Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Christ Centered Social Services

- you are a battered or sexually abused wife and mother who needs a safe place to stay;

- you are a family of 6 and are facing the possibility of having to choose between paying your electric bill or putting food on the table;

- you are homeless, living with all your possessions in the back of your car. The weather is cold and rainy;

- you are stranded in a strange community because your car broke down and you don't have the means to get it fixed or to put gas in it;

- Your monthly income doesn't stretch far enough to meet all your needs;

- you have a job interview but don't have appropriate, clean clothes to wear;

- you are struggling with depression or an addiction and you don't know where to turn;

IMAGINE - It's difficult isn't it. In fact, you may not even notice the nameless, faceless people that exist in our community under those or other dire circumstances. Maybe you shrug them off by saying, "They've made bad choices in their lives. What they need to do is take responsibility and begin to pull themselves up "by their own bootstraps."

IMAGINE - Imagine that there were no place for someone to go to for help? IMAGINE!

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IMAGINE a centralized, unified agency where people could get food, receive job counseling, find help with utilities, get emergency, safe shelter, find a warm, loving, group of volunteers and paid staff that really care and have the resources to help with your needs. IMAGINE!

I have good news. You don't need to imagine. There is such a place and such a group of people right here in Enumclaw. Plateau Outreach Ministries is a unique agency that exists "to provide Christ-centered social services on behalf of the churches of the Plateau Ministerial Association. Over the years of its history from very simple beginnings in the basement of Calvary as Plateau Care Corps, it has grown and morphed into an amazing, flexible, efficient, loving place where people - young and old, male or female, brown, black or white, rich or poor, can go to receive the love of Jesus in tangible expression.

Samaritan Project provides rental and utility assistance. The food bank hands out groceries every Wednesday. More Pennies from Heaven sells quality used clothing, household items and other unique items at unbelievably low prices. Not only do the proceeds from those sales go to help underwrite the costs of running such a ministry, it also provides people with the dignity of being able to purchase needed items at a resonable price.

Networking with other social service agencies - both non-profit organizations and government agencies - POM is able to meet just about any need a person or family may have. They do so with the love of Jesus in the face of ever-increasing need. What makes this ministry most unique is the way the entire community has embraced it. Receiving funds from churches, other agencies and ngos, the city of Enumclaw, individuals and corporate grants, POM exists as a true expression of the unity of the Body of Christ and of the Heart of Jesus for the poor, the widows, the orphans, the aliens and strangers living in our midst.

Kimberly Fish is the Executive Director. She is an incredible person with a heart for people and a heart for the Lord. She epitomizes, in my mind, what it means to let our faith and worship of God translate into tangible, life-transforming acts of witness and grace. She is speaking at Calvary this Saturday and Sunday - May 29,30.

I hope you can come at 7:00 pm Saturday or 9:30 am Sunday to hear more about this incredible ministry and the ways you can support and volunteer to be a part of its gospel witness in our community.

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