School Supply Giveaway A Huge Success!

School Supply Giveaway a huge success!

This year our joint venture on August 19th with God’s Heart to bless children heading back to school was again a great success.

We were able to give backpacks containing both the gospel and school supplies to 253 children!  Six of those children prayed to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior when getting their backpack!!!!!

In addition, eighty nine 6th through 12th graders shopped for clothing and shoes in our special room filled with items from OSU dorms.  Some things were brand new!  This shopping spree is the most commented on when we do our follow up calls.

Many thanks go to the churches, agencies, businesses and individuals who donated supplies and money to purchase the school supplies.  Thank you also to Mike Silva organization for donating the backpacks.  Thank you to the Gideons for blessing the children with a New Testament. AND thank you to the faithful volunteers who spent many hours sorting school supplies and serving the families that attended.

Merry Christmas!

merrychristmasTo Our Love INC Partners,

Thank you for being a vital part of Love In the Name of Christ of Linn County!  So far this year phone volunteers have received 5,136 calls for help from people in our community.  Church volunteers have responded by providing clothing, transportation, yard work, visitation, firewood, medical equipment, diapers, furniture, moving crews, school supplies, household and hygiene products, linens, holiday meals, by fixing cars, and building ramps.  Each need met is a life touched by the Love of Christ shown through a practical act of service.

Let me share with you a few snap shots from 2016…

  • Our medical ministry has delivered 530 hospital beds, wheel chairs, commodes, shower benches, Hoyer lifts and other durable medical equipment to our neighbors in need.
  • Volunteers have worked diligently to provide free firewood to thirty-four families so far this year struggling to heat their homes.
  • Last year in partnership with God’s Heart we gave Christmas gifts to 515 children.  This year we anticipate a similar number of children blessed at Christmas!

Thank you for your prayers, time, and generous financial support this past year.  Volunteers spent 348 hours moving us into our new location at 1606 Santiam Rd. where we soon will be expanding your ability to serve  neighbors in need through a career closet, budgeting classes, parenting classes and more.  Please prayerfully consider giving a generous year end gift and together we can join the Lord in transforming lives and our community throughout 2017 and beyond.

If you are interested in learning more about Love INC please call us at 541-924-LOVE.

Please keep our volunteers, clients and staff in your prayers.

We have the keys! [New Property for Love INC]

Volunteer workers from ServeINC spruce up the property on July 9th.

Volunteers from ServeINC putting in a new fence.A great friend of Love INC has purchased the property and given us a five year lease with an option to purchase. Each portion of our monthly rent check that is applied to the principle pays down our balance owed! Isn’t that an amazing blessing?

Thank you to everyone for your continued prayers, financial contributions, donated professional services, physical labor, and verbal encouragement. We are making progress in our move to this new ministry facility: The medical equipment was moved Saturday April 30th from the Mennonite Village shop bay to our new shop by a hardy group of volunteers thanks to a gracious last minute donation of the use of a moving truck from Team Pendley, thank you Christie! Work has also begun to make the new building code com-pliant so our Clearinghouse can begin operations in the new location as well. Office equipment will be moved on Saturday June 25th.

Donations as well as continued requests have already been reaching us for the career closet to be opened at the new house. Excited conversations about cooking classes for food box recipients, budgeting classes, and other life skills classes can be heard daily.

Contractor Larry Crawford digging post holes for a new fence that volunteers with ServeINC were installing at the new property.In addition volunteers from Serve INC spruced up of the property as part of their day of service on July 9th! (Included images are from the ServeINC project. Photos by Don David.)

Thank you Church for this opportunity to be a part of your expanding ministry assisting in the release of our friends currently trapped in the grips of poverty… The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Luke 4:18-19

We must all work together to pursue this vision of expanded ministry to the poor. In addition to paying off the property, operational costs will increase, and additional volunteers will be needed to stock and staff the career closet and help teach the life skills classes. May many more know the transforming love of Christ through His mobilized Church.

A New Facility For the Ministry of LoveINC of Linn County

loveincbuilding1 Since our launch late March of 2009 Love INC of Linn County has continued to expand your ministry to our community. But our small rented office space is no longer adequate. We now have twelve volunteers staffing the phone lines each week answering 4,421 calls in 2015! The durable medical goods ministry that began in the attic of Lebanon Mennonite delivered nearly 500 pieces of equipment last year! Housing for this ministry has been graciously provided by the Mennonite Village for years but they need to repurpose that facility now. In addition, Church volunteers acquired, prepared and delivered free firewood for over 40 families in need! Diapers, blankets and linens, towels, household goods, maternity clothes, were all given as well as school supplies, coats, and Christmas gifts to 500 children. None of this would have been possible without your involvement and with your continued support we will be able to do even more.

We would like to provide opportunity to expand the help the Church offers our community through Love INC of Linn County. It seems good and prudent to offer more “Teaching to Fish” developmental compassion rather than just the giving of things that often times may keep folks stuck in the place of dependency. The foundation of this expansion is the purchase of a new facility, pictured above, to house our organization as it continues to grow.

loveincbuilding2This year David came to us in need of steel toed work boots so that he could take the job being offered him. We happened to have a pair just his size in our office! There are many ‘Davids’ out there being offered jobs but not having the proper apparel to work. Restaurants require no slip shoes, construction jobs often ask for rain gear, rubber boots, and steel toed work boots, for many retail jobs black or khaki pants are in order, some positions require more professional office wear.

How can people afford all of this outfitting before their first pay check? Our new facility has room to house a career closet where the local churches, through Love INC, could work with staffing agencies to help get folks back to work.

Our new facility also offers space to house some much requested classes on budgeting, parenting as well as other life skills.

In addition, the new property also has a 960 sq ft shop to comfortably house our medical ministry!

I invite you to read more of our blog posts for stories of how your Love INC is making a difference in people’s lives and hope you will join with us to see this expanded vision become a reality. That is why I am writing to you today. We need your support to complete the purchase of this new facility. As always, your contribution will be tax deductible. And as always, your donation will further the good work being done in your community.



If you have questions please do not hesitate to call me at (541) 924-5683.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Deb Powell
Executive Director

 

Love Story: Giving Back

Years ago a couple contacted us when the husband was in need of some medical equipment as well as a ramp built.  We were able to bring him the equipment as well as build the ramp but unfortunately he did not live very much longer to enjoy them.  His wife however did end up needing the ramp and some of the equipment shortly after his passing.

Over the years since she has requested various home repairs which for the most part volunteers were able to provide.  Recently, her insurance company hired a contractor to do some major repairs which required replacing her floors.  She has taken this opportunity to downsize and Love INC has been the recipient of the majority of her donations.  It has been so fun to report back to her the many people her generosity has touched…a woman going to visit her mother’s grave had a beautiful basket of flowers to take, a mother going to visit her son in jail received a beautiful bible,  an elderly woman we recently moved found a Christmas angel for her new home… giving back to Love INC multiplied the blessings.

How delightful that Love INC can be that connective piece for them all!

Love Story: It’s Like Christmas

A woman called the Clearinghouse in need of assistance.  She had heard about us through Senior and Disability services.  She suffers with a degenerative bone disease for which doctors have no cure.  Through a series of unfortunate circumstances including domestic violence and rehab she found herself needing to start all over.

We had her fill out the Adult Services Team application (AST) and at her staffing spoke more to her about other needs she may have.  Love INC delivered household and hygiene items and then a new four wheeled walker with a seat.  She left a message after receiving it that she thought it must be Christmas as she was so excited.  She also wanted to attend a church but had no way to get there.  A call from the office followed by an email was all it took for a lovely couple to come by and introduce her to her new church family.

What a blessing to be that connective piece that our neighbors in need may feel the Love of Christ.

A Love In The Name Of Christ Experience (Part 2)

Read Part 1

By Barbara Thayer

You see, the sole financial provider for this family was the man who is now permanently disabled.  I shall call him Ted, though that is not his real name.  Love INC of Benton County was able to provide a donated car to this family, as they needed reliable transportation to get back and forth from Portland, where Ted would receive most of his medical care.  Every Thursday, the Love INC Prayer Team in Benton County would pray for this family.

As time passed, the financial burden left this family homeless.  They lived in a camp trailer for a period of time, in the Portland area, close to the doctors.  Recently, the moved back to Albany and Love INC of Benton County again received a phone call.  This time the call was for prayer for Ted, as he would be having his 41st surgery and there was question of his ability to survive.  Love INC of Benton County contacted me to reach out to this family, to offer prayer.  I thanked God for such an opportunity.  Having been at the scene in the beginning of this family’s journey with trauma and heartache, it would seem almost surreal that the Lord would let me meet them and pray with them, now years later.

I was able to connect with Ted and his girlfriend, whom I shall refer to as Diane, though that is not her real name.  Diane and I spoke on the phone the day before Ted’s surgery.  I asked her if she would want me to come to their home (they now live in a duplex) and pray for them.  I explained to her that I was there when Ted was struggling to live in the initial moments after the accident.  I also shared with her that it was God who was merciful and gracious in answering my prayer that Ted would survive.  She was amazed, you see, she had heard about this crazy blonde woman down on her knees praying for Ted, but never thought we would meet.  She invited me to come over that evening and I gladly accepted the opportunity.

I showed up to meet Ted and Diane that evening.  The Lord put on my heart to do more than just show up.  Before arriving at their home, I looked in my closet for something I could give to Diane.  I found a beautiful handbag that, shamefully I tell you this, had not ever been used.  You see, I was saving this bag for a special time.  Well, the special time was now and the handbag was never meant for me.  Not only did the Lord want me to give something of mine away that evening, but He also wanted me to provide dinner for Ted and Diane.  I showed up with a pizza, which was received by Ted and Diane with much gratitude.  Everything we have is really not ours anyways, right?  It all comes from God’s hands and belongs to Him.

As I reached my destination that evening, there was Diane, standing on the front porch, crying.  She embraced me.  We hugged and she invited me in to meet Ted.  I could not contain the love that God put in my heart for this man.  I immediately approached him with a hug, which he gladly received.  Then, wanting to bring a little joy and laughter into this heartfelt encounter, I told Ted, “You sure look a lot better now than you did when we met.”  We all laughed, then we sat down and talked.  I mostly listened, but I also had the opportunity to speak about God’s love and His mercy and what Jesus had done in my life.  As my visit neared an end, I asked if I could pray for them.  They said, “Yes.”  It was a beautiful encounter, arranged by our loving Lord.

Ted’s surgery was the following day and the doctor determined that Ted wasn’t strong enough to have the complete, fourteen hour surgery he needed.  A partial surgery was done and two days later, Ted and Diane returned to Albany from Portland.  Diane called me after they returned and told me she is really in need of a friend.  I told her that works out well, because I too am in need of a friend.  She invited me back over and I will gladly go.  She and I had a lengthy phone conversation in which she shared much of her heart with me.  She told me that both she and Ted had accepted Jesus into their hearts.  Clearly, this was the result of many encounters and interactions with Christians, Love INC of Benton County being the catalyst by which these interactions were successfully carried out.  God, in His infinite wisdom put just the right people in just the right places at just the right time because He loves Ted and Diane just as much as He loves you and I.  It is no one person who gets credit or glory for this couple saying, “Yes,” to Jesus.  The glory belongs to God.

As time goes on, this couple is going to need much love, support and prayers.  Lord willing, I will be able to continue to offer friendship and support.  Hopefully, what I bring with me when I visit Ted and Diane is the loving, healing presence of Jesus Christ, who lives in my heart.  I have a feeling that they will be more of a blessing to me than I am to them.  For now, I encourage Diane to take good care of herself.  She longs to give back to community, having a goal of giving Trauma Talks to others in hopes of educating and inspiring.  There is no doubt in my mind that she will, one day, in God’s timing, do just that.

So, how does a Love INC work?  My answer is simple….. God uses His people to meet needs that go above and beyond our wildest dreams and expectations.  To bring Jesus into the homes and hearts of people who need to feel His unconditional love and presence is the very element that produces life changing transformation and saves souls.  Meeting physical needs is important and we must not neglect to do so, but perhaps even more important is to, as my friend, Curtis Miller would say, “Walk where Jesus walks,” which is into the lives of those who need to know His love.

Calls will come in to Love INC of Linn County from desperate, in-need people who do not know Christ’s love.  There are many people in our community who are in need of experiencing God’s love through His people.  Please purpose in your heart to join me and others who follow Jesus to give of yourself and share His amazing grace with those who call Love INC for help.  Together, we can not only meet the physical needs of our community, but we can also meet the spiritual needs as we minister to people’s hearts through unconditional love.

As I close in sharing this Love INC experience, may I just remind each one that it should never be to our credit that a life is changed or transformed or that a need is met.  We are only the instruments of love by which the Lord may choose to use.  Let us be willing and available to reach out, together, to a community of people in need.  All the glory and honor and praise be to our mighty Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

May God’s grace bless you in a special way today.

 

A Love In The Name Of Christ Experience (Part 1)

By Barbara Thayer

The mission of Love INC of Linn County is to transform lives and communities in the name of Christ.  What does that look like?  How does that work?  Many people ask the question and it is sometimes hard to articulate.  I hope my experience will offer a snap shot of what can happen through Love In the Name of Christ.  May each one who hears of this story give all the glory to God.

My name is Barbara and I was privileged to be a part of the development team for Love INC of Linn County.  One warm evening in May of 2005, my husband, Jarred and I decided to go grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant on Pacific Boulevard.  As we waited in line to place our orders, a woman suddenly burst through the doors and screamed, “Somebody call 911, there’s been a terrible accident out front!”  Jarred and I gave each other a quick glance and without words, we both headed toward the scene, not knowing what we would find.  I don’t recall which one of us made the call to 911 but evidently others had also called in because the dispatcher knew what accident we were referring to.

As we approached the scene, there were many people standing around but nobody seemed to know what to do.  My eyes could hardly believe what I was seeing.  I had never seen the results of a motorcycle and car collision but this was my introduction to the damage that can occur when such a tragedy takes place.  A man lie on the pavement, bleeding, struggling to take a breath, his face was unrecognizable.  The impact of the collision caused his helmet to leave his once-protected head.  While Jarred tended to the couple in the car, I ran to the man who lie on the pavement.  I remember praying, “Lord, what can I do?  Help me to help him.”  It seemed there was nothing physically I could do that was going to help this man survive.  I felt very inadequate and ill-equipped for such a situation.  The Lord spoke to my heart in an instant, saying, “Pray.  Barbara, you get down on your knees, lay your hands on his body and pray for this man.”  I did just that.  By this time, there were probably over thirty bystanders, just watching.  I was not concerned at the time with getting contaminated with blood.  The only thing that mattered at that very moment was crying out to God to spare this man’s life.  In my heart, I felt a sense of urgency regarding this man’s very soul.

There I was, on the pavement with a dying man.  One other man came to the aid of the man on the pavement.  He spoke words of encouragement, as did I, saying, “Come on buddy, keep breathing, hang in there, help is on the way.”  In between encouraging this critically injured man to keep breathing, I prayed, asking that God would spare this man’s life.  Though I don’t recall my prayer in it’s entirety, I do remember asking that the Lord would give this man a second chance to accept Him into his heart if he hadn’t done so already.  Time seemed to stand still and it felt like forever before the ambulance would arrive, though it was probably only minutes.

Soon, the ambulance arrived and I walked away, searching for my husband, who was still helping with the couple in the car.  A woman approached me as I walked away from the scene.  She said to me, “He’s not going to make it, is he?”  I responded by saying, “God can do ANYTHING.”  The intriguing aspect of her question and my response was that I really knew God could save that man’s life but the evidence wasn’t in his favor.  I believe that is what we call faith.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

After Jarred was done with what God had called him to do at the scene, we went home and prayed and prayed and prayed.  A couple days later, I read in the newspaper that this man had survived, though was life-flighted to Portland, in critical condition.  Every day on my way to work, I drove over the very spot where this man had fought for his life in the moments following the accident.  I prayed every day as I passed that place.

A couple of years after the accident, the Love INC of Linn County development team invited Wilma Van Schelven, the executive director of Love INC of Benton County to come and speak about how Love In the Name of Christ changes lives.  As she began telling the story of a man who had been in a motorcycle accident, it became clear that she was talking about the very man whom the Lord had me pray for as he lie on the pavement, dying.  Wilma told us that Love INC had received a call from this man’s girlfriend, requesting that someone come and visit the couple.  This couple did not have a church family and yet were reaching out for fellowship and unconditional love.  Love INC of Benton County was able to connect this couple and their children with one of their volunteers who would go and spend time and pray with them.  Through Love INC partnering churches, some tangible, physical needs were also met.

The initial trauma of the accident was only the beginning for this family…

Continue to Part 2

A Week of Thanks…

Most of us celebrate Thanksgiving one day a year, but here are some people who celebrated most of a week.  Early in the week an 88 yr old client let our Love INC office know that she had some yard work and repair that needed to be done.  After learning of this need, one of our volunteers agreed to help.  He and two teen boys (who consider him their “adopted” Grandpa) caulked a window, cleaned her gutters, and raked and collected leaves in her yard.  In addition they came over one evening during the weekend to play Yahtzee and Bunco with her and listen to her stories.

Thanks to God for good health and strength for our volunteers plus the benefits of needed work completed and the gift of companionship for our senior neighbor!

(From a Love INC volunteer)