REACH stretches the life and love of Jesus across the entire world; bringing the community of Christ and Sisters, OR to all who are lost and in need. With local and global initiatives, REACH sets out to provide resources and comfort to every walk of life. REACH is based on five Biblical values: Renewal, Evangelism, Aid, Cultivating Relationships and Honoring God. Each value pushes to improve the lives of many individuals in many different ways. REACH leaves the ninety-nine to find the one.
As we roll into 2018, most of America tends to set New Year’s resolutions for our personal lives. We choose to live healthier lives, plan to work out more, devote more time to studying the Bible, re-enroll in school, set to save money and we reflect on the past year. Trying to understand our triumphs and our loses is part of human nature. Looking to improve ourselves is at the forefront of who we are as humans. REACH is no different.
There are many great things happening through REACH:
Bread of Life
Bread of Life is the longest running initiative at Westside Sisters Church. Feeding many and spreading love those to in need is what Bread of Life is all about. Providing over 100,000 pounds of food in 2017, Bread of Life has had a HUGE impact on the community of Sisters and Central Oregon. Currently Lois Kaping and Paula Lovegren are running Bread of life and they are continually loving on everyone who enters the doors. Lois Kaping states that,
“Every week 125-200+ people receive food to help meet their physical needs. In addition to food, they receive kindness, respect, and dignity in how our food is given. A frequent comment we hear from participant is “this is a good thing”. We look forward in 2021 to continue in this good work.”
Sisters Cold Weather Shelter
Another huge win for outreach in our community is partnering with the Sisters Cold Weather Shelter (SCWS). Allowing people to escape the harsh conditions of our Central Oregon winters and providing comfort and warmth at night is the main goal of the SCWS. Although we at Westside Sisters are not leading the SCWS, we have allowed them to use our facilities to house many individuals throughout the winter. Lois Kaping also stated that,
“The 2021 season housed 44 different individuals, including children, over the course of three months. Shelter guests found a warm, safe place to stay where they were treated with kindness and grace. Many barriers were removed as guests and volunteers got to share a meal and know each other. One guest from last season and two from the 2017/2018 season have found permanent housing.”
REACH is always looking to improve what we already are doing. We see Bread of Life growing drastically over this next year, allowing God to provide new resources for the community to use. Westside Sisters Church and REACH will continue to partner with the SCWS in 2021 and many years to come. While growing the ministries that have already established we plan to grow the variety of our local initiatives. Many people have stepped up and voiced their interest in providing for those in need in our community. From yard work to chopping wood to shoveling snow to fixing appliances to even just having conversations with those whom are lonely, REACH desires to be loving caretakers of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual deficiencies of our community.
Looking towards the future of REACH and what we aim to do in 2018, we plan to provide aid to not only people in our community but globally as well. With plans in place to go to Cartagena, Colombia February 18th-26th, we also plan to have more opportunities to serve internationally. Being the hands and feet of Jesus is what REACH is all about. Caring for people, providing assistance, feeding the poor and spreading the Good News is what we will continually be doing.
What are we called to do?
REACH is called to fight for God’s Kingdom with love and compassion, taking back the land that was lost to the enemy and returning it to its rightful owner; our Father God. Matthew 28:19 says,
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (NLT)
REACH intends to do exactly this; to go out and make disciples of all nations. We have been called by God to do this. As we push into to God’s word we find many scriptures that urge us to be the hands and feet of Jesus, they urge us to serve the least and they push us to love, have mercy and be in community. In 2018, REACH will stretches the life and love of Jesus across the entire world; bringing the community of Christ and Sisters, OR to all who are lost and in need.