A New Season for Susan
Susan began working as the Clearinghouse Coordinator for Love In the Name of Christ in February of 2004. Susan worked for many years in the Mental Health, Homeless and Substance abuse fields before coming to serve at Love INC. She was instrumental in reviving the clearinghouse when she took on this position in 2004. Susan has touched thousands of lives in the last 18 years. She has built countless relationships with churches and people in need in the Charlottesville area and we are grateful for her service to Love INC. Susan will be greatly missed. We wish her much joy in her retirement!
Raymond Klein, Executive Director commented: “Boy! It’s been a ride! 18 years working with a partner, not a subordinate. We made a good team, you setting procedure and policy for the Clearinghouse and me working the field. I am still amazed that you hold the knowledge you do in your head! I always said if you left, I’d find a sword and fall on it! Gotta be careful and renege because now there’s one hanging on my wall…Hebrews 4:12.
The one thing I hear so much is the comment about your soft compassion. You genially ascribe to Love INC’s “focus on the person, not the need.” You knew when to focus on the need and when to focus on reality. Everywhere I go folks point out, what a blessing you are, not only to them but to the neighbors in need that you help our churches serve.
Prayer is an integral part of your day and offering to pray with our folks is a part of who you are. I remember you praying that I’d find my pocket calendar… and I did! But more importantly you prayed for our neighbors in need and they appreciated it. You connected so many times with those that came for material goods and ended their visit by praying with them.
Susan has laid a wonderful foundation for the Clearinghouse and we are grateful for her service. Many may not know she’s now a mom to THREE elementary school boys! So, as she begins this new season, we pray that the rest of her days will be the BEST of her days!
Movin’ On Up!
Mary had been living in her apartment for more than 10 years. A strong Christian, she relied much on the kindness of strangers as she had no family nearby to help her when she really needed it. She had experienced lots of health problems through the years—diabetes and shortness of breath caused even the simplest of tasks to become quite cumbersome.
It was time for Mary to move again, and this time she was in need of extra help. She was moving into a senior living apartment not too far down the road, a place much better suited for her needs. Remembering how Love INC had helped her through the years, she reached out to our office to see if we could help.
Mary really needed some support for the move. Love INC sent out an email request for help, and the next morning Matt responded. He had helped to move many clients in the past and he really wanted to get back to doing this again. We called Mary to let her know we were working on getting a team for her big moving day and also to see if she needed any more help.
“All I really need is some more moving boxes,” she told us.
We happened to have several boxes and a large tote in the office, so we reached out to one of our new volunteers to have these items brought over to Mary. That afternoon we received a phone call from a very appreciative Mary. She was overwhelmed by the support and how people were coming together to help her. These people were an answer to her prayers!
When moving day came, Matt originally had one other person who committed to helping him. He said by moving day there were nine other people from his church. They had their trucks packed with Mary’s furniture and clothing and were heading to her new place in about an hour’s time.
Moving in proved to be the hardest part. It was quite a trek from the parking area to her new place. But with nine people, they were able to make it all happen! Mary was all moved in and all of her furniture was in place before lunchtime that day. Matt called to let us know Mary was settled in. What a blessing this group was to Mary that day. But Matt said he and his team were the ones who received the greatest blessing—after all, Acts 20:35 states it clearly: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Of course, being on the receiving end feels pretty good, too. After it was all over we got a call from Mary.
“You [Love INC] were there for me when no one else was,” she said. “And I will NEVER forget that!” Yes, we were there for her, but it was Love in the Name of Christ that brought all of us to her door.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
We received a call in our office one day from a donor’s family member. One of our contributors had recently passed away, and his desire was to donate his car to Love INC so that it could be given to a family in need. The daughter of the contributor was in contact with us and had arranged to bring her father’s car to our office.
“My dad liked to shop at Costco,” she shared with us. “The trunk of the car is full of more items to donate.”
We went out to help bring in the extras and saw a treasure trove trunk awaiting! Boxes of tissues, packs of toilet paper, toothbrushes…the list went on. We assured her these things would go to people in need, and immediately we thought of the “gap” ministry at Connect Church—their Personal Care Closet! They are always in need of supplies to give to their neighbors, so they try to stay well-stocked in provisions.
The following day we loaded up our car and headed over to Connect Church. As we entered the Personal Care Closet area, a neighbor in need was exiting the room.
“Do you have any tissues?” the client inquired to the volunteers.
In fact, they were completely out of tissues…until we walked through the door with the items from the car we had received!
“We’ve got plenty of tissues, ma’am!”
As we continued to unload the items from the car, the neighbor in need shared her story. She was going through a real health crisis and needed prayer. Our volunteers listened as she shared her struggles with them. One of the volunteers prayed. The Holy Spirit was certainly in the room!
This precious neighbor did not simply receive a few items, she received Christian love and fellowship— and prayer from a church that cares not only for her immediate needs, but for her physical and spiritual needs as well.
We think back to the contributor who had passed away and how he had hoped to bless someone with his car at Love INC. It would bring a smile to his face to see how far his generosity could reach. His gift of the car beheld a trunk full of treasures—the gift that keeps on giving!
Running On Empty!
One of Love INC’s missions is to help local churches establish a “gap” ministry. This is a ministry that is developed to help meet the needs of the com munity. Recently, Pastor Kent Hart, the lead pastor at Ground Zero Church, reached out to us, wanting to know more about Love INC and how his new start-up church could partner with us. How could God use the specific talents and gifts of this congregation to meet the needs of the neighbors in our community? Pastor Kent is bi-vocational, and also works as a mechanic.
In the Clearinghouse at Love INC, we receive many calls from neighbors who are in desperate need of car repairs. Without a properly working vehicle, it’s hard for people to maintain a job. It is very easy to fall behind on bills once a person can’t get to and from work. This leads to a downward spiral that very quickly can lead to homelessness.
Soon after our conversation with this pastor, “Taylor” reached out to us at Love INC. Her car was doing strange things and she had taken it to several places to get fixed. It seemed that no one could properly repair her car and the problems kept coming. She broke down on the side of the road, and having no money left to put into the car, she opted to have it towed to her apartment.
Taylor didn’t know where else to turn. She had no one to help her but had heard about Love INC. One morning she called our office and relayed her frustrations. She was trying to find a job, trying to do all the right things…and now her car was in her driveway, unable to get her to job interviews. Taylor was running on empty.
We called Pastor Kent, who reached out to one of the fellow mechanics in his congregation. The mechanic went to Taylor’s home and checked out the car. He got it to turn on and drove it to his shop to take a closer look. Once he found out what was wrong, he contacted Taylor to see if she would be willing to purchase the parts; he would make the necessary repairs on his own time.
Taylor bought the parts, and after about a week of working on the car after his day job, our wonderful Ground Zero Church volunteer was able to make the necessary repairs. The volunteer and the pastor drove the car back to Taylor’s home, in perfect working condition. A card was left inside the vehicle to let her know she had been prayed for and to extend an invitation for her to visit their church.
We are hopeful that this radical generosity will lead Taylor to want to know more about Jesus! This is what we do at Love INC. We connect the dots. We help churches help people, and we use our resources to do it, fitting the perfect challenge with the perfect solution. Our actions are bundled in hope and prayer, knowing that the work is the Lord’s and all we have to do is try. We are so grateful to you, our many donors, who make our own work possible.
Love INC’s Vision for 2022 and Beyond
Can I share a Dream With You?
Imagine a gathering place- a place where people come to look for treasures, but the greatest treas ure they will find is people who love them- In the Name of Christ!
For many years, it has been a dream of Love INC Charlottesville/Albemarle to have our very own thrift store- a beacon of light for our community! This will be a place where our neighbors in need will be able to get the items that they are need of, and also a place where our community can shop for low cost items to support the mission of Love INC. Many Love INC’s around the country have a thrift store as part of their ministry, and we are praying for this here at our Charlottesville affiliate.
How can you help?
The one thing holding us back from our dream becoming reality is the capital that is needed to fi nance the store. Our dream is to have a location where the office, warehouse and store are at the same location. So, we are looking for those who
have expertise in establishing and managing a Cap ital Campaign to advise and guide us. First, the mission of the Love INC Thrift Store is to provide FREE goods to our neighbors in need as we walk
with them to transform their lives from one of de pendency to one of self-sufficiency. Most thrift stores don’t provide FREE merchandise (through vouchers), theirs is a profit motive. Love INC’s strategy is to sell product but to provide for the less fortunate who are struggling.
James 4:2 says You have not because you ask not. In order for this dream to become reality, we are asking for your help! First, be much in prayer for Love INC. Pray for people who want to partner with us financially to help fund this vision. Pray that God would lead us to the right location. Pray that God would open the doors for us to expand our space to include a thrift store.
If you are interested in partnering with us to help establish a Capital Campaign, or for more information, please contact me at 434-977-7777, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.