What Have We Been Up To, You Ask??
Hello Mission House family! What a blessing it is to have built such a community of believers to work alongside with us as we care for the least of these in the mission field of St. Joseph. May God truly bless you for any contribution that you made. Here are some of the great works that God produced through all of us this past year.
We provided housing for 9 individuals;
One couple moved to Topeka KS where they are now living in their own home. (We recently got the news that this man has passed away. BUT…he came to love the Lord and lean on Him, so we are confident that he is resting in the presence of Jesus Christ!!)
A woman and her daughter moved into their own home here in St. Joseph. She has been able to restore a proper relationship with her young son.
One young man is living with a friend and still learning about life, but we still see him regularly.
We briefly housed a man while he was waiting on housing from Pivotal Point Transitional Housing. He has reunited with his children and we were able to connect him with employment at a local company that is now a ministry partner for employment purposes. He has also gladly shared his musical talent in helping us with a One Church City worship concert!
We ended the year with 3 gentlemen staying here with us at Mission House.
We continue to volunteer at The Community Shelter (formerly The Crossing) and provide meals at Valley Community Center every few weeks. This gives our residents the opportunity to stand on the other side of the counter, as many of them have received meals from food kitchens several times. It is always a blessing to see the countenance of someone rise as they realize their own change when they are serving instead of receiving. This is a real milestone for some!
We made some considerable revisions to our procedures for stay at the beginning of 2020. This has proven to be greatly beneficial in, not only, our ability to determine candidates that best fit here, but also provides a road map for restoration.
After 4 years of providing shelter to over 45 people in this old house, we tackled some much needed home maintenance. We repaired every bedroom, one room at a time, each time a resident moved out, and finished it up with a fresh coat of paint. We also remodeled our attic into a living space for us (Ryan and Kim). We now have our own separate living space. Along with these home improvements, operating expenses, and the purchase of a new car, we managed to stay in the black! God always provides!
We incorporated a Christ centered 12-step program that meets once a week. This meeting is open to the public, and offers an alternate and supplementary option to NA and AA. Through this program we have built a partnership with Sisters of Solace and have met some wonderful ladies that come weekly!
The Mission House was able to coordinate, even through covid inflicted challenges, two multi-church worship services. We joined together musicians from 10 different churches to create one worship team. In these arenas, we see multiple congregations unite as “One Church”!
In the same spirit of unity, our Day of Hope St. Joseph 2020 event united 62 volunteers from 17 churches and 7 local ministries. We provided nearly $13,000 worth of basic need items to 281 participants all while providing the Hope and Love of Christ. These folks most importantly received prayer and a Bible to take home with them! This has proven to be a great time of unity and harmony as these churches, organizations, as well as corporate sponsors join together to gather, prepare, and distribute these items. We want to recognize Green Valley Baptist (where DofH 2020 was held) and their generosity as their church family experienced great difficulty due to the covid virus. But they still welcomed us for our Day of Hope event. God provided an amazingly beautiful fall day for our first outside event! The event continues to provide, as extra items are donated to local community ministries. We also continue to distribute some items throughout the year from our free little pantry. It is always a visual blessing of God when people reach out to us for random needs and we see them provided.
While God has used this old house in mighty ways, we continue to await the day when a more suitable structure is provided. Our vision has always been to offer three steps to restoration on the same property – initial housing, long term recovery, and finally, a private home with self- sufficiency. A very important part of this vision is to have a central building with a community space where we can share meals, have meetings, and just be a family and have fellowship and fun.
Of course financial support is always going to be a need, but there are so many ways we need other support as well. #1 - Pray for us! Another big need we seem to always have is transportation for our residents, mostly to and from work. Please be in prayer with us for our future vision and consider how you can support it and our current needs.
This journey has been the joy of our lives! The freedom to serve Christ whenever the call comes is overwhelming, but the ability to lead others to discipleship is satisfying beyond belief!
We have seen great successes and personal growth come from Mission House last year. Even our own.
Again, thank you for anything you have done in 2020 and all that you will do in 2021!!
Ryan & Kim Hildebrand