And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” - Mark 4:26-29
Names and Faces
When I sat down to consider the best of 2014, I initially collected all of the statistics and events of the year (see below). But as I looked at these calendar events, number of meals, number of graduates, number of volunteers, number of teaching hours, and number of donations, one thing was glaringly missing...the names and faces of each and every individual who has served or is being served by God through the work of The Shepherd's House and Grace Network International.
For the 34,703 meals received by Bob, Derrick, Melissa, or Tim there is a volunteer Jim, who cleaned the tables before a meal; there is volunteer Rick who handed the plate to Bob, Derrick or Melissa; and there is volunteer Jackie who prepared the meal in her kitchen.
For the 9,424 donations received from Julie, Milt, or Francine, there is volunteer Michaela who picked up the mail at the post office; staff member Robin who entered the donation into our donation management system; bank teller Sue who received the deposit; house resident Micah who folded, stuffed, and stamped the envelop to send to Julie a receipt for her most generous gift.
For the 12,000 nights of stays received by Jim, Frank or Antonio, there is house resident Lyle at the front desk to greet them as they come in the door; there is House Manager Bart who provides an intake interview to ensure the safety and well being for all of our guests; there is house resident Jeremy who vacuumed, cleaned and prepared the chapel floor for Jim, Frank or Antonio to sleep on for just one night, or 3 or 5 or 7.
For the construction and remodel of the Healthy Kitchen Initiative, there is architect Charlie who helped draw the plans and coordinate the design; there is Wayne of the Cascade Culinary Institute who reviewed the drawings; there is John from St. Charles Hospital who provided a nutritious meal plan; there is volunteer Bill who coordinated donated materials and labor for the construction of the project; there is business owner Rick who donated building materials; volunteer Wendy who kept the project moving; over 20 different tradesman and workers who completed the work; and 65 donations from donors Val, Todd, or Catherine.
For the 85 attendees of GNI Live, there is Bill and Clint who provided the venue for the event; there is Travis who helped video record the event; there is the worship team of UGM Portland who provided God praising worship during the event; there is the kitchen staff who provided the meals; Xpress Printing staff who printed the training materials.
Again, for every stat, for every event listed below, there are many hands of God giving and receiving each and every day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.
To God Be The Glory! Thank You for your support and Prayers!
Highlights of 2014
- 34,703 meals served
- Over 12,000 nights of stay
- 8 Graduates from 2 graduations
- 9,424 donations received
- Over $175,000 raised for the Healthy Kitchen Initiative
- On average 10 volunteer hours per week of training and discipleship classes
- 12 staff members throughout the year
- 54 individuals served at the Redmond Cold Weather Shelter
February - GNI Live in Portland, OR
GNI Live was a regional training event hosted by UGM Portland Rescue Mission. There were 85 attendees from 6 different states, with the furthest traveling from Pennsylvania for the 2 1/2 day training.
March - Brewer Direct Institute in Los Angeles, CA
I attended the Brewer Direct Institute Conference hosted by our direct marketing company, Brewer Direct, who was celebrating their 10th anniversary of being in business. This was a 4 day event attended by rescue mission staff from throughout the country to learn and connect on issues relative to fundraising and marketing trends and practices.
April - TSH Healthy Kitchen Remodel Design Meetings
The Healthy Kitchen Initiative Project is beginning to gain momentum as funding for the project is almost complete. Construction is scheduled to begin some time this summer.
May - Love INC Board of Directors Training in Redmond, OR
As as founding board member of Love INC (In the Name of Christ) of Central Oregon, I attended a two day board training in Redmond, OR. We are establishing Love INC in Central Oregon to mobilize local churches to transform lives and communities in the Name of Christ.
June - Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM) National Conference in St. Louis, MO
I attended the AGRM conference in St. Louis by myself this year. Typically Curt and/or Cash would attend also, but a medical situation prevented Curt from attending this year. I was able to make some good contacts for GNI and participate in several training sessions on behalf of The Shepherd's House.
June - TSH Graduation
On June 12, 2014 The Shepherd's House celebrates the progress of 4 of our residents through a graduation celebration and gathering.
July - GNI Training in Rochester, NY
Curt and Cash provided a training for Open Door Mission in Rochester, NY. This was second training, "Four Pillars to Life Transformation", for Open Door Mission.
August - TSH Backpacking trip to Golden Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness
Each year the men of The Shepherd's House have the opportunity to venture into the wilderness area of the Cascade mountains. This year was a return to Golden Lake, a beautiful hide-away at the base of Broken Top and South Sister Mountains.
September - Healthy Kitchen Initiative Building Permit & Construction Start
We receive the final building permit and can proceed with the kitchen remodel for The Shepherd's House.
October - KNLR local Christian Radio Live Broadcast from TSH
Each fall we have a sock and winter clothes drive with our local radio station, KNLR, broadcasting live from The Shepherd's House. If I remember correctly, the weather was very warm, for October, and people were not thinking about winter coming for those living outside. But, we still had some great conversations with visitors who still came out to support TSH.
October - TSH Graduation
On October 4, 2014 The Shepherd's House celebrates the progress of 4 of our residents through a graduation celebration and gathering.
November - Redmond Cold Weather Shelter
The Shepherd's House in partnership with Highland Baptist Church, The Redmond Ministerial Association, Love INC of Central Oregon, and Jericho Road open and manage the Cold Weather Shelter in Redmond, OR. In 2014 we served 54 individuals with 18 of them being women. In it's 4 years of operation, this is the most the shelter has ever seen.
December - Gloria Hall moves to Redmond, OR
Gloria Hall, long time friend and trainee of Curt and Cash, is hired by TSH to be our new Director of Women's and Children Ministries. The community of Bend has come around Gloria and TSH in an effort to begin the building of a Women's and Children program, similar to the men's program, for Central Oregon.
December - Cameo Chambers - Executive Director of Love INC of Central Oregon
After 3 years of planning, Cameo Chambers, a local resident of Redmond, OR and former Social Services Director for St. Vincent DePaul of Redmond, is hired to be the new Executive Director of Love INC of Central Oregon.