For decades, nonprofit Christian charity across the USA has taken on many forms, methods, and models. The spectrum of services span far and wide, and it is compelling to see the number of nonprofits seeking to change our country and the cities they serve.
However, increases in poverty, the need for governmental assistance, and broken families continue to increase. The exact problems nonprofits seek to relieve are growing with the number of nonprofits. The one question I continue to ask myself, our team and others in the community is this, “Is our work making a true impact and cultivating lasting change?”
If we are honest, we wrestled with answering this question with a confident “Yes”. That is, until the past two years. Over our tenure, we have seen many families and watched the Lord move in amazing ways. Ultimately, we rest in God’s sovereign redemptive plan as scripture proves He can use any effort (good, bad or indifferent) of man to accomplish His purposes and draw people into the Kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ.
Yet, as believes we must love and serve others with our heart and our mind. We must see them in the image and likeness of God, identify their potential, and empower them towards healthy human flourishing.
This leaves us with the question, “What does that look like?”
Over the past two years, we have diligently reshaped our mission, vision and values. However, a change in methodology was necessary to shift our model from emergency services to empowering families towards financial stability. This shift proved to be a matter of paving a whole new road, learning from old ways, and venturing into a paradigm shift in nonprofit food distribution.
The Community Food Co-op Program is providing healthy fresh and non-perishable foods twice a month to qualifying families. Families are saving an estimated $150-$200 each month on food costs and matched with community mentors. Together, mentors and families establish goals to redistribute the saved money towards debts, an emergency fund or savings account.
In December, we celebrated our first graduates, Asraa and Rafaat, who moved their family from Bagdad, Iraq to go to school and bring a peaceful and prosperous life for their children here in the US. After nine months in our program, they were able to pay off two medical bills totaling over $1,000.00. This was a huge debt canceled, and ultimately freed up money to redistribute towards other family needs. Over time, we shared conversations about life, family, and religion. Though we do hold different religious beliefs, Asraa and Rafaat were shown the love of Christ, and encouraged through the scriptures. Their diligence to the program principles, has helped prove the true impact this program, paired with gospel truth, can have on those serious about finding financial freedom.
As we venture into 2018, we are seeking eight new mentors to disciple a co-op family as this component is the crux of true and lasting change. Together mentors and mentees address deep gospel issues, inconsistent lifestyle habits, and biblical stewardship. Would you consider being a mentor and join us in transforming lives? If so, please contact Mandi Stewart at 252-321-6857 ext. 201, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
After nine months of participation, Asraa and Rafaat gladly asked to graduate from our Community Food Co-op program. From March to December of 2017, they strategically paid off two medical debts totaling over $1,000. This family exemplifies how commitment, diligence and the principles of biblical stewardship, applied, can truly bring financial stability.
Mandi Stewart is in her sixth year as Executive Director at Hope of Glory Ministries which empowers families towards spiritual and financial freedom in Christ. She loves living life with her all so patient husband Jeremy, first born Josiah, and daughter Faith. One day she hopes to be a professional golfer, but is surrendered to the call of wife, mother and leader in this world as she awaits that glorious day when Christ returns.