As we have just recently completed another week of hosting the men’s shelter here at St. John, I couldn’t help thinking about how far the GIFTS organization has come in the last 2-3 years. There have been many changes in the way the program is run now. We are much more efficient now with all aspects of the ministry. The end result of that is we are having many more success stories and a lot more turnover in the men that we see at the shelters. The men we just hosted were a very appreciative and respectful group. Even with all the new faces (and there were plenty of them) the ministry keeps moving forward in the right direction.

When I first got involved in this ministry I saw it as an opportunity for me personally to be part of a Christian community function that would help me grow my faith in Christ. It has been all of that and more. This ministry has been very good for St. John too. It is great to see everyone working together for a very worthy ministry as this, whether it is here at St. John or one of the other shelter sites. We would love to see even more people get involved the next time we host. Please accept our thanks for all of the volunteers who have kept this ministry successfully going. Additional thanks go out to our friends and partners at Hope Lutheran and to the other individuals I have met over the years who volunteer to help us when we host. As the GIFTS organization moves forward on pursuing a permanent location, we will continue to host the shelters in the 15 area churches (Salvation Army too). All of us on the GIFTS Board hope to have good news sometime this year on finally purchasing the permanent building. We do not host again until February 12th 2017. This is a longer break than we usually take from hosting, but due to late notice to me on the winter schedule this is how it worked out.

There are still a handful of open weeks on the winter schedule. I will have to look at those and see if we can help out in some capacity.

Once again thank you all very much for helping to give love and fellowship to these very needy men. We make our faith stronger through these acts of giving and kindness. I find it wonderful that all these Christian people from different congregations can come together in Christ’s name and make this Ministry a success.

“The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed”. Proverbs 12:25

God Bless

Duane A – Coordinator

Kathy H – Coordinator

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