She looked me in the eye. She thanked me for what I was doing and expressed her great joy at being able to be a volunteer at the Life Station. She encouraged me by saying that God would meet our needs and would see us through 2019 as he has done in the past. I believed her.
When I first came to the Life Station almost a decade ago the first budget I ever wrote was short almost $20,000.00. We were completely unsure how we would make the cuts necessary and generate the revenue necessary. Salary was minimal, building expenses were very low, resources coming into the Life Station in the way of food and toiletries were in a good place. We just didn’t see the room to make up the difference.
It materialized however, as one minor adjustment after another was made and additional donations made it possible to close the gap. The budget deficit decreased year after year until about four years ago the Life Station projected a balanced budget for the first time. For the years 2015 and 2016, I believe it was, I was able to forecast a budget which was essentially balanced. I knew even then that we could serve more, do more, but I was trying to balance the number of clients and hours versus the income. Threats of government shut down have caused us to want to be prepared and increase our stock of food to be ready as well.
Now, in 2019 we face the perfect storm. Beginning in June of 2018 the word began to spread amongst case workers throughout the city that referrals to the Life Station were possible. This replaced a previously eliminated referral system that no longer flowed clients to the Life Station but had already been replaced by word of mouth and walk-in business. The result was an increase in clientele being served. The increase has been 10-15% additional every month. Then, as you know the government shut down. The government shutdown and further threats of additional shutdowns means that people may or may not have their food stamps. This has further spread the word about what we do and turned people’s eye in our direction for help.
We come to that moment in time when we are needed the most. We provide resources that feed the hungry, clothe the impoverished, and rescue lost souls from the grip of ignorance. We are in no danger of going away. We simply must persist. That being said, we face a ten thousand dollar deficit for 2019 and it is one that ideally must be made up in an ongoing way. We need this money now to continue to provide the services we do to our ever-increasing client base and we need it going forward to continue for years to come.
We are begging our partners, you included to consider a recurring gift to the Life Station. We ask that you spread the word and let businesses, individuals, churches, and Sunday School classes know about the need. We narrowed the gap in 2018 with a flurry of one- time gifts from various givers which God sent to help. I am certain this can be done again if the Lord so wills but the needs will not be going away. If the Life Station cannot meet the needs, someone else may, but even if someone else does, it will likely be someone not spreading the gospel.
I am super excited about the chance to help growing numbers of people in growing numbers of ways including and especially by sharing the gospel with new clients who have never been to a pantry which talks readily about the gospel (there are few left.) I am so pleased to be your director at this momentous juncture. For as long as the Lord sees fit to provide the resources, we will serve and save the lost. Please pray that the gap between the God-given resources and the God-given needs may be closed for 2019 and beyond.