Centers Care for the City: The Church Hill Christian Wellness Center
Matthew 25:31-40 says, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
I have been the Community Missionary for the Church Hill Christian Wellness Center (the Well) in the East End, which shares space with Mt. Tabor Church on Fairmount Avenue, since 2005. “If I can help somebody as I travel along, then my living shall not be in vain” is my motto and it has turned into my lifestyle. I am learning not to do Matthew 25:31-40 just because it is something good to do, neither to gain favor in other’s eyes, nor because I think I will gain brownie points with God, but to do it just because it’s who I am.
Fulfilling the Matthew 25:31-40 passage is more complex than I had imagined. Anyone can go through the motions of satisfying these simple every day needs, but in doing so, we don’t want to become an enabler by giving handouts. Our desire is be a motivator by extending hand ups. Our mission is to promote and nurture persons in the process of recognizing their God-given gifts, talents, and abilities to empower themselves and others. Most of all, we are ministering to the least of these by giving unconditional love while praying that they will receive it and pass it on to others.
The ministries of the Well are Food Pantry, Bible Study, Clothes Closet, Bus Pass, gift cards for food, providing Bus Tickets to safe havens or drug rehabs, Financial Assistance, Back-to-School Celebration and the Christmas Store. However, these are only tools to draw them. It is not very difficult to feed those who are hungry when we have the resources available. Taking them to get Birth Certificates, DMV Identifications, filling empty apartments with furniture, etc. are our way of meeting an obvious need. But I have learned that those obvious needs are only symptoms of a need that is deeper which can only be satisfied by accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Therefore, my heart’s desire is that everyone that crosses the threshold of the Well will be saved.
- Prayer. Pray for the staff and volunteers as they strive to share Christ’s love with their neighbors.
- Financial Support and Donations. The Center is always in need of supplies to run the various programs. While the Board of Missions budgets to assist the center, specific collections or donations arise during the year.
Written by Glinda Ford