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The little church that could….

The little church that could….

In Lander, Wyoming, Trinity Episcopal Church is focused on outreach with their “hand up” not a “hand out” program, First Stop. Here is the latest success story from a church with an ASA of 25, locally ordained priest and deacon, and ministry of the all the members. As reported by the Administrator:

I want to share with you a recent story that your donations help : A couple came to the First Stop Help Center the first part of June. They were homeless, and having to live with his grandmother. They came in wanting help with getting a place to live. They filled out the intake form and told their story.

After explaining to them that there was not much I could do for them until they

1. Came to the Life Management Classes and

2. Find employment as our financial assistance would not make a difference to them if these things did not occur. They thanked me very kindly and set off on foot stating they will both be getting employment and will be back.

Friday morning arrived and they both were sitting in classes at 9 a.m. ready and with an open mind and sharing their stories during the class. After class they came up to me and said they had both got a job. I praised their efforts and then went on to explain the next step was to now be looking for a place that was with in their monthly budget.

The weeks go by and I check in with them and they have now had to move into the a motel and pay 300 a week while they are trying to save their money for first months rent and deposit which averages about 1600, plus eat, and due laundry. Their weekly take home pay for both of them is a little less then 800. So we thought of different ideas and away they went again. I received a phone call this past Monday from them stating they found a place to live and it would cost them 1600 to get into it. He stated “I am selling my truck for 1200.00 dollars since I am going to find a bicycle or we can walk to work.” I explained I will ask for 200 to assist in this and I will help you with items that you need for your home. He said sounds wonderful and Ill see you on Friday. This past Friday he arrived on his bicycle that he bought used for 10 and his money that they had saved. I handed him the check for 200 and we went to the closet and got them a set of dishes, silverware, cups, pans, utensils, toilet paper, dish soap, towels, sheets, toothpaste, body soap, and shampoo. I found them food to make it until Tuesday when the food bank opens again as they had spent every last penny they had to get this trailer. What a celebration it was to see and hear them as they carried in what little they had to a home they had given everything they had to get. The smiles and the look of relief on their faces that their hard work and sacrifices had paid off. I drove away that day reminded that “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes well, you might find you get what you need.”

More about the program is here.

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Gary Paul Gilbert

This is very impressive and sounds like what the ministry of all the members should be.

Gary Paul Gilbert


BTW: I am going to contact the folks at Hand Up to see if this might work in my area. I think it would dovetail nicely with the “self-reliance ethos” that is part and parcel of the region.

Kevin McGrane


This is totally awesome!

Talk about rolling up your sleeves and being the church for others! IMO, this is how one really becomes involved in the life of others… not just by handing out money (as vital as that is) but actually becoming part of the life of the poor and needy. We can impart to them those skills that they may lack, and in doing so, we also learn about the stresses and strains they face daily. It feeds us as much as it feeds them. We become The Body of Christ.

Thank you for this story.

Kevin McGrane

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