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Connecting Families to Christ

About a year ago, a Spanish-speaking family was in one of our Love In the Name of Christ Heartland offices. They needed help for themselves and their little ones–specifically diapers. The mother didn’t know English, but the father did. Through shared language, we were able to begin forming a relationship with them. When we welcome neighbors to Love INC Heartland, there can be uncertainty about where the relationship will go once completing the intake process. But our heavenly Father knows, and we need to remain faithful.

We took the time to make referrals and get the family assistance. One of the places we connected the family to was a local church partner who leads a gap ministry to provide diapers and other baby items for families. Quickly, the family became involved in our Fresh Start Program. Again, we faced the barrier of speaking different languages. We rewrote the curriculum in Spanish using the tools available to us. The mother even used Google Translate to listen to the videos.

The family continued to need diapers. So, again, we connected them with more diapers. The family visited the church partner, and the church continued to build a relationship with them. Were our words about faith in Jesus sinking in? Did they understand that they are loved and valued by God? Again, we remained faithful to God that He would speak.

Recently, our Executive Director, Jim Holmlund, visited the same church partner to support the congregation and continue to build a stronger partnership with them. The people of the church also had been gathering food, which he was picking up to share with our neighbors involved in the Fresh Start Program. Little did he know how blessed he would be on that morning. During their worship service, there was an announcement that there would be a baptism. The pastor shared that the family sitting on the right side of the congregation would be bringing their youngest son forward for baptism. Jim was moved to see that the family baptizing their son was the same Spanish-speaking family that Love INC Heartland had been building a relationship with.

At first, they were a family needing diapers for their little ones. They were a family who needed someone to walk through the language barrier. They needed someone to take time and be with them. Love INC Heartland did that, and the church engaged them with the same attitude. Now, months later, their child was getting baptized into Christ Jesus and had a church to call home. The story of this family is one example of how God uses His people to make connections. It is also a model of what church partnership with Love In the Name of Christ is meant to be and is a real example of the Redemptive Compassion philosophy in action.

We believe that churches are called to see the image of God in others. Called to care about their neighbors. Called to share resources. Called to walk with those who are hurting. Called in invest in relationships. Called to transform lives and communities. We need your support to continue this ministry. We need people who will love them where they are and remind them how God sees them, regardless of the barriers. We invite you, your church, and even other groups you’re involved in to be part of this ministry!

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A Divine Connection

*Kendra had been with her children’s father since she was a teen, struggling with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder along the way. When he became abusive, she left with her children and filed a restraining order against him. Although Kendra left to improve her life, there was nowhere to go. She got in touch with her birth mother, whom she had barely known, and moved in, discovering that her mother was sick and needed a caretaker.

Kendra cared for her mother for a year, and when her mother passed, she found herself homeless. They moved in with a friend until she could find a job and a place to live. Working three jobs, trying to attend school, having no extended family to help, and not receiving child support—the bills kept piling up, and buying Christmas gifts for her children was impossible.

Then, a friend mentioned Love In the Name of Christ Heartland and how we could help. When Kendra called us, she was overwhelmed with gratitude. She appreciated the compassion of our Church Partner and their Gap Ministry of the Christmas Store. We shared our Fresh Start Program with her, and she wept over the idea that anyone would want to help her because she had felt abandoned by people all her life. Through attending church, she has realized that God never abandoned her and was led to Love INC Heartland for a reason. It was a divine connection. Kendra is overjoyed to begin classes at Fresh Start, further her relationship with God, and meet others to build a positive support system in her life.

Your story could be similar to Kendra’s. Your story could be different, too! We are here to listen and learn how to help you live the life God has planned for you. Caring staff and volunteers are available. Call the Love INC Heartland Connection Center at 763-999-7082 or visit

*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.

Where Will A Need For Furniture Lead?

Where Will A Need For Furniture Lead?

Tamara called our Connection Center, looking for help with furniture.

As I talked with her more, I could tell she was a gentle soul with a creative spirit that needed more than a couch or a chair. Tamara was looking to connect to a faith-based community with a welcoming atmosphere to help encourage her as she faced health challenges while living in a quieter, rural area.

We connected her to local agencies for resources to support her, like a local senior center and public transportation options. Then, I shared information about our Fresh Start Program, along with the blessings that could come from participating in it, like earning vouchers to purchase items in our thrift stores or Gap Ministries available through our church partners. Tamara chose to participate, and by attending the free classes, she has built relationships with our staff, other community members, and volunteers.

Then Tamara faced another challenge: her vehicle needed repair.

She wasn’t sure where to go or how she would be able to afford the repairs. So once again, Tamara reached out to us, and we were there for her. She asked us if we could help with this need. We said yes and helped connect her to the car repair Gap Ministry through St. Maximilian Kolbe, one of our church partners. We walked alongside her, the church, and the car repair shop throughout the process. Tamara was able to save up funds to pay for her half of the repairs. Being involved in our community allowed us to support and love her best through this challenge.

So, what about the furniture?

Since attending the Fresh Start Program, Tamara saved up her furniture vouchers. She was looking for something to put her feet up on. Something to sit and snuggle with her grandchildren, watch TV, or read a book on. One day, a family graciously donated a sectional couch to our thrift store in Howard Lake. Tamara knew it was what she was looking for and purchased it. It has been an incredible blessing to her family and has been a gift that keeps on giving.

As we have walked with Tamara through the years, she has made new relationships, has become active at a local senior center, and, through a referral from us, has found employment. She even has dedicated time at to give back to the community that she has been helped by.

We will continue to encourage Tamara as she travels down the road that God is leading her towards.

Where will God lead you today? Will he lead you to donate items to our thrift stores? Will he lead you to give back by volunteering with your time? Will he call you to help support those in your community with a financial gift? We pray that Tamara’s Love Story inspires you to take that next step in your life’s journey and be open to God leading you to love others In the Name of Christ.