once again I was reminded about the capacity for kindness from those around us. I am so incredibly thankful that we have [...]
Medical Teams International (MTI) recently delivered toilet paper to Love INC—enough to fill one of their SUVs! St. Peter’s giving tree also contributed toilet paper, paper towels, PGE cards, gas cards, etc. The clearinghouse garage was overflowing with each visit from them! These donations go to the non-food pantry and the shelter. Love INC is happy to see the good things that come from organizations working together to bless others. “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” –Proverbs 11:25
Our community has been incredibly blessed for the second year in a row. Jeff, the owner of Enigma Photography, has been continuously generous with his time and talent, offering holiday portrait sessions for our clients and their families. He spent Saturday, November 22nd at the cultural center taking beautiful photos of twenty different families. Jodi Hansen, Executive Director, said it best; “They are so beautiful. There are stories of hardship and reconciliation and recovery and growth behind so many of those faces. Thank you so much for giving this incredible gift to our community.” We here at Love INC are constantly impressed by the love and support shown by our community and its businesses. Our appreciation, as well as that of our clients, shows no bounds. “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.”- 1 Peter 3:3-4
Bill, our wonderful GAP delivery volunteer, recently had to pass his baton off due to a health issue. Our newest members, Gary and his young grandson Tyler, were able to assume his responsibilities in stride, and have become an essential part of our team here at Love INC. Their bright and smiling faces are a joy to see around the offices every Thursday, and the multi-generational aspect of their volunteered time is an inspiration to all. We have such an incredible group of individuals here at Love INC and we value Gary and Tyler's generosity of spirit and welcome them to our little family with thankful hearts. “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children.”- Deuteronomy 4:9
Love INC has long held an outstanding partnership with George Fox University’s Spiritual Life Department. One of the key ways that we work together is by coordinating house cleaning or yard work opportunities for the James Project, a weekly service event that sends groups of students into the community to perform a wide variety of tasks for people who are in need. Every time students visit our clients’ homes to help them out, we receive a flurry of calls afterward thanking Love INC for all of the help they received. In addition to helping people with a multitude of house/yard projects, students are able to share Christ’s mission and ministry by engaging in relationship with those they serve for a couple of hours at a time. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we are very thankful to George Fox University and the students they supply! “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”- Ephesians 1:15-16
Sack lunch kits go fast in the Love INC Clearinghouse. The bags of food containing items such as hearty soup, fruit cups, peanuts, crackers, and juice always meet a food need for our homeless populations or those who simply have a hard time feeding their children. Several weeks back we ran out and were without kits for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, the LaVeine family answered our prayers! They stopped by one morning with fifty lunch kits and fifty breakfast kits, an amount that will last us at least another month or two. Thank you to the LaVeine family and anyone else who has ever participated in this important ministry!