There but for the Grace of God Go I

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By Ryan Keller

Director of Hope4Healing

We have reason to be grateful even when helping those in need, because more and more people are finding out about Hope4Healing; we are impacting more and more lives.  We are on track to helping a record number of individuals over the next twelve months; on one hand we appreciate being able to serve others, but also pray that this doesn’t mean that more and more are experiencing difficult times.  I have been reminded of the phrase that I believe many have heard before, “there but for the grace of God go I” (source unknown).

In my youth, I remember hearing a song with this phrase as its title.  I found the lyrics to this song on line, and thought that they are worth considering as Hope4Healing seeks to finish 2017 strong.  The song was written by Paul Overstreet (who recorded it in 1992) and Taylor Dunn.  The chorus of the song says:

Oh there but for the grace of God go I
How without compassion can we pass them by
Oh, it could be you it could be me the world has cast aside
There but for the grace of God go I.

            The song urges us to consider helping others, and reminds us that difficult times could happen to any of us.  Hope4Healing seeks to provide a bridge between those in need and those who can help.  As you can imagine, this doesn’t happen by magic; it takes a lot of time, talent, and financial support.  I am taking the time to let you know where Hope4Healing stands as we are getting closer to the end of the year.

First we are pleased that in the three years we have been seeking to serve, we have helped with almost 800 requests for help.  This means that there have been almost 800 separate times we have linked people in need with churches, organizations, agencies, businesses, and individuals to help meet a need somewhere in Iowa!  We have done this with a team of 218 resource partners, equipped with 981 separately listed resources, working with 81 friendship ministry teams.  It is great to have such a wonderful group of partners and volunteers serving individuals and families!  Thank you to all of these great partners!

As mentioned before we are one track over the next 12 months from May of 2017 to May of 2018 to help with a record number of requests.  This is a mixed blessing for us at Hope4Healing.  We do not rejoice that so many need help, but we are certainly humbled and honored to be there when individuals and families need our services.  We anticipate that this increased need will also see the number of churches, organizations, businesses, agencies, and volunteers increase as others choose to partner with us in providing help.

Even with so much activity taking place, we are short of our fundraising goal for this year.  I have shared through other newsletters and blogs that we have a goal of raising $45,000.00 dollars this year.  So far we have raised just under $2,000.00 of that goal.  It is our desire and prayer that as we share with you stories of success, need, and plans for the future that we will provide a connection with those who can help us meet this fundraising goal.  I would ask you to consider how you might be able to help us meet our goal so that we can continue to provide this very necessary service.  As we continue to transition into our own non-profit organization beginning in January 2018, we have made significant strides toward streamlining our process.  It now takes about $190.00 per request to help those in need find help.  Would you please consider a financial gift to help us reach our goal by the end of the year?  Any amount would be greatly appreciated!  As a reference, if we could find 215 partners willing to give $200.00 each this year our goal would be met; that is only $50.00/month through the end of the year.

 

Thank you,

 

Ryan Keller.

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Hairdos, Auto Mechanics, and Bibles for Children

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By Ryan Keller

Director of Hope4Healing

 

At my church, the pastor has started a series on the book of Acts.  In a recent sermon, I was reminded of how, by God’s grace, Hope4Healing finds resources to meet all types of needs, even for request that seem to be unlikely to find.  We have had a lot of those types of requests in the past few weeks.  In the third chapter of Acts, Luke tells the account of how Peter and John were on their way to pray in the temple and stopped to heal an over forty year old lame man in the name of Christ Jesus.  We know that Peter and John had been to the temple before, and the passage tells us that this man who could not walk was a regular beggar at the gate of the temple called “Beautiful;” therefore, it is likely that the apostles had passed by this beggar before.  Why is it that just at this time they stopped and noticed the beggar?  The passage also explains that once the beggar knew he had Peter and John’s attention he expected a monetary reward; instead Peter says to the beggar, “…Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk …”(Acts 3:6).

This is the situation Hope4Healing and many of our partners find ourselves in when working hard to help a person/family in need (PIN).  We do not possess miraculous powers to call a lame person to walk in the name of Christ like Peter and John, but we certainly can fulfill the intent of Peter’s words in the first half of the verse.  We may not have silver or gold, but what we do have we give.  What I find remarkable about this example of Peter and John is that ultimately the beggar’s need was not silver or gold; it was to walk and know Christ as Savior.  Many times we get requests for financial help, but find that the resources available meet the need through means other than monetary gifts.  What is required is that we pay attention and don’t just walk on by; we must open our eyes and interject ourselves into the situation and see what takes place outside of our own abilities.

Let me explain through some of the requests we have received since our last newsletter.  We received a request form from a therapist who was trying to help out a client.  The client explained to us that she is a single mother of four pre-adolescent/adolescent children.  Her therapist (with permission) contacted us because of the belief that a simple act of kindness could help this mother’s mental health need.  The request was to see if we could find a way to pay for this single mother to get her hair cut, styled, and possibly colored.  The hope is that this gift would lift her spirits and give her confidence during a time of making some difficult decisions.  We were looking for roughly $75.00 to $100.00 gift.  A lady in the area did not have the money to give, but is a licensed hair stylist with many years of experience willing to give not gold or silver but what she had she gave, her time and experience.  See the mother didn’t need the money; she needed the relationship, which this lady who we discovered through a church, could provide.

What would you do if you were a single parent with a broken foot, working four part-time jobs, caring for two adolescent children, out of work till your foot heals, and now your car won’t run?  You can’t afford to get it fixed, the repairs needed are very serious and costly, and you are just trying to figure out how to put food on the table.  Since money would seem to be the solution to these problems, you would think that we would start looking for a loan, gift, or rainbow with a pot of gold whereby to help out this hardworking single parent.  God’s solution is a church partner who knows a mechanic that will take time on his lunch break to go to the house of this single parent to see how they can get this car back on the road.  Until last week, we didn’t even know who would provide the resources to help in these two situations, but all it took was individuals willing to pay attention and not walk by; instead they stopped and decided that although they didn’t have silver or gold they did have other ways to give.

A third story is about a church looking to buy a significant amount of Bibles to supply children in a Bible study class with an affordable source for Bibles so the kids could have their own Bible to take home to memorize verses each week.  Children from homes whose parents probably don’t go to church and probably don’t have a Bible in the house.  We did our due diligence to find affordable Bibles; it was a fairly easy task, but what surprised me was the response Hope4Healing received from various partners willing to give Bibles, money, or make contacts on our behalf so that we could help resource such a simple need.  These partners didn’t walk by; instead they looked for ways to serve others and God following in the footsteps of the Apostles Peter and John.

I have to ask, how are you paying attention or are you just walking by?  Have you become part of the Hope4Healing network?  If not, why?  Have you joined our newsletter subscription list to stay in touch about what is happening to help others in your community and across Iowa?  Are you apart of your church’s friendship ministry team?  Does your church have a friendship ministry team to help meet the needs of those in need in your community by partnering with Hope4Healing?  It is true that a financial gift would equip us to continue helping those we serve, and we would appreciate your financial contributions.  What we also know is that resources are available to meet so many needs; it just takes you deciding to say like Peter and John, “…silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, I give thee…”  Please don’t walk by, contact us @ 319-233-2554 or email @ h4hquakerdale@gmail.com.  We would love to discuss with you how you and your business, agency, or church might become part of the solution.

Thank you,

 

Ryan Keller.

Make a DONATION today and INVEST IN OUR MISSION

Join our CAMPAIGN by becoming a FUNDRAISER