Letter From A Client

We recently received the following excerpt of a letter from a client:

Dear Love INC.,

Just a feel-good story on my Leap of Faith Journey… I am so broke that I live my financial life by one tank of gas. It costs approx. $45.00 to fill my tank up. I was clearing out my stuff that I had moved with and had a few items that I though would be a good fit in Aurora antique stores. My expectations on the few items were to sell [and earn] maybe two takes of gas total. After I spoke with the store owner a while, she offered me $200 for all. I was very happy and so was she. We made the transaction and I was on my way. After being so thankful and in prayers, I believe that it was the Holy Spirit that came into my heart and just simply said give half of it away.

If you remember me in my conversation when I was at the office picking up basic household supplies I mentioned that when I get back on my feet Love Inc. is going to be my choice of charity [to give back to]…Well, I’m not even close to being back on my feet, but that being said, your organization, Love Inc,. is my choice for the $100.

Thank you and God does bless us in mysterious ways.

Hillside Inn

We received a note from a former volunteer praising the Hillside Inn, and we just had to share it!

“I just wanted to tell you that because of your resource list, when I was training to become a volunteer, I became acquainted with Hilllside Inn, and my 22-year-old son became a resident there last month.  It's been a real blessing and we have to thank Love INC!!!

As you may know, Hillside is the Victorian purple house on Main St across from the NW Fish Market.  It's operated by Hillside Church, which meets in the small stone church there.  The goal is to help young people who are in transition and need to regroup.  They don't take serious addicts or serious criminal offences.  They do offer light structure and mentoring. People can stay for up to a year.  They pay about $500 in rent and expenses.

I really recommend it!”

So do we!

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A Complete Transformation

When we met Teresa she was severely traumatized after experiencing homelessness. She had worked her whole life and due to severe, drug-resistant depression, she found herself without a job and no place to live.

“I’ve had so many jobs in my life. I’ve worked since I was 15, I’ve been on my own since I was 17, I’ve always had a job.” Her situation was incredibly difficult to process.

She was admitted into the Transitional Living Program (TLP) and upon arrival rated herself a 0 out of 10. She struggled to make eye contact with anyone, and due to anxiety and depression could barely complete the smallest task.

Through constant support and coaching from the Love INC staff, Teresa began to see changes both inside and out.

She started walking outside most days, applying for jobs and going to Relational Ministry and other community classes to interact with other people in our community going through similar situations.

Cooking, completing house chores and yard work became a regular activity. She started to volunteer at local service agencies while looking for work. Our Transitional Living Coach even commented “Teresa is looking the best she has since arriving here almost 10 months ago. She is on task and engaged!”

The most exciting (among many) moment came when Teresa was hired at a service agency to be a resource advocate for Homeless and Housing!

“God has put me in a position to be a resource advocate for homeless and housing! Getting me back out in the workforce in something that is just right there, I’m in it, I can relate. And putting me with people just like me! I’ve walked in their shoes, I’m still in their shoes, I understand completely.”

After working for several months, Teresa was able to save enough money to move into next step housing at the Hillside Inn. She is paying rent and thriving!

Teresa is just another example of God’s incredible transforming power. Just one look at Teresa and you would know that she is a new person, inside and out.

"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” - Ezekiel 36:26

When You Step Up to Serve, Amazing Things Happen

“Lisa” came to Love INC a few weeks ago because she heard we have volunteers willing to do service projects.

She had recently been diagnosed with cancer and was getting ready to start a natural treatment process that would involve a lot of time spent preparing special foods. She also knew the treatment she would be going through would make her very tired and was concerned that she wouldn't be able to keep up with her house work and yard work.

We put her on our serve project waiting list and told her we would be praying for her, but also explained that we may not be able to provide the ongoing type of help she was looking for.

But God is so good and He knows what we need before we even ask!

Just a few days after we met with Lisa, we got a volunteer application from someone who, when she came in for an interview, expressed interest in providing help with house work and yard work, possibly on a regular basis for someone who may need it. So we connected the two of them and they are meeting this week to work out a schedule.

We never cease to be amazed at God's generous blessings and His perfect timing!

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” - Hebrews 11:6

“Emily” has a bright outlook on life thanks to essential partnerships in Newberg!

The Behavioral Health Clinic at George Fox University provides voucher for free counseling sessions for all Love INC clients. Emily stopped by the office last week to let us know that that these sessions have been incredibly helpful!

Thanks to counseling, Emily now has more confidence in herself than ever.  It has even been the springboard for her to be able to finally get a job.

She starts her new job at a local department store this week and is so thankful for everything YOU have done for her along her journey to get where she is now!

Generous Locals Gift a Bike!

“Casey” is a young man who is a newer client of Love INC. We had given him a bike to get back and forth to work, for which he was extremely grateful.

His bike ended up needing some minor repairs, so he took it to the bicycle shop here in Newberg to see what they could do for him on his limited budget.

They pointed out that the bike he had really wasn't the best for his body type, and suggested he get a different bike.

When he told the store that he had gotten the bike from Love INC, they gave him a new bike free of charge! They even generously fixed up the used bike and donated it back to the bike ministry.

“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.” - Deuteronomy 15:7–8

Treasures from Relational Ministry

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

Relational Ministry Results Keep Coming!

Every participant in Relational Ministry takes a quality of life assessment at the beginning and end of each term so we can evaluate how helpful the classes and relationships really are.

We are proud to report that this term was another huge success! Their monthly income went up an average of $180 per person and the total debt went down $18,443 in just ten weeks!

Not to mention the average housing situations, church relationships, stress levels, and levels of hope all increased.

We are so thankful to the volunteers who instruct and mentor each participant so that we can all witness such amazing results in a small amount of time.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

Blessed Donation

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

I Feel Like I’ve Been Saved: Dawn’s Successful Graduation from the TLP

When we first met “Dawn,” her life was unstable and chaotic. She was staying at friend’s houses or hotels while trying to find a job to keep her and her children’s lives afloat. When she had to give her children up to the foster care system, she knew it was time to get some help.

Once Dawn was admitted into the Transitional Living Program (TLP), she felt immediate relief. Melanie, the Transitional Living Coach, was able to give her realistic goals to be able to get her back on her feet again.

“I didn’t have anybody to help me before, Melanie gave me hope. I had a sense of purpose.”

When Melanie saw Dawn’s drive to not only get her life back on track but to regain custody of her children, she knew exactly who would be the best mentor for Dawn. Kim has a similar story and has been successfully living on her own with her children since leaving the shelter almost three years earlier.

With Melanie and Kim by her side, in just six months Dawn was able to find and keep a job, save enough money to move into her own house and is well on her way to getting her kids back. Praise God!

When asked how her relationship with God was before and after her time in the TLP, “I was kind of close to God, but now I’m reading my Bible more and I’m much closer to Him. I feel like I’ve been saved” she said with tears in her eyes.

While Dawn is on her way to independence and financial freedom, she knows that she still has Melanie, Kim and all the staff and volunteers at Love INC as her support. “While Dawn thinks that I inspire her, it’s actually the opposite. She inspires and motivates me every day” Kim noted. “She can’t escape us!”

Dawn has a special message for every volunteer and donor who made this journey possible: “thank you for helping me walk through this part of my life. I look forward to what happens next.”

“For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.” -2 Corinthians 13:9 (ESV)

 

UPDATE

We wanted to give you another praise-worthy update from Dawn’s story last week:

The same day that Dawn gave us a list of all the furniture and other items she needs for her new apartment, another client called wanting to donate many of the same items she needs.

We were able to connect the two of them, and a team of volunteers from Newberg Christian Church is going to help facilitate the movement of the furniture from the other client's storage unit!

Caleb Finds Shelter

“Caleb” is a young man who found himself homeless and came in to do an intake last Thursday. The intake volunteer noted that he is very intelligent and really seemed to want to better his situation.

He came back into the office a week later to tell us he got a job and is also moving into Helping Hands tonight to begin their program!

He was so thankful for the help YOU and our local churches gave him, and is excited to start his new job.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.”  – Psalm 90:17

God Saw Brenda’s Need and Met It in Amazing Ways.

“Brenda” was forced to move out of her home for several months due to flooding, all the while her husband was suffering from dementia and going downhill quickly.

Right before the work on her home was complete and ready to move in, her husband was sent to a care facility. Brenda had no one to help her move.

At that same time the Youth Pastor from North Valley Friends church contacted our office looking for a service project for his middle school students. When Brenda came into our office looking for assistance, we knew God had provided the perfect opportunity.

God’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect when the youth group was only available on April 14th. Right after the move in day was scheduled, Brenda’s son found himself available and called her to say “How about we make April 14th move-in day?”

 “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” - Lamentations 3:25-26

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Les Schwab Helps Client In Distress!

Volunteers often call Love INC clients to catch up and see if they need any other assistance. When a volunteer called “Steven,” she found him stranded with four flat tires!

Steven didn’t know what to do, so this volunteer took action and called Les Schwab. They quickly agreed to help!

Once Steven was able to get his car to Les Schwab they were able to fix two of the tires and replace the other two with some used ones they had on hand at no cost.

We are SO blessed to be part of a community that is willing to work together to help people in need. Thank you Les Schwab!

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”—Deuteronomy 31:8

Devin & Grace Don’t Have to Sleep on the Floor Anymore!

“Devin” and “Grace” are a lovely older couple who just moved to Newberg from California. They don't have a car so they were referred to Love INC by another organization to get bus passes.

In their intake interview they mentioned that they're sleeping on the floor and would love to have a mattress to sleep on, but can't afford one because their only income is from disability.

The intake volunteer told them we would keep the mattress in mind in case anyone called wanting to donate one. But what she didn't know is that the week before this intake our Program Manager had been contacted by someone wanting to donate a mattress.

She thought they would have already donated it elsewhere since a week had passed, but as God's perfect timing would have it they still had it and now Devin and Grace no longer have to sleep on the floor. And it even came with a memory foam topper for extra comfort!

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” -Psalms 81:10

Relational Ministry Participants Smash Credit Card Debt!

“Caitlin” and “Scott” have been active participants in Relational Ministry since fall 2017. They started the class with $1,415.99 of credit card debt.

After taking two terms of classes, they were able to completely pay off their credit card with help from the Money Match program!

Their goal this term is to pay off their car. They have paid over $600 on that bill, so your donations will match that amount ($300 for each of them) to get them one step closer to financial freedom.

To top off their incredible story, their debt/income ratio went from 18% in September of 2017 to 6% in March of 2018!*

We are so thankful that your donations make real, life-long success for people who put in the hard work to achieve their goals. Together we are transforming lives In the Name of Christ!

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

 

*(Your debt-to-income ratio is all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income)