In addition to the help given through our Clearinghouse, we believe that Christ calls us to invest in people beyond just giving a handout and an encouraging word. If you’ll recall the story of Ruth and Naomi–Boaz very easily could have just given Ruth and Naomi grain from his field, but that would have added to the shame Ruth felt for being in need. Instead, he instructed his workers to leave stalks of grain in the field and to allow Ruth to work by harvesting the grain after Boaz’s workers had moved on. It is important for us not to add to the feelings of hopelessness, shame and worthlessness often experienced by those living in poverty.
At Love INC, those who have the capacity to do so, are strongly encouraged to participate in our Transformational Ministry (or T.M. for short) program. By involving our neighbors, we are giving a hand-up, in addition to a hand-out. Our kickoff of the expanded program will begin in September 2016, with a class created to bring hope to those who have given up hoping, planning and dreaming that anything can ever change. AND–our classes are not just for those living in financial poverty. These classes are available to anyone, regardless of financial success.
Affirming Potential is a 12-week course, designed to help our neighbors see beyond the crises of today and start to understand that they are valuable, loved, and have great potential. After 12 weeks of Affirming Potential, they will move into an 8-week class on Boundaries. Many of our neighbors have very weak interpersonal boundaries, which undermines many of the positive steps they make. After that, they will move into Faith and Finances. The content for all of our classes is excellent, as are the teachers presenting the material. Those neighbors who commit to participating in classes, will be eligible for more help from our GAP ministries than those who do not participate. Without transformation, we are just another well-intentioned “program”. Transformation can only be accomplished by God–we cannot transform anyone. But if we are willing, God will use us to accomplish His will.