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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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