December Bowen!

We wrapped up Tornado furniture moving with a mega move on December 14th.

Fifty-three families received new couches, tables and chairs, dressers and house goods.

$20,000 was gifted from a few churches to fund the move. We empowered people to help. Our Kelly, EJ and the workers at St. Vincent’s did a great job organizing and loving the people who came to serve. St. Vincent’s people are amazing! They work hard to help people in need. Living City Project was the relief valve for moving furniture from June through December. We helped move four hundred displaced families, most of whom lost everything.

Here’s an article published in the Dayton Daily News.

Dec 17, 2019
By Sarah Franks, Staff Writer

When the last piece of furniture was moved on Saturday, Living City Project had helped over 400 families displaced by the Memorial Day tornadoes into their new homes.

LCP has activated over 12,000 volunteers since the tornadoes tore through the Miami Valley on May 27. The organization serves on the Miami Valley Long Term Recovery Board and, like other Dayton-based and national organizations, has been instrumental in organizing cleanups, helping distribute furniture to hundreds of families and simply making sure tornado victims are not forgotten as 2019 comes to a close.

“What really spoke out to me is they haven’t stopped living,” said Joel Burton, LCP team leader. “They’re going to continue to live, continue to try and pursue normalcy and joy as much as then can. To see them getting ready to decorate that tree tonight is good. That’s more hope than we expect to see. There are neighborhoods right now that aren’t putting up Christmas lights.”

“If today meant anything, it’s a reminder that the community still remembers those that have been impacted,” said Caleb Ingram, LCP executive director. “There was an inventory backup, and we thought we might not get this out till January or February. But we reached out to a number of churches primarily. Some churches donated $20,000 collectively so that we could get this delivery out before Christmas. I think it’s just a reminder to every individual that we’ve gone to over the last six months, that we know that they’re there. We remember that they’re there, and we love them.”

St. Vincent de Paul Dayton has acted as a home base for many of the tornado recovery operations. 

“St. Vincent de Paul has also put in funds of their own to make this happen,” Ingram said. “Even the churches that donated, the donations went to St. Vincent so they could bulk order these couches. So the amount of money is a fraction of what it would cost if we went to the store and bought a couch. So funds came in and they would order 100 couches at a time.”

As people impacted by the tornadoes navigate the holiday season under difficult circumstances, Ingram asks them to know that organizations like LCP are not going to quit.

“There’s still more to do, still more to give,” Burton said. “We’re nowhere near done. Every moment like this carries us into the next.”

Hope Church partnered with Gateway Cathedral in Trotwood and gave away thirty $600 gift cards.

Gateway Cathedral sits in the Westbrook Village neighborhood, was in the direct path of the Memorial Day Tornadoes. The Gate served as the distribution hub for the community in the weeks following the storm.

Living City Project had a small yet essential connection. We performed a serving role with Christmas With A Cause. Thrivent, in Tipp City, raised hundreds of presents from the Tipp City School System to provide for the kids of thirty families who attended the evening. The guests knew there was a meal but did not know every child would receive a bag of presents. They also did not know that they would receive a gift card for $600 provided by the Hope Church.

When the meal was over, the Director for the event asked the families if they had a white envelope. Then she asked for others who did not have one to raise their hands. After the envelopes were distributed, she asked the families to open the gift together after a count down. 3… 2… 1… Open!

A sound of wonder began to erupt until the venue was filled with people shouting, crying, jumping up and down, waving their hands, and laughing. I had never been in such an atmosphere filled with so much love and gratitude.

As people walked down the hallway to leave, they received their presents for their children. They overflowed with thanks, and many told us their stories of what they thought was a lost Christmas, now turned into comfort and joy.

Mexico Kids Receive Shoes.

Around one hundred kids gathered to receive new shoes. Upper Room families gave to help the kids in a poor area of Piedras Negras. They need a roof and heaters. Hopefully this summer we will take a team to help build.

I spoke at the Upper Room this past Sunday.
The wonder of Christmas how to keep faith, love and hope alive.
You can watch here.
Phillips Temple is raising Twin Bed Sets for the ladies at the YWCA.
We will be delivering the Twin Sets on December 24. We are excited we have a donation of 100 throw blankets already donated.
We are Re-fired not retired.

Back story.
Three years ago, we were looking at moving to Pensacola. We were 95% ready to move. We didn’t have peace, so we talked and prayed. Pattie wanted to finish her time at Prass Elementary School and retire at 65. It has been a good plan.

We stayed in the Dayton Area. We did not know we would connect with some amazing people or be working with great churches Phillips Temple and Upper Room. Nor did I know I would have a part to play with Living City Project. Looking back, we can see Jesus is always faithful and true to lead us into the plans and spaces He had for us. We are so grateful!

Your prayers and support are more than appreciated!
We’d value any year-end giving you’d give.

Steve and Pattie

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