GSMC Director's Update 2/2019
By: Danean LeNoir
The most exciting development at the Good Shepherd Ministry Center is that God has made clearer the direction we should take as a congregation as we look at what is next at our Center. Focusing our attention on families and youth is where we see God leading us most strongly. We want to share God’s love by providing HOPE, Healing, Opportunities and Possibilities to Excel for at-risk youth and families.
So, over the last several months, I have spent a great deal of time meeting with community leaders, City officials, and other faith organizations in pursuit of a way to serve young people on the verge of homelessness and poverty. As a result, a plan for the EXCEL Youth Resource Center has been created with the hope of implementing the program at the Good Shepherd Ministry Center this spring. It is my pleasure to announce that on Sunday, January 27th, the plan was presented at the Church Council meeting and it was received with overwhelming support and positive feedback! I am grateful for the 21 Foothills members who have heard the call to serve and signed up to support the program in various volunteer roles.
Another way we are serving families is through our participation in the Safe Harbors program for helping families seeking asylum from violence in other countries. Our first refugee family from El Salvador has successfully transitioned from our Center into their own apartment. Thank you for all of the donations you gave to Santos, her husband and their children for their new home. We have learned a lot from that experience and are now preparing a special place in our Center for the next family to arrive. Funds have been provided by Christ Ministry Center to upgrade our living space into a self-contained efficiency apartment with new flooring, a shower, and a small kitchen.
Also, the interfaith shelter guests have arrived at our Center and are well into their two-week stay. Carolyn Weitzel has led the charge, adding the little touches that make GSMC feel like a home. The warmth of our Center is especially welcoming to our guests who would have otherwise been out in the rain this winter. A special thanks to those that donated furniture to make our overnight hosts more comfortable during their stay, as well.
Finally, we were blessed to have over 50 people from the community, partner organizations, Foothills UMC and other Methodist churches participate in a GSMC clean-up day on January 12. By noon, this industrious group of volunteers had the Center prepared for our interfaith guests and overnight hosts, and the new EXCEL youth program. GSMC has never looked better!
All of these exciting things cannot take place without the help of Foothills volunteers. Please pray and ask God how you are being called to help. Right now, the greatest needs are in various roles with our EXCEL youth program and the Safe Harbors program. Please send me an email to see how you can help be part of the HOPE that our center provides every day.
Good Shepherd Key activities and Needs:
Volunteers for our next asylum seeking family
Volunteers for our EXCEL Youth Resource Center
Applicants for our open position