The New Testament instructs us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself” but who IS your neighbor? Is it the circle you call friends? Is it people of the same economic group as you belong to? Or, could it be that it’s the homeless guy you passed this morning on your way to church, or to the movies or to…wherever else you had to go? For me, it’s anyone who passes by, regardless of how they’re dressed, how they’re acting or speaking or what they’re doing. Maybe they’re not the BEST neighbor we’ve ever had, but that doesn’t change the fact that they ARE our neighbor.
Let me tell you about MY neighbors. They are poor. They are homeless. They have nowhere to go at night. They want jobs but none seem to exist and if they DO, they go to everyone BUT those seeking them, They have either a past – or a present – problem with drugs, alcohol, etc. They may not have worked for years. They’re trying to climb a hill and a mudslide of political and peer pressure, discrimination and generalized animosity is coming right at them and they’re expected to climb and not drown; to withstand the pressure put on them, raise a family, etc., with pretty much NO support from those who are called to do so.
Please take a couple minutes and really listen to this song…It’s been the cry of my heart, as moderator of this page to be able to help those who are in need. It’s so discomforting for me to realize how big and pure my heart is, in spite of my humanity and fight against sin, and just as great a need as the kids portrayed on this video. And the killing part? I’m not trying to reach Africa– I’d settle for my backyard- Colorado Springs, Colorado – and the people who come here to to be blessed with food and clothes and whatever else we can give them.
The truth is that I’m tired. I’m tired of watching my pastor hold her head up and practice her faith and know that she must, when no one is looking, cry out to God and ask him why people will spend hundreds of dollars for Denver Bronco‘s tickets but when it comes to money in the offering plate, there’s not enough to pay a tiny staff to work. I’m one of those prospective employees and I can’t even cover my rent since the government cracked down on TANF and food stamps so I do my best to hold my head up and do the best I can and wonder if I won’t be forced to take my family back to the shelter where we will once more be separated. My boss keeps telling me to trust God and believe and I know in my heart and spirit she’s right but if people don’t step forward to help, we’re screwed- and it’s not right. It’s not right that some people have more than they’ll ever need and others don’t have anything. Psalms 73 speaks of this so clearly but still I am human and love my family above all and lived through the damage it did to my son being separated from his father for 6 months. He’s only 4 years old and we desperately need help; both me and my family and this organization I’ve served faithfully the past 6 months.
I’m discouraged and tired of running my mouth about this. I’m tired of using increasingly obvious guilt tactics but what else can I do? I can’t force people who claim to be Christians to come forward. I can’t force people to read or buy my book. I live in a constant state of fear, whether I like it or not.
See, this isn’t a popularity contest. If it were, I’d lose by default, primarily because so few know I’m even alive, despite my many social outlets. It’s not a lack of trying: it’s a lack of RESULTS
Lord, please open the door. Let me know that there are still a FEW who don’t “bow the knee to Ba’al“. The lines of demarcation are no longer clear as they used to be…I pray that we find a way to find each other and join forces to make a difference. You are my neighbor and I am yours. ❤
We had a fantastic time! We gathered 26 signatures of interested individuals, scheduled 3 people for interviews between Friday and Monday and networked with the other people in the room, the organizations represented ranging from free medical care for the un- and under -insured to offers for free GED possibilities including CPR and other worthy things to know. If I wasn’t so busy- I might try to get certified again as I was many years ago !
In future blogs, I will be introducing some of the people (as soon as I email them and obtain their permission) that I met today because we’re a community and we’re all trying to do the same thing- help people, just using our individual skills and resources. By partnering up, I – along with -can help more people, bring in more interested volunteers and doners. I believe God loves collaboration- after all, is not our relationship with God through Jesus the Christ, the ULTIMATE COLLABORATION??!
Following this event, I received an email from the man who invited us to the function, thanking us. I want to share it with all of you, withholding the name until I can properly introduce the people we’ve partnered up with, assuming we end up going that direction.
Thank you so much for coming, your presence and resources helped to make this our greatest event so far and we only hope to get better. Yesterday we had over 200 participants come through our doors and we help 27 participants find employment 19 of which start work today. Our next event will be July 10th from 9:30am-2:30pm we would be honored to have you again. If you would like to attend feel free to contact me via email or call.
I am so blessed to have the privilege to represent an organization that helps the needy. I guess it’s because I am who I am and my very recent experience with homelessness – off and on for the last 9 years- that makes me especially sympathetic and empathetic with the plight of those who can’t and don’t have enough to eat, places to work and live, etc. On the other hand, I have been blessed in soooo many ways and with so many wonderful people throughout the years that it makes all the suffering worth it, most days.
**** As an end note, I am so happy to report that we have 13 interviews lined up for perspective volunteers. God is so awesome, ya’ll!****
Hello! It’s been awhile since I’ve updated this page, so I wanted to do that, AND introduce Steven to you all! Steven Brooks has been with us for some time. He works at the office once a week and at the church every Sunday, operating the sound equipment during the praise and worship segment of church.
Good morning! Next week, April 12, we hold our next fundraiser. We will be in front of Walmart on Platte Street here in Colorado Springs, CO. If you’re in the neighborhood, please do come and visit. We’d love to meet you and see if there’s anything we can do for you.
I have just become aware of another situation that needs immediate attention! We have a mother, 8 months pregnant, who is desperately in need of baby clothes for newborns as well as diapers. Anyone out there who’s had children and especially those who have struggled with ever increasing prices in baby attire and supplies knows how hard it is for a single mom to acquire everything needed for baby.
Those who wish to donate, you are welcome to stop by next Friday, April 12th for the fundraiser and to drop off baby clothes and/or diapers or, if you wish, you can come by the office and give directly to us here at 2210 La Salle #205 here in Colorado Springs.
You are so much appreciated, all who read this; all who give to those less fortunate- you are giving to Jesus and there’s no greater gift you can give!!
We, at Overcomers International, would like to welcome Lisa Alexander and Christine Daniels to our family of volunteers. Most everyone comes to us, as has been explained, via Viewpoints/Directions or Employment First, both provided at and these two ladies are no exception. We’re thankful to God for providing them because they’re wonderful ladies and they know the computer! In the time I’ve been here at , we’ve had so many people come that are willing to do whatever we need them to do…but do not have the necessary skills when it comes to utilizing the computer which is what we really need the most. It’s admittedly hard for someone like me, who’s been using the computer forever, to understand when others do not have the same knowledge- it’s kind of like trying to understand cancer or any disease when you yourself do not have that disease, nor have you ever KNOWN anyone with it. Unless you’ve been in their shoes, you can’t possibly understand.
So, without further ado, and before I get into another three-part-sermon , let me introduce these ladies to you.
First, there’s Christine Daniels. Christine just began this last week. She’s hardworking, willing and doesn’t have to be told what to do every three seconds. This morning, when she finished the assignment I gave her, she fixed the desk she was sitting at without even having to be told.
Next, there’s Lisa Alexander. Her first day was today, following our Interview and she’s funny, hardworking and dedicated. She’s cracked me up so many times today I’ve lost count. Love a woman with spirit! Anyway, I gave her a project and she completed it so fast I didn’t even know she was done. It’s wonderful to have these ladies in our group…I pray that God will continue to bless them, us (both personally and professionally) as well as this ministry!
**In an effort to remain as current as possible, let me say that Lisa has now moved on, having found employment, which is WONDERFUL as that’s why people come here from Employment First and Viewpoints/Directions. We miss her dreadfully, but we’re equally overjoyed that she has gained a wonderful new opportunity to shine!!
As mentioned in the last blog, our welcome to you, Overcomers International Ministry is comprised of volunteers. In due time, we pray to secure grants that will enable Apostle Iva Bowers to hire staff but for the moment, it’s all done by people who love the Lord, believe in the ministry and have a heart for those who downtrodden, both spiritually and economically.
In light of this, introduction of three of these volunteers is in order. First, there’s Gigi. Gigi has been with this organization three months. She works on the spreadsheets needed for multiple factions involved with OIM as no business can run itself. God has blessed us with her, her cheerful demeanor is uplifting for all.
**In an effort to remain as current as possible, let me say that Gigi has now moved on, having suffered some serious health issues, including pneumonia. We pray for her health and for her and pray that God will allow her to come back, should it be his Will, to come help us and bring us her spirit once more.
Then there’s Sonya. Sonya is extremely valuable to this ministry as she speaks Spanish fluently and therefore can minister to our Spanish-speaking clients and friends. She also does the creating of the beads, a tool we use to bless those who donate $20 or more. Thanks be to God for this wonderful woman of God. She is wonderfully proficient at fundraisers as well!
** In an effort to remain as current as possible, let me say that Sonya has now moved on, having found more opportunities for employment in Chicago, following a trip to Mexico. We pray for success for her in the Windy City!
Next, there’s Heidi. Heidi has been here exactly one week ago. Her part is to be of as much use in the office as she can be. She created this blog, is working on getting all the information needed for this ministry to get involved in either an Organic Buyers Club or a Co-op, so as to be as faithful with the food and stretch it as far as it can be and to see what kind of grants can be found and utilized so that Apostle Iva can hire the staff she wants to.
Cindy and James are a husband, wife team who have been here at as volunteers since August of 2012. They are in charge of the food pantry, making sure that the hungry are fed, the needy clothed. They attend the fundraisers and give of themselves unselfishly. Thank you, Lord, for this dedicated couple!!
It’s an honor and a privilege to work for the Lord and to have work to do. Trusting in the Lord is an exercise of faith and we’re thankful to have Him always at our back. There are far more volunteers than the three mentioned; eventually, as many as can be will be mentioned-and introduced.
May God bless this ministry, the volunteers, those who lift us up in prayer and remember that families and children are involved, even if indirectly.
Thank you, Lord, for your unspeakable gifts!!
In keeping with the promise to keep on introducing volunteers, let me introduce to you, Heather, working for Overcomers International Ministry, all the way from Alabama! We simply could not do without her!!
Heather Moultrie is the current and longest standing treasure of the Overcomers International Ministry. She has attained a certificate in business management allowing her to excel among her peers in the company. Heather also maintains the title of executive director, overseeing all capital raising activities in addition to the oversight of volunteers looking to add experience through the ministry.
Teena McDonalds started working with us today. She’s a lovely person whom I had the privilege of interviewing and “hiring” as a volunteer.
As with any job, one must find out where their talents lay and apparently creating bracelets is it-she’s only just started and already has created wonderful pieces for those who give $20 or more (as described in another blog).
Thank you, Teena!! You’re invaluable to us and I, for one, can’t wait to see the doors the Lord opens in the furthering of both your career and your personal growth!!
It is a fervent wish of all at Overcomers International Ministry that expectant mothers receive everything they need to bring their children into the world. As those of you know, who are parents, carrying a child is one thing; having the baby, being in the hospital, getting ready to bring that child home and start the work of a Mommy is no easy feat and we want to make sure that at least ONE aspect is covered- the items that are going to be needed or might come in handy for the purpose of raising that tiny little bundle of joy.
For this reason, we have come up with a list of items to go into these baskets, for the dream is to have baskets to hand out to the mothers who call on us for help. As of right now, the finances have not been adequate to construct these baskets and have them ready, but we are on God’s time and so are believing for everything we need.
Below is a list of the Infant Treasure Chest needed:
- Plush Baby’s First Year Wall Hanging Growth Chart
- Baby’s First Teddy Bear Ultra Plush
- Baby’s First Tooth Keepsake Box
- Baby’s First Haircut Keepsake Box
- Baby Lullaby CD
- Baby’s First Handprint Kit
- 5X7 Ceramic Baby Picture Frame
- 5 pc Terry Cloth Wash Cloth Set
- 2 100 Percent Cotton Tee Shirts
- 2 Baby Beanies
- 2 Hooded Baby Bath Towels
- Baby Manicure Set
- Baby Wipes
- Johnson and Johnson Baby Lotion 9 oz
- Johnson and Johnson Baby Wash 9 oz
- Johnson and Johnson Tearless Baby Shampoo 7 oz
- My First Cookies Baby Shortbread Cookies
- 2 Baby Burp Cloths
- 2 Sets Baby Booties
- Large Laundry Basket with Handles – 24 inches long X 16 inches deep
Look, anyone who’s been with the Lord for more than 2 years will be able to tell you how hard it is to be of The Way. For those of us who have been walking with Him longer? It’s no different than at 2 years except that the level of conviction is raised as you realize that, in so many ways, you’re no stronger at 10 years than you were at 2; and that’s a frustrating thing to acknowledge.
For many years I have looked for a calling; my heart being what it is, is drawn to organizations that do nothing but help other people. Whether I’m acknowledged or not is primarily irrelevant. In the end, it’s all about the calling- and in particular, the ONE who CALLS. For me, that is my Father, God the Creator of Heavens and Earth.
So here I am, working 40 hours a week at this organization. Our dream is to get a grant, hire a staff, perhaps get a bigger building and carry on doing better and better work, helping more and more people. In REALITY, we have several projects going in order to obtain these dreams and in the meantime, I (along with the others who devote their time to ), who am supposed to be oh, so mature in the Faith, can think about nothing other than the lack that I live with- lack of money being the the most prevalent issue. It’s really hard to trust God to supply all my needs when I know that we’re broke, the end of the month is more than 2 weeks away and the little bit of food stamps we have retained won’t go that far. Cash is nonexistent. All I can think about on days like today (depth of depression) is there’s GOT to be some way to earn some cash!!! But I check Craigslist, the job boards and while sending out applications and whatnot, am constantly reminded that there are people here at OIM who are COUNTING on me and my fear is of letting them down. Depression is scary to deal with because thoughts that I normally shove to the back of my brain and refuse to think about are so THERE right now that I know that by blogging this, talking my insecurities out and reaching desperately for my Father’s hand is all that is keeping me from doing something that can never be undone.
Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary in well doing: for in DUE season, we shall reap, if we faint not”. I wish I knew God’s timing sometimes. Those words are so simple and self explanatory and simultaneously, so hard to accept. Why can’t that be NOW? Why do I have to struggle my whole life? Why do I watch people grow rich all around me when I’ve NEVER asked for riches, only enough to take care of my family so I don’t have to worry about being homeless every month? How can my present situation be any good for anyone? People are not heartened and encouraged by people going through the same muck-n-mire as they are; they are bolstered by those who have been there and are on the other side. That’s what a testimony is!
Ok, so it’s a little later than when I began this blog. I’ve met with my boss, gotten word on what she needs and wants done and, as work tends to be for me, a strong balm to my spirit. It’s always nice to know I’m valued and my employer always makes sure I know I’m needed.
Look, it’s hard being a child of God in this day and age. Hatred and bigotry, sadness and despair seem to be the norm. If you’re “normal” AND trusting in God than YOU, my friend, are the oddity. Isaiah 5:20 says this. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” We are in these days. I find this to be true more and more. And since our conflict in deciding to trust God (who is unseen) rather than what we CAN see is usually fought inwardly, we have to reach out with determination and ever open defiance in order to progress into maturity.
I am blessed to have an avenue to meditate openly. We hear complaining about the United States all the time; some of us are even guilty of it ourselves- Lord knows I am!- but the reality is that we haven’t gotten so far into evil YET that there’s no option for speaking out against the evil in the world; the voices that stress that if you’re not happy, not at peace, take this medication or that medication to, in essence, turn you into a zombie rather than deal with your own MAN OF SIN. Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to say the following: if you love God, trust in Him. If you have concerns and pains, don’t hide them- talk to HIM about them. He can be awfully silent- no one knows that better than I do- but in the end, it’s who you know and if you know the Lord- have taken that step to ask Jesus to forgive your sins and to make your path straight, then trust him no matter what. In the end, the only person who can convince you of anything is Him. You’re either saved or you’re not. If you worry about it, then you probably are because otherwise you wouldn’t care one way or the other. And don’t be afraid to talk to God as though he were right there- He is. He might be silent but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t hear- or that He doesn’t care. I assure you, He certainly does. But it’s up to YOU to determine that, because I can assure, stress, punctuate, all day but unless YOU have that relationship with your Father, you will never know for sure. I ask God, the Father, through the name of His son, Jesus the Christ, to maintain your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus and to give you comfort where you need it; encouragement to stay on the Straight and the Narrow path and to be strong enough to withstand the fiery darts of the evil one who will stop at nothing to throw your walk off with the Lord. If he can’t have YOU- he’ll throw crap in your way to make you stumble and though he’s not omnipresent like God is, he STILL knows you very well because our issues come from within and he knows EXACTLY what buttons to push!
I was about to go home to my family when I was impressed upon to write this blog. Poverty is a monumental struggle for anyone. People who live in America- and though poverty plagues people from all over the world, I live in America and my Bible tells me to “Clean the inside of my own cup” and that means (to me) to deal with my own backyard, so to speak, thus this blog.
Everyone is familiar with the concept of homeless. It’s likely that everyone who comes across this post will have an immediate mental image of what a homeless person looks like. Let me help you. This was similar to what I saw when I lived downtown Los Angeles about 2 years ago. When my husband and I were “sleeping on concrete” we had a very precise protocol we followed every day when it was time to lay down for the night, hoping and praying that the police wouldn’t stop by to kick us awake and force us to move because homelessness is against the law, don’t you know. To God’s credit, it only happened once the entire time we were living like that, if you can call it living- existing is probably more accurate in terms of definition.
As I’ve said in the title, homelessness is everyone’s problem. Why? First and foremost, it’s everyone’s problem and everyone SHOULD care about it. They should be our priority and concern because we’re all human and as the saying goes, “There but for the grace of God go I”. Homelessness can happen to anyone. The streets are filled with people who’ve never had a job- and those who were doctors, lawyers, VETS. Yes, VETS, as in those who went to war so that we “could be FREE”. Returning from that war, which they somehow escaped alive, only to come back to the place that sent them out and what thanks did they get? Doctors who refused to care for them; overly prescribed medications with extremely negative side-effects, people looking their noses down at them because they can’t afford to live anywhere so they sit in their filth and stink wherever they can.
Homelessness is clearly a recurrent theme in my life. Having grown up in “Middle Class” America, I (or anyone else that I knew) would never have guessed that at some point in time, I would be homeless. That my children would be homeless. That my next meal would be provided after standing in “the line”. And yet that’s exactly where I’ve been; first in Pennsylvania (York) when I left New Life for Children and Mothers in Glen Rock, PA and then again in Iowa – multiple times, actually. Since my met my husband in 2004, I’ve (we’ve) been homeless approximately half that time – in point of fact, we JUST moved into our first real apartment and we’ve been married 8 years in September and our son is 4 years old. Our passions are usually borne of life experience so that’s probably at least PART of the reason this is such a strong subject with me. It’s not right for human beings to be shoved around, forgotten and treated like animals while ANIMALS are housed, cared for, adopted out and have organizations pulling the heart strings to make us feel guilty about their welfare while they step over “Joe Schmo” to get to them.
Homelessness is a problem because it’s embarrassing, it’s unnecessary (as long as there are empty buildings with no one using them, there is room to house people)
and it’s terrible on the economy. People flood here from other places having heard about America being the place where “Dreams could come true” and they’re accepted, fed, housed, educated while people who were born right here are unable to have any of those things. Do I know how to take care of this problem? Yes and No. Yes, I could come up with a thousand scenarios that would at least HELP the issue but I answer mostly in the negative because people with power are selfish and wrapped up in themselves and would never go to the lengths that they could to take care of the problem because taking money out of a millionaire/billionaire’s hand is nearly impossible. The fact that they became that way largely due to the “underlings” under them – secretaries, whoever makes the products, etc., is apparently lost on them. And to take it a step further, even if they DO have humanitarian leanings, the propensity to take their money and their “caring hearts” to the masses usually lands them in third world countries ( who need the help – don’t get me wrong – but there are rich people everywhere, not just America). Even though it’s AMERICAN’s who made them rich- buying their products, for one) they STILL take their money to the other countries.
Ok, I will wrap this up; I could talk forever. I only ask that whoever is out there who wants to help the poor, start by “cleaning out their own backyard”; as the expression goes, “Grow where you are planted”. Take care of business at HOME and THEN progress outside.
As many of you know, we had a VERY successful food give-a-way last Thursday and we intend to hold on every three months if God allows.
In order for that to happen, we have to get more food. We have been unable to schedule any fundraisers for this month (June) and so we have to ask for help AND help ourselves by coming up with creative ways to raise money to stock up.
Our shelves are mostly bare right now; we won’t be able to help very many people for the foreseeable future. This is what it looks like right at this moment:
And this is what we need it to look like (again):
Walking with the Lord, working for a nonprofit as I do, is stressful AND rewarding. Even if no one comes in here and sees this, I know that God sees and will respond through the people he’s chosen to do so- as well as anyone else who loves the Lord and can do something to help. I regret that I can’t post our PayPal account to this site without upgrading (and Lord knows I’d love to upgrade!!) but operating on the budget we are, which is anything but adequate, that’s just not a possibility, nor can I do anything personally- I’m close enough to homeless as it is. Trust is an important phase I’m still working on and like with most people, it’s no easy lesson. If you DO want to use PayPal and can help, visit http://www.oimco.org and utilize that PayPal account.
I want to take a moment to say thank you to anyone/everyone who has prayed for us- you have sustained us with those prayers. As James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much“
To those who have helped by means of physical blessing, we also bless you! James 2:14-17 says, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
Please understand that I am not saying these things to inflict guilt on anyone- I HATE it when people do that, particularly in the name of “religion”. I am writing as led by God as I always do. He’s strong to save and we’re trusting him to carry out what he’s promised.
I will leave you with this to chew on. Thanks to everyone; everyone who’s read this and liked/responded to it. I’m always open to constructive criticism or ideas. I believe the family of God is just that: A family. As the operator of this page, I am open to conversation, ideas, thoughts, whatever you choose to do.
This is a reminder account, located at 2210 LaSalle, Suite 211 in Colorado Springs, CO TOMORROW, May 30th between 2-3 PM. We Are Preparing For an outpouring. Come a few minutes early so you can fill out the applications and bring your own bags!! WE TRULY LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE!!