Getting Outside of the Walls
On a recent Sunday, Pastor Keith asked our Executive Director, Raymond Klein, to share the mission of Love INC at Northside Baptist Church. Love INC’s mission is to mobilize the local church to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ. Part of Love INC’s focus is in “getting outside the walls”, which means going to where the people are- to let them see the love of Jesus through outreach. The people of Northside were inspired by Pastor Keith’s vision to do something about it! They began planning an outside event for the Charlottesville community where they could simply show the people of Charlottesville that they are loved.
Northside Baptist Church hosted a special “Community Block Party” on Saturday, May 21 at Fashion Square Mall. Children enjoyed inflatables, face painting, snow cones, and popcorn. Food, music, and fun awaited all who attended. Pastor Keith says “The goal was to share the true love of Jesus Getting Outside of the Walls
Christ with the community. As the Word of God instructs us to be witnesses, and to go and make disciples, we at Northside have recommitted to reach outside of our church building walls and go to the people of our
city. The Lord receives all the honor and glory for what transpired Saturday. We are confident that the Gospel seed was sown. It is our hope to continue to do more of this in the coming months.”
Even though it was the hottest day of the year, the Community Block Party was a huge success, with
80 church volunteers giving of their time. This outreach event touched many lives- all In the Name of
Love INC would love to come to YOUR church to share about all the great things God is doing to partner with local churches to transform lives in our community. If you are interested in having a Love INC presentation at your church, reach out to us at 977-7777.
More Than a Mentor
I recently read in a previous newsletter that mentorship means “walking beside someone who really wanted to put in the effort to change the way they approached life.” Mentorship is a huge component of what we do at Love INC. We build relationships with people to walk with them through life’s challenges. This quote made me think back to a season in which I volunteered with Love INC. I was involved in a program that taught individuals the basics on how to budget their personal finances.
Our first meeting was in the office at Love INC, and we were matched up with attendees who were looking for help. I was paired with a young lady named Shelly. She had a good job as a nurse but had never learned how to manage her finances. This consumed her with stress and uncertainty. I would meet with Shelly weekly at her home and we would discuss how best to approach her bills and loans.
We followed the budgeting lessons learned from the classes at Love INC and from other techniques that I used with my own personal finances. In the few months that I helped her, Shelly began to really trust me—so much so, that when she was having what she thought was an appendicitis, she called upon me to take her
to the emergency room! I immediately rushed to her apartment and drove her to the hospital. Thankfully, she was fine and didn’t require surgery. Shortly after that, Shelly had to move away from the Charlottesville area due to a job change. In my mind, I thought Well, I’ve done the best I could with the amount of time we had together.
Fast forward to this past year, I received a phone call from Shelly. She still had my cell number in her phone, and she called because she wanted me to know that she was completely out of debt and had been able to purchase her first home! Shelly thanked me over and over for helping to teach her how to manage her finances. I told her how proud I was of her and thanked her for giving me this amazing news. Shelly really
“put in the effort to change the way she approached life” and I feel blessed to have been a small part of that transformation.
Because He Gave
Part of the mission of Love INC is to partner with local churches to establish “gap” ministries. A gap ministry is developed to address a need not otherwise being met within our community, such as basic toiletries and kitchen items. One of our gap ministries that has seen a great resurgence of interest is the Personal Care Closet. Currently we have one church that hands out personal care and cleaning products to people in need twice a month, and we are planning to open a second closet in July!
With so many in need of these basic necessities, our Love INC office sent out a plea through email and
social media for donations to help stock our own Personal Care Closet. We soon received a phone call from a former client, Sherry. She asked when our office was open because she needed to have something delivered
to us. “It’s a pretty large delivery,” she added.
As I spoke with Sherry, she shared her story. Several years ago, she found herself in a difficult situation. She
had lost her father to cancer, and due to traveling back and forth to his home, Sherry had missed a lot of
work. This also caused her to fall behind in paying her bills. She was doing all she could to catch up but was
in desperate need of help. That’s when she called Love INC. One of our staff listened to her story, prayed with her, and was able to find her the help she needed. Sherry never forgot the kindness and love that was shown to her that day. When Sherry received the email about the Personal Care Closet, she was inspired! That’s when she picked up the phone and told us she had placed a rather large order to help with our closet.
“I just wanted to give back,” she said. “I will never forget how you all helped me years ago, and I want to help others, too.”
We are so grateful for Sherry’s generosity and for all the gifts, both financial and material, we receive from donors like you. We give because He gave. We love our neighbors because He first loved us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but
have eternal life.” John 3:16
Bloom Where You are Planted
Dan, one of our neighbors, loves to spend time sitting on his porch and enjoys looking at his flowers. He called Love INC one day and asked if we could find a volunteer to help him with his flower bed. Dan was disabled, and it had become very difficult for him to do simple things like planting flowers. We told him we would do our best to find some help.
We sent out a plea to our local churches and volunteers for someone to help Dan make his garden beautiful again. Dan was willing to put money toward the purchase of flowers; he just needed someone willing to spend time in his garden with him.
That’s when Jimmy emailed us. He was happy to help Dan. We connected them, and Jimmy went to talk to Dan and survey the flower bed. He then went to a local garden center and carefully picked out perennial flowers he knew would continue to bloom all season long, and would come back year after year.
Jimmy completed the project and even sent us a picture of the flowerbed—all weeded and planted with fresh flowers. Sometimes our neighbors need help with things, but the more important thing is to spend time with them and connect in a personal way, looking for an opportunity to share Christ’s love. Now, every time Dan goes out and sits on his porch, the flowering blooms will remind him of Jimmy’s kindness. That’s what it’s all about—showing Love in the Name of Christ, one interaction at a time!
If The Shoe Fits
We receive many clothing donations, often from individuals, but sometimes even other stores and churches will bring clothes by. Recently, a church was participating in an outreach project and had been collecting personal care items. Their congregants also brought in clothing donations—but unfortunately, they didn’t have anywhere to take them. That’s when they called Love INC and asked if we had anywhere for the clothing to go. Boy, did we!
So we told them about our clothing closets and the way we partner with churches in the area. Their church staff member soon came by with several bags of very nice clothing and shoes. They were so happy and thankful that these items would be given to people in need. The next Monday, we called one of our volunteers to see if they could transport some of the clothing bags to the Central Virginia Baptist Association clothing closet. Sure enough, they came by and we loaded their car with lots of nice things, including an entire bag of shoes.
About an hour later, we received a call from the Baptist Association ministry leader. She said she had to call and share this story with us. At the same time our volunteer showed up with donations, a family with many children came in. They were in desperate need of shoes, and they were running low at the clothing closet. Would you believe that the bag of shoes our volunteer brought in were the exact size this family needed?! She couldn’t believe it! God’s timing is always perfect—our volunteer showing up at the exact time this family came to the clothing closet. Some people may say this is a coincidence…but those of us who follow Jesus know that this is a “God-incident!” Nothing is a coincidence when God is in charge!
Renewing Transformation Ministries
Our mission is to mobilize the local church to transform lives and communities- in the Name of Christ! We are currently working towards reestablishing our relational initiative called “Transformational Ministry”. I recently watched a video of our last Transformation graduation, and was deeply touched by the testimonies of the neighbors and mentors. Like many things, Transformation Ministry stopped during Covid, but we are excited to restart this program and look forward to how God will use this ministry in the lives of our neighbors and mentors!
The program begins with mentors (Spiritual Friends) taking a 7 week course called Redemptive Compassion. When completed, one understands the philosophy and strategy of Love INC’s approach to helping our neighbors in need. The next step focuses on our neighbors in need. They begin with a biblically based, 12 week course to affirm their God-given potential. Each participant commits to bringing about change in their
lives and is willing to:
-commit to a life change
-be a part of a community of learners
-commit to 12 weeks of classes (including homework)
-learn what the Bible says about change
-build a trusting relationship with a mentor
Through local churches, Love INC seeks to transform the lives of neighbors in chronic need. This transformation occurs through nurturing, empowering relationships along with classes and training opportunities. The real blessing in serving in this ministry is that ALL of the lives are transformed- the neighbors in need as well as the mentors and volunteers! The results confirm the real defining difference between Love INC and other charity groups. Other organizations focus on the needs- Love INC focuses on the person! If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact us for more information.