One year ago today, Matthew’s Hope was officially launched. Although the Freeze Warning Shelter side of it had been going since January 3rd, 2010, the ministry known as Matthew’s Hope became a licensed 501c3 March 30th, 2010. And what a year this last year has been!!! Here are just some of the stats on what has been provided.
Over 2500 visits from local homeless (or “structurally challenged” as Scott lovingly calls them). Over 21,000 meals. Over 1500 batteries. Over 1100 showers. Over 1000 pairs of socks. Over 800 loads of laundry. Over 750 shirts. Over 625 toiletry kits. Over 600 jeans. Over 600 underwear. Over 350 haircuts provided. Over 130 hats. Over 325 pairs of shoes. Over 300 medical visits. Over 250 cans of insect repellent. Over 125 shorts. Over 120 bike light kits. Over 110 pairs of gloves. Over 100 jackets and coats. Over 100 blankets. Over 80 sweatshirts. Over 75 tents. Over 50 pairs of work boots. Over 50 tarps. Over 50 sleeping bags. Over 50 backpacks. Over 50 flashlights. Over 50 scarfs. Over 20 bikes. And more.
People have been signed up for food stamps, provided phones thru the cell phone program, either been signed up for or rectified for food stamps, have received birth certificates, and have been helped to attain Naturalization Papers or Social Security Cards or Florida ID Cards or Drivers Licenses. Some now receive disability, Socisl Security income, unemployment benefits, or Medicaid. Many are now following Jesus and are connected with a local church expression. Many have gone thru Detox or are in long term Rehab. Others have gotten jobs and are out of the woods.
All of this because the work of God happens when His followers unite for His mission. Over 25 local church families serve and support Matthew’s Hope. One leader and two local church expressions have especially run point on this effort. Scott Billue is that leader. Next Community Church, the church family Scott pastors, and the Church of Christ of West Orange, whose campus currently houses the Matthew’s Hope facility, are those local church expressions.
Scott Billue shared this reflection:
[As I reminisce on the past 12 months, as we celebrate the One Year Anniversary of Matthew’s Hope, I am blown away when I reflect on now having 27 Church Partners working together for the Kingdom’s sake and the blessing of having worked side by side with the nearly 600 volunteer’s & 160 Donors who have allowed themselves, their talents and treasures to be used by God to make Matthew’s Hope what it has become, glorifying His name throughout the process. I am doubly blessed as I consider how my wife has walked every bit of this journey with me as our lives have been drawn into serving the least of these as a part of our everyday life together. Ministry has never been a part-time thing for us, but to have such an amazing Godly women teach me to love outside myself, as Jesus did, that truly glorifies our Savior in ways that nothing else ever will. I am changed, and yet a work in progress. I am blessed!]
A BIG THANK YOU to Scott and Next and the Church of Christ of West Orange. A BIG THANK YOU to all the 25 local church expressions and local businesses who serve and serve. And a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who keep the donations coming. The financial base is growing, and we hope to soon receive several grants. Please be praying specifically for two different organizations who are considering giving significant financial support to Matthew’s Hope.
GOD is so good! May we continue to grow in wisdom on how to be His church together, grow in unity around His mission rather than our own, and may more and more people, because of our unity around mission, believe and know the One Who was sent (John 17:18-23).
If you are interested in serving with or supporting Matthew’s Hope, please call 407.461.2625. To learn more about Matthew’s Hope, CLICK HERE to visit their website.
Can’t wait to see how God uses this ministry in 2011!!! Grateful!
-the Church of West Orange
PS _ Here are some of Matthew’s Hope more immediate needs if you can deliver them to the Matthew’s Hope facility at the campus of the Church of Christ of West Orange located at 1450 Daniels Road in Winter Garden.
Men’s Jean’s (Size 28, 29, 30 in all length’s)
Men’s Steal Toed Boots
Pocketed Colored T-Shirts (all Sizes)
Tents (9×7 or larger)
Cash for ponchos (we order them in bulk online)