Newberg FISH Emergency Service Food Pantry has generously donated food vouchers for Relational Ministry participants in the Nutrition course. These vouchers will get them $20 of meat and vegetables each week they attend the course. This is another great step for our participants to practice healthy habits. We can't wait to see how they put these vouchers to good use!
We are so grateful that Karla McMellon from the McMellon Center for Nutrition is back once again to teach Nutrition to our Relational Ministry class! We can't wait to gain some wisdom and healthy habits in the next 8 weeks!
“The Love INC course we just completed was so much more than we expected,” says Jason with his fiancée Katie. “Our lives have changed, our contact with Love INC has turned our lives around… we now have a future!” Relational Ministry, available to all Love INC clients, is taught by professionals in the Newberg community. Each term contains ten-week courses that teach money management, job skills, nutrition, relationship development and much more. Each participant meets with a mentor to walk together through the courses. Jason and Katie began living together, both with teenage sons and their child they had together. “We were treading water. Low income, high rent and getting farther behind every day.” “I benefitted so much from [Relational Ministry]” commented Jason. “I saw and improved deficiencies in my job experience. I became aware of and improved personal habits that were hindering my relationship with other people. My relationship with Katie improved greatly, and frankly we would not plan now to get married had it not been for Love INC and this program.” “Our mentor saved our relationship,” said Katie. “I learned how to communicate with our three kids in our home. What a difference! And in addition, I learned job acquisition skills that I need as I return to work. We learned money management skills setting us up for the future. We still have a long way to go but we are on the way.” “I have really enjoyed coming along side this couple” exclaimed their mentor, Mary. [...]
“Briana” has been one of the most enjoyable and dedicated students Love INC has ever had in the Relational Ministry program. Briana has attended over 50 classroom sessions since 2012, equaling over 75 hours of time devoted to learning about the Christian faith, money management, nutrition, physical fitness, and healthy relationships. In addition to the educational benefits, she’s blessed and been blessed by mentor relationships with several Christian women from the community. Taking everything she’s learned, and with the support of her mentors, Briana has been successfully working towards saving for a down payment on a home. To cap off her time in the Relational Ministry program recently, Briana celebrated reaching her final Money Match goal. Thanks to the generous supporters of Love INC who have made our $1:1 possible, she is now $500 closer to her home ownership dream! “Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”- Prov. 13:11
“Kristina and Jeremiah” are the latest Relational Ministry participants rejoicing at the accomplishment of their Money Match goal! Back in September 2015, Kristina and Jeremiah joined the Relational Ministry program between a rock and a hard place in their lives, working full-time but struggling to make ends meet with crippling debt staring them down. As they have gone on to take the Money Management and Jobs for Life courses, they have experienced a rebirth in their souls, through acknowledging the issues they face and entrusting them into the loving hands of God. The results have been miraculous. Recently Kristina and Jeremiah used their tax return to pay a substantial amount of debt back to a former landlord. Love INC pitched in our additional maximum contribution and now Kristina and Jeremiah are really close to experiencing complete freedom from their creditor. As we ceremoniously cut the check for Kristina, she cried and overflowed with gratitude, thanking God and Love INC for the opportunity. The best part—she was excited for others in her class to experience the same success and joy as they strive to reach their goals! “Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.”- Philippians 2:2
The first person in our Relational Ministry program to reach the maximum money match goal is “Julia”! Julia has faithfully attended the relational ministry program for the past several years, often doing so in spite of challenging life circumstances. Julia has weathered car accidents, unemployment, cancer, and most recently a series of home appliance issues. But no longer! Julia and her husband embraced the money match challenge, saved $500, and with the help of a dollar for dollar match by Love INC, purchased a reliable washer, dryer, and refrigerator from Krohn’s Appliance Services here in Newberg. They both were so excited by the success of their hard work and are looking forward to seeing how God uses the program to bless their peers walking alongside them in the classes. “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”- Saint Augustine
In the Fall of 2015 Love INC launched an exciting new program: the Stewards of Hope Money Match Program. Stewards of Hope affords Love INC’s Relational Ministry participants the opportunity to receive matched funding towards savings used to pay off an approved debt or to make a critical household purchase. In order to reap the benefits of the program, students complete an application to the program and turn in weekly spending records at class to show their progress toward their goal. Once the participant has met his/her part of the savings goal, Relational Ministry staff verify the amount saved and release the matched funds from Love INC. Payment of matched funds is made directly to debtors and/or vendors once the participant has made payment of their portion. We are celebrating our first payment made this week! “Laura” made two $50 payments towards two different debts during winter term and fulfilled all of our program requirements (attending class, completing her homework, filling out monthly spending sheets, etc.). We were able to match her debt repayment dollar for dollar. She is now motivated to continue slashing her debt and we look forward to matching her after this next term is over! Stay tuned for more great testimonies of God’s faithfulness to provide the financial means for Love INC clients! “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, 'Go, and come again, tomorrow I will [...]
"Jenny" is a mentor in Relational Ministry, and her mentee "Emma" said one of her goals for 2016 was to have courage to go church. They talked about the churches in the area and found out that there is a church right in Emma’s neighborhood! And it turns out that one of Jenny’s former mentee also lives in that neighborhood and started attending the church after her time at Love INC. Emma’s plan is to set a date to go to church with her neighbor and hopefully start attending regularly. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another 1 John 1:7
“Felicia,” a former Relational Ministry client, is a student at the University of Portland. You may remember from a previous story that in order to get to school she spends four hours on public transportation. Since she did not have a computer she had to spend hours at the George Fox University library in order to complete her school work. Not too long ago Felicia was blessed by another client with a computer to do her school work on. That blessing has not been squandered, because Felicia had an amazing semester at U of P receiving all A’s. It is amazing to see how God has provided for Felicia and how He has helped her to overcome the challenges set before her. “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” -Matthew 36: 31-32 ESV
“Tina,” a former Relational Ministries client, was recently baptized at Newberg Church of Christ. This baptism comes after a long departure from her walk with the Lord. Tina’s return and renewal of her faith stands as a testament to us all. A testament that says that no matter how far you have strayed, no matter how long you have gone, you can always return to Christ. It gladdens our hearts to hear about our clients spiritual journeys, and we wish you the best of luck Tina! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1: 9 NIV