A Life Changed By the Most Powerful Force on Earth: the Local Church!

When she first came to us, Yvette was recently widowed, unemployed with no vehicle, and all her earthly belongings were crammed into a borrowed bedroom. Now, because of Love INC’s holistic, relational approach, Yvette has found herself empowered by the greatest force on earth: the Christian Church. Together, with our partner churches, Love INC was able to fulfill our mission to mobilize the local church to transform lives and communities in the Name of Christ.

First, we were able to help Yvette find a job. It was only a part-time job, but Yvette took three buses to get there and back. This three-hour, round-trip commute is evidence of her determination to see her life transformed. The next step was moving her into her own apartment. Her bedding was provided by our Beds & Blessings gap ministry, her furniture was donated by the Be the Church ministry and delivered by one of our partner churches, and the Personal Care Pantry gap ministry presented her with a housewarming basket.

During one of our Dream Board Transformational Classes, Yvette expressed her dream to empower young women in her community with God’s Word. And, after receiving a car from a local church’s car ministry, she has already been able to take the first steps toward that goal. In addition to driving herself to work and regular church services, Yvette has been using her car to transport girls from her local Gem’s Club to their activities. You can see how the seeds that have been sown into Yvette’s life are already bearing good fruit in the community.

In all, six churches and one partner ministry worked together to transform Yvette’s life. This is the power of “we.” We can exponentially increase our effectiveness when we work together. Yvette’s story perfectly demonstrates this. One church, one volunteer, one donor, alone can make alterations. But only when we come together can we see transformations through the love of Christ.

Yvette’s story is only one example. Recently, we’ve expanded our territory to include Oak Forest, Matteson, and Country Club Hills. This recent expansion almost doubles the population we are servicing, in an area that was desperately affected by the recent downturn in economy. As our board, staff, and volunteers, begin to implement our strategic plan to inform churches, municipalities, and local agencies, of our services to this new area, we are becoming increasingly aware of the need to expand our space and hours of operation. In addition to these needs, 2017 will see the opening of our second Personal Care Pantry and new Transformational Classes like budgeting, basic car maintenance, and ESL.

 

One Of The Few

Kim Sullivan, Executive Director Love INC of Tinley

Kim Sullivan, Executive Director Love INC of Tinley

I was sitting in my office recently working fast and furiously on an upcoming fundraiser when I heard an unfamiliar voice outside my door. “I just came by to say goodbye,” the voice announced to Jan Visser our Clearinghouse Coordinator. “Love INC has done so much for me, I couldn’t leave town without coming to say thank you.”

       I found myself wandering out to the reception area to see who was talking. “Dawn” came to us awhile back as a single mom with several children. She was out of work and struggling to make ends meet. A few visits to the personal care pantry, an invitation to our Advent Class and several shared moments of prayer was really all that we had done for her, but in her eyes we had become friends.

       When you partner with Love INC it is this kind of work that you are participating in. Whether you give of your finances, donate product or give your time you are enabling the Body of Christ to make relationships with those who are hurting…to become friends to the lonely.

As I reflect on "Dawn's" story it reminds me of the story of the ten lepers. Only one of them returned to thank Jesus for the healing He provided. It was this man who was not only healed of leprosy, but was also made whole. I believe that this is the case for "Dawn". I believe that her gratitude for the gifts of time, finances and products will allow for multiplication in her life.

       “Dawn” is now moving out of state. She has an opportunity for a fresh start. We were able to send her on her way with a Fresh Start kit full of dishes and pots and pans. Hopefully every time she sees these gifts, she remembers her friends here at Love INC.