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
What is Your Favorite Part of Being a Mentor? "I love connecting with other people, and I also like the opportunity to provide a listening ear. I am too eager to "problem solve" in my personal relationships, and I feel that being a mentor allows me an opportunity to practice just being there for someone, rather than actively trying to solve problems or find solutions. Basically, growing alongside someone." - GM How Has Being a Mentor Changed You? "It is good to be there with people for just a few steps of their life journey. I've met so many wonderful mentees and mentors along the way. They have so much to share and give and value people so much. Through the awkwardness and silences... tears and hugs... depression and despair, followed by hope and new direction. Life stories, walking side by side, learning from each other." - NC What was Challenging About Being a Mentor? "Not coming off as being superior" - ME "Showing up every week - sometimes feeling like I had nothing to offer but then staying 'til late because we got to talking about so many interesting things." - LG "Something I am learning in multiple areas of my life is how to establish good and healthy boundaries. The classes this last semester were very helpful for me and hopefully my mentee as well. It is definitely a work in progress!" - SH What Would You Tell Prospective Mentors to Prepare [...]
Money Management saw some great success with the lead of a volunteer Financial Planner. Participants saw new progress each week with financial management. “I have learned a lot about the importance of giving and have been able to pinpoint where a lot of our money is going” said one participant. All this knowledge wasn’t the end, though. Each participant was given the opportunity to apply for our micro-finance program where Love INC matched up to $200 worth of funds put toward paying down debt (each term). Four participants have been able to reap the benefits of this program so far. One woman completed her third term of classes and was rewarded with the maximum $500 money match, which went toward car repair debts. During this time, she also decided to sell her house. Though giving up her home was difficult, she feels that it is a sound financial decision. Another woman graduated from the program and received help with a dental bill along with paying back a court fee. Yet another class member found long-awaited answers to prayer when she managed to secure a job shortly after starting the class and finally found relief from debilitating joint pain with the help of physical therapy. Another participant paid down $200 worth of credit card debt, and put a guest speaker’s words into action by talking to her creditors about her interest rates. After speaking with them, she was able to lower the interest rate on all of her debts! It’s been [...]
It was a rewarding season with some great victories for the spring/summer Relational Ministry classes. This time around, eleven people participated in the three-month Money Management and Nutrition courses. Karla McMellon led the Nutrition class, covering a new tenet of healthy living every week. One participant noted that “food groups—what they are and the effects of both healthy and unhealthy foods” was the most helpful part of the class. With this information, it’s no wonder everyone had something encouraging to say about how beneficial the class was. “I have not taken a nutrition class like this—[Karla] was wonderful with all her information.” “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
As a follow-up, we wanted to share some exciting new developments with Dolores and her husband’s journey to get back on their feet! You’ll recall from a post back in March that Dolores and her husband had been attending our Jobs for Life class. In that class, they were encouraged by their teacher and mentor to actively engage in the process of sharing their God-given talents with the community through their job search efforts. Both Dolores and her husband embraced the support and were faithful to throw themselves out there, an action that led them to a networking connection with Coffee Cottage where Dolores got to have her artwork on display for April’s First Friday. Dolores’ husband also managed to score a job at a local fast-food restaurant shortly after. Since then, we’ve learned that Dolores ended up selling two pieces of art and now has art on display in the walk-way between Critter Cabana and Newberg Music Center until September. What’s more, later in September her work will be available for viewing in the artisanal next to Janis Jewelry and Gifts! We are encouraged by this couple’s willingness to ask for help and take the assistance that is provided for them with an optimistic attitude. We are confident the Lord will continue to direct their steps. If you are interested in purchasing art from Dolores, message us or stop by her show on Friday evening. “Ask and it will be given; seek and you will find; knock and the [...]
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