Happy Valentine’s Day! On a day infamous for Love, we took a moment to profile our hard working ministry teams to catch a glimpse of what “love” means to them. These are their stories…
We hope you “love” reading it!
Q: What about your ministry area best reflects the Love of Christ – how does LOVE motivate action?
A: Jon Fiorenza, Director of Thrift Operations: The whole model of “thrift” is built on helping those in need (love, honor and serve). When people can provide for themselves and their loved ones, they have dignity and self-esteem. We have the opportunity to impact their lives and help many in this way.
A: Doreen Carey, Store Manager, York Economy Store: We love our customers, clients and donors by offering a kind and listening ear. Love is a growing process and we (our thrift teams) are part of that process.
Q: What about your ministry area best reflects the Love of Christ? What is love to you?
A: Kristi Glatfelter, Business Manager: For me, love is seeing the unseen people and impacting them by simply showing acts of kindness and thoughtfulness. A simple “Hi, how are you today?” goes a long way to someone who may not have had a word spoken to them that day.
A: Steve Brubaker, Programs Director: Love is more than sentimental feeling, it’s an action. Love is acting in someone’s eternal best interest.
A: Matthew Carey, CEO: [We show the Love of Christ through] personal one-on-one connections with our clients… seeing the life transformation in the lives of those that we impact. Holding someone’s hands, looking in their eyes and being a part of walking them through transition. Our team of dedicated people that love one another and those that we serve in all that they do. The determination of our team to come to their post everyday committed to impact those that we serve by offering a safe, healing and caring environment. We love on our community, regardless of the good or the bad, how big or small, known or unknown.
Q: Through Your Eyes, How Are You “LOVE” to those our Youth Program serves?
A: LaQuinn Thompson, Youth Director: Love in youth ministry comes in various forms. Love is having patience…being caring… understanding and accepting. Working with the youth is [challenging], yet rewarding. Our youth are seeking guidance from others to help mold their minds. The more positive people we can surround our youth with that have the ability to remain patient, [and] caring [towards] others, [while being] understanding and accepting… [the more we] demonstrate the love of God. …our youth… realize and recognize what love looks like [when these things occur] within our ministry. God provides those special tools (patience, caring, understanding, accepting) to allow us… to assist our youth by guiding them to the path toward salvation. This is what love looks like in youth ministry!
Single Women & Children’s Shelter (SWCS)
Q: Love comes in many forms. How is LOVE best lived out at the SWCS?
A: Tina Hildebrand, SWCS Director: Love is powerful….it is so powerful that it can heal a wound that is so deeply embedded in a woman or child’s heart and soul. It has the power to lead a broken and disillusioned woman to a restored relationship with God. Love has the power to lead a lost and hopeless family to Jesus, the lover of their souls, and we are the ones privileged to be the vessels to minister that love for Him.
Q: What aspects of Love show up most often in the Men’s Shelter? What does LOVE help overcome?
A: Perseus Gross, Manager of House Operations: Love looks like grace and truth. We have to be able to understand that, with certain people, they need help and people are going through a lot (trauma, addiction, etc) and we have to understand our responsibility is to hold them accountable but love on them through it all… to help push through. In my day to day, I ask myself, “How can I hold this person accountable but make them feel loved?” People are not always ready for truth, so love can look like it’s hurtful or harmful. But if we approach love in a Godly way, we know we are doing what we can to love that person.
A: Micah Heckert, Men’s Shelter Director: The very idea of “love” is rooted in the eternal reality that is God himself “is love.” The Hebrew word Ahavah that offers us the most broad picture of what love can mean ranges from physically romantic love, to parental love, to mutually beneficial business/political relationships, to discipline and accountability. This makes it all the more important to us that we seek to have both a robust view and an accurate view of what love that [honors] God really looks like.
In the Men’s Ministry… we seek to utilize the story that Jesus himself told about the father and his prodigal sons (Luke 15: 11-32) as our guiding picture of how we practically love the men that we have the opportunity to serve. We believe Jesus told this story because it speaks to the realities of our world and the nature of our development as human beings. We recognize that the development of the people in that story involves both examples of extravagant graciousness when it was undeserved, but also the realization of felt consequences for actions and choices. We offer grace, second chances, conversations, and gentleness as we walk with men who are coming out of homelessness because these things have been freely given to all of us by God in our own lives and in our own stories. We offer, and rely on clear communication of guidelines and [consequences] when necessary… because this too has been given to us by God for our own good and for our own personal growth and development. Truth and consequence without grace become legalism, and grace without truth and consequence results in a license to continue living in error. To truly love the men that we serve we constantly seek to dialogue about and practice an appropriate balance of both of these realities; for God’s glory and for the good of our clients.
LifePath Christian Ministries is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, faith-based organization, accredited by the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions and with a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. 73.3% of all gifts are put back into life-changing programs. We receive no government funding. All contributions are tax-deductible. Donate, or get involved today!