April 2015 – Monthly Update

Dear Friends of the Jesus Center,

I am pleased to tell you briefly about what you see in the two page newsletter - about Gordon, Hydee and Duane, because they are examples of what we want for all the people coming to us to eat. Mandy is seen receiving an award from Chico Soroptimists. I have known Hydee for 10 years and watched her struggle through addiction to trust in what God can do for her, that she can begin a life for herself and not be that person whose existence revolved around life on the streets. The picture of Hydee with her son was taken 10 years. Hydee lost her son Ryver but now has her own apartment and confi dence in her ability to make good decisions. Gordon has been a rock-solid employee of the Center with a heart for others and we will miss him but know he is on the road to better things. I have been a mentor to Duane for 8 years and watched him follow a path of addiction, jail-time, more addiction and more addiction – only this time it’s different. Following 8 months in a rehabilitation program which involved community work on our roads and parks, he now has his own place, a permanent job and a living faith that has empowered him.

It was a surprise for me that, although Caleb and Jason did not know each other, they both came to me expressing a desire to create a bike ministry. Jason is part of YWAM at Richardson Springs and Caleb is manager of a local bike store. He spend 2 years in Stockton creating what he called a “Bike Kitchen” for homeless people and he’s ready to do it again, this time in Chico. The picture you see of the makeshift bed on empty ground is one I took with my cellphone. It’s the sleeping place of a man I know as “Greg” whom I am praying will decide to stop drinking and go through detoxification and into rehabilitation. Though we have no access to free de-tox facilities in Chico we can send people to Redding where, for $450 – that is, $150 per day, they can go through a short de-tox program. When they return we seek to get them into a program of support to maintain their desire to be drug free. I have celebrated with enough former addicts who show me their 12 Step Recovery Coins to know that any drug habit can be overcome so I ask you to pray for Greg, as I am, that he surrenders his life to Jesus Christ.

The Jesus Center is excited to support the Chico Food Project which in the last 2 years has provided over 100,000 lbs of food for helping agencies in Chico. Every 2 months the blue bags are collected from people’s homes and brought to the Jesus Center for distribution. Through our Bloomin’ Hope flower cart women in our shelter, Sabbath House, are learning florist skills in getting, cleaning, presenting and selling flowers. Club Now, started in March, is gathering pace.

I recently received a donation from a woman who left me a note saying: “a program like yours … cleaned me 38 years ago.” Your donations provide the support to enable us to help those who come to us. As we say: “Change begins with a meal”. Please continue that support so we can offer the possibility of change for so many whom come to us – and come down and serve food at the Center so you can see the value of your donations.

Thank you.

Bill Such

Executive Director

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