"And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God."
This week a lady came in to the Love INC clearinghouse. She began to share her needs, she was expecting and there were numerous items she needed to prepare for the birth of her baby. Just as we were finishing up, a man walked in, he said “I have a bunch of baby stuff, can you use them?” I popped my head around the corner and said “perfect timing”. God’s timing is remarkable! Both parties were blessed, one in the giving and one in the receiving.
For a number of months Love INC volunteers have given a developmentally delayed adult rides to various appointments. The verbal responses have been minimal with a limited amount of communication. This month our receptionist was greeter with “Good morning, how is your day?” This was a major blessing in the clearinghouse and brought smiles all around. Sometimes things as simple as a kind greeting can make someone’s day!
This month, Love INC had the opportunity to provide babysitting to 26 – 3 year olds while their parents attended NW Yearly Meeting at George Fox. One of the childcare providers was entertaining the kids trying to hula-hoop. After several attempts without success, the childcare provider said “I can’t do it” Promptly, a little girl with big brown eyes blurted out “Keep trying! You have to keep trying” She continued to encourage the babysitter. The babysitter never did get the hula-hoop going the way it should. This same little girl leaned over to the person sitting next to her and said “Tell the babysitter, it’s okay as long as you try.” Obviously, this little angel had been taught that it was more important to try than to succeed. Sometime, I think this is what God is asking of each of us. Try, take a step, and move forward rather than giving up and saying I can’t do it. The lesson is often learned in the trial rather than the completion of a task.
We had a group of preschooler putting together personal care kits. These kits hold sample size toiletries and are handed out to people in transition and people that find themselves in need for one reason or another. The children were very excited to be able to help and began to fill the kits; one shampoo, one conditioner, a bar of soap, a couple of band aids etc. One of the children piped up and said: “Can I give them some of my band aids too? So willing to give, excited to help others. What a treasure and a blessing this little preschooler is, serving the Lord at his very young age.
This month we had a group of preschooler putting together personal care kits. These kits hold sample size toiletries and are handed out to people in transition and people that find themselves in need for one reason or another. The children were very excited to be able to help and began to fill the kits; one shampoo, one conditioner, a bar of soap, a couple of band aids etc. One of the children piped up and said: “Can I give them some of my band aids too? So willing to give, excited to help others. What a treasure and a blessing this little preschooler is, serving the Lord at his very young age.
Roger, a volunteer that helps Love INC occasionally called to share that he would have some time to volunteer this Tuesday and next Tuesday. He came into the clearinghouse and was given a list of things to pick up and deliver to various places throughout the community. His list looked like the following:
Take supplies to one of our GAP ministries
Pick up 2 hospital beds
Pick up a couch, dresser and chair
Deliver couch, dresser and chair
Take hospital beds to storage room
The next day a request came in for, you guessed it, a hospital bed. The person on the phone shared that her husband was having surgery this week and needed a hospital bed. She wondered if we might have one. I shared with her that one had just been picked up yesterday and we took it to our storage room The woman on the phone took a deep breath and exclaimed “Thanks you sooooo much” She continued to share that the last few months have been difficult and she just needed to hear something good today. We won’t be home from the hospital until Tuesday, but we will need the bed on that day. “No problem, we have a volunteer that can deliver the hospital bed on Tuesday for you.”
Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
This month, we have had an exceptionally large number of people that are homeless contacting the Love INC clearinghouse. About 2 week ago, a woman came in with her son explaining that they had no place to live. After conducting a brief interview, we learned that she had recently lost her job, the home that she had been living in had been sold, and it was looking like they would be sleeping in their car by the end of the week. She was able to stay with a friend for 4 more days but would have to move so she didn’t jeopardize her friends housing. We created an action plan for her laying out specific churches and agencies set up to help her and suggested the next steps that she should take in order to secure a place to stay. She was given a couple of homeless kits, a few extra sack lunch kits, a phone card and she left. Two weeks later, she is back. “I need to tell you what has happened since I left here” She began to explain that she had made her way thru the action plan checking off the steps that had been laid out for her to take. She signed up for housing assistance, applied for a job and got it, went to Northside church to get some more toiletries and to North Valley Friends to get some clothes. “My son and I move in tomorrow! “ “I can’t believe it.” She exclaimed. “How can we help you today?” a volunteer asked. “Can you help me find a couple of beds and maybe a couch?” The Love INC volunteer jotted down a list of new needs and gave her a hug. This once homeless woman was so excited, she squeezed back saying,” I am just so happy, everything is looking better”. There were smiles all around in the clearinghouse seeing God’s handiwork in action. A person in need, churches stepping up to help where they can and another need is met in the name of Christ.
Elaine and Violet from 7th Day Adventist church contacted Love INC to share that their church would like to assemble Thanksgiving baskets for people in need. They had a supplier for turkeys but at the last minute, they found out that they were not going to be able to supply the 25 turkeys that they needed. “Well, you may be surprised to hear that just yesterday we heard from the Foursquare church explaining that they had extra turkeys and wondered if we could find homes for them.” What a blessing!
In December, we began to hand out HUGS (Hats, Umbrellas, Gloves and Scarves) in the Love INC clearinghouse. These HUGS had been donated from churches, restaurants, agencies and organizations. Collection bins were set up at Providence Newberg Hospital and Burgerville restaurant. We received HUGS from NW Medical Team, the Astor House and the Newberg Fire Department. HUGS were brought in from Church of Christ, First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Newberg Friends, Newberg Foursquare and West Chehalem Friends. Community members dropped by the Love INC clearinghouse to share HUGS too. The response has been great! Even greater is the response of mom’s that have walked in the cold to the Love INC clearinghouse. “I can take one for each of my kids?” one mom asked. “This comes at the perfect time” she continued. “My car is out of gas and we have been walking everywhere. The kids get so cold.” “You can pick one out for yourself too” a volunteer replied. Picking up a package with a scarf and gloves in it, she said “this is my favorite color.” As she walked out the door, she turned and said “thanks for the hugs” and she was on her way.
A woman came into the Love INC clearinghouse in need of several pieces of furniture including a long narrow table for sewing. A few days later a man stopped by the clearinghouse with some furniture he wanted to donate. He asked the volunteer to look at the items in his truck before unloading to confirm whether they could be used or should be taken elsewhere. One of the items was a long narrow table. God is so amazing. The woman came to look at the table and was so excited. “It’s perfect!” she exclaimed.
Many individuals come through the Love INC clearinghouse doors with heartbreaking stories, and in great need. This past month one woman completed the interview process and noticed the basket for Naps/Thriftway receipts. She dug in her purse, pulled out receipts and said, “I am so glad I have something to help with.” A man that we help periodically dropped in just to drop of receipts and ask us, “How is your day?” God is good all the time!
One early afternoon this past week, a local man picked up a hitchhiker between McMinnville and Newberg. Upon hearing his story, the local man said, “Let me take you to Love INC. They have helped me and I am sure can help you as well.” The young man was leaving a bad situation and planned to hitchhike his way back to his family home in the Midwest. Several churches pooled resources, an overnight stay and subsequently a bus ticket. When he picked up the connecting information in the morning with tears in his eyes he said, “I went to church as a grade schooler, and as I headed out on the road yesterday morning, I prayed that God would help me. Thank you.”