2019 Living Alternatives Banquet

Be sure to mark your calendars and plan to attend! We will post more information as the time nears.

7PM, Tuesday, September 24th
Kokomo First Church of the Nazarene (2734 S. Washington St., Kokomo)
Special Guest Jennifer O’Neil

Be sure to mark your calendars and plan to attend! We will post more information as the time nears. For more information or to help sponsor the banquet by becoming an underwriter, contact the Pregnancy Resource Center:

hopeforafuture.com kokomo@hopeforafuture.com (765) 454-5566 202 1/2 E. Lincoln Rd. Kokomo, IN 46902

Habitat for Humanity Informational Meeting | 9/18/19

Mortgage payments are often less than current rent. The next Habitat for Humanity Information Meeting is 6PM–8PM, Wednesday, September 18 in the Basement Conference Room at the Kokomo Public Library (220 N. Union St., Kokomo).

Tired of Renting?

Mortgage payments are often less than current rent. The next Habitat for Humanity Information Meeting is 6PM8PM, Wednesday, September 18 in the Basement Conference Room at the Kokomo Public Library (220 N. Union St., Kokomo).

This is for people interested in becoming homeowners. This is the first step in becoming a part of the Habitat Homeownership Program.

The essential criteria for becoming a Habitat Partner Family include:

  • Need for adequate shelter
  • Ability to pay for the Habitat home
  • Willingness to partner and participate with building your home
  • We are looking for low-income working families with a gross monthly income of at least $1,400 per month. (Detailed income charts can be found at habitatkokomo.com.)

Some of the benefits of partnering with Habitat for Humanity include:

  • Cost of home below appraised value
  • Input into home design and interior choices
  • Support/advocacy program

Applications will be handed out at the meeting. No RSVP needed. For more information call Katie at (765) 452-2185.

Habitat for Humanity Informational Meeting | 9/14/19

Mortgage payments are often less than current rent. The next Habitat for Humanity Information Meetings will be 10AM–12PM, Saturday, September 14, and 6PM–8PM, Wednesday, September 18.

Tired of Renting?

Mortgage payments are often less than current rent. The next Habitat for Humanity Information Meetings will be:

  • 10AM12PM | Saturday, September 14
  • 6PM8PM | Wednesday, September 18

Both meetings will be held in the Basement Conference Room at the Kokomo Public Library (220 N. Union St., Kokomo).

This is for people interested in becoming homeowners. This is the first step in becoming a part of the Habitat Homeownership Program.

The essential criteria for becoming a Habitat Partner Family include:

  • Need for adequate shelter
  • Ability to pay for the Habitat home
  • Willingness to partner and participate with building your home
  • We are looking for low-income working families with a gross monthly income of at least $1,400 per month. (Detailed income charts can be found at habitatkokomo.com.)

Some of the benefits of partnering with Habitat for Humanity include:

  • Cost of home below appraised value
  • Input into home design and interior choices
  • Support/advocacy program

Applications will be handed out at the meeting. No RSVP needed. For more information call Katie at (765) 452-2185.

Art, Sip & Savor

Our favorite artist, Kathy McDonald, will walk us through creating a lovely wood piece for our homes or work place. Thursday, August 22nd is the date and 40 spots are available. Get your tickets now! Click here to order tickets, or you can purchase tickets at the Doubting Thomas Cafe inside Cross America.

Build a Home with Habitat for Humanity!

Building a Legacy

You can make a difference in someone’s life. With every volunteer, someone gets closer to having somewhere to call home. Whether you have never picked up a hammer before or you’ve built many houses, we would love to have you spend a Saturday with us! 

Our current build is taking place at 1404 Belvedere St., Kokomo, IN, 46902. We typically start building around 8:30 AM and end by 4:30 PM. Lunch is provided through our wonderful donors in Howard County.

We encourage potential volunteers to please sign-up online (via the link below). This helps us to have an idea of how many to expect for lunch and also for the type of work we might try to get done on a given work day. 
Click here to access the sign-up for the house build at 1404 Belvedere.

For more information, see habitatkokomo.com.

Tired of Renting?

Mortgage payments are often less than current rent. The next Habitat for Humanity Information Meetings will be: 

  • 10AM12PM | Saturday, September 14
  • 6PM8PM | Wednesday, September 18

Both meetings will be held in the Basement Conference Room at the Kokomo Public Library (220 N. Union St., Kokomo).

This is for people interested in becoming homeowners. This is the first step in becoming a part of the Habitat Homeownership Program.   

The essential criteria for becoming a Habitat Partner Family include:

  • Need for adequate shelter
  • Ability to pay for the Habitat home
  • Willingness to partner and participate with building your home  
  • We are looking for low-income working families with a gross monthly income of at least $1,400 per month. (Detailed income charts can be found at habitatkokomo.com.)

Some of the benefits of partnering with Habitat for Humanity include:

  • Cost of home below appraised value
  • Input into home design and interior choices
  • Support/advocacy program

Applications will be handed out at the meeting. No RSVP needed. For more information call Katie at (765) 452-2185. 

Welcome to Narrow Gate Horse Ranch

By Jessica Rolph
Reprinted from a March 19, 2019 article from First Farmer’s Bank and Trust.

The first things you notice when you get to Narrow Gate Ranch are horses. The large barn is surrounded by gently rolling acres. The horses graze in small groups, some galloping a few yards as the mood takes them, most still and watchful. It’s not far from downtown Kokomo, but the flowing land and calm presence of the horses leaves you feeling far from anything you’d find in the city. It’s a peaceful scene, and one that Susan Zody appreciates.

For the past few years, Susan has been running the Narrow Gate Horse Ranch. Susan wasn’t familiar with horses when she started on this journey. She had been searching for a way to get the kids to continue coming and engaging with a youth outreach program where she volunteered, and remembered an article she’d read about a therapy horse ranch. After raising the funds through donations and researching therapy ranches, Susan was able to take a group to a nearby facility. The funds continued to roll in, and Susan started seeing the impact the visits were making on some of the kids in the program. Grades improved. Behavior improved. The kids started making better decisions. She was impressed, and committed to continue providing this to the children.

“They come here really, to build a relationship with a horse,” says Susan about the draw for the youth she works with at the ranch. These young people have sometimes suffered abuse and neglect, and an adult seeking to mentor these individuals will often face an uphill battle. But a horse, patient and calm and not demanding, can bridge that divide.

As donations continued to come in, Susan had to ask herself if there was more that she could do. Was it just the small group of children that she currently worked with that were meant to benefit? Could something else be done? It was a crossroads for Susan. She knew the need was greater than what could be met by visiting a horse ranch an hour way. She could see the improvements, but her kids, and the kids she knew needed connection in the community, would benefit from a slightly different approach. One that focused on building relationships and making better decisions, and ultimately, one that had its foundation in faith.

This was where Susan found herself in 2016 when she invited a group of people from the community to a discussion. Would the community support an organization like what she envisioned? Were the resources there to make it successful? Her plans were met with enthusiasm and support, and a board was formed. In a short three years, Narrow Gate Horse Ranch has been established and has weekly classes.

Narrow Gate’s target audience is at-risk youth in the community. In Howard County, Indiana alone, over 4,000 children live at or below the poverty level. At the Ranch, these children are able to grow their confidence, leadership skills, and communication skills.

“I want these kids to gain some confidence and to know that if they do things correctly, there will be a good ending.”

Scott MacDonald

When we visited Susan at the ranch, we also met Scott MacDonald, the equine specialist at the Ranch, and Kelsey and Autumn, two sisters who volunteer. Together, Susan and Scott shared stories that more often than not brought tears to the eyes of both speaker and listeners. The horses at Narrow Gate have faced their own challenges, much like the youth that works with them. The kids relate to the horses. They see their own struggles, and they work together to overcome challenges. It’s a rewarding experience for everyone involved, and one the team at Narrow Gate never tires of.

It was an honor to meet with Susan and Scott at Narrow Gate Horse Ranch, to be introduced to the horses, and to meet some of the youth benefitting from this wonderful operation.

The Old, Old Story

Listen up–it’s the old, old story.
Christ in me, my hope of glory.
He came to die, His life to give,
To abide in us so we could live
Not just breathe, then speak, then die,
But so we could live with Him on high.
Christ inside is the key.
It’s the hope for you and the hope for me.

By Margarett Inez Bates

Christian philosopher, Bible teacher, author, and prolific poet, Margarett Inez Bates is a graduate of Mount Vernon Bible College with a Bachelor’s degree from the Christian International School of Theology. Actively involved in Christian service for over forty years she currently resides in her hometown, Kokomo, Indiana. Margarett has published two books: Poetical Insights: Lifting Up a Standard, and Poetical Insights Vol. 2: A Closer Look. You can read more of her work at Kokomo Poet.

Saturday Night with the Rock

Youth groups and young adults groups are invited to a night of worship, praise and great speakers on Saturday, August 10th. This FREE event is the first time The Rock has held their event outside of Tipton. They are excited to bring this worship opportunity to Kokomo and to Cross America.

Saturday, August 10, 2019 | 6:00PM
Cross America (840 Daniel Dr., Kokomo)

Youth groups and young adults groups are invited to a night of worship, praise and great speakers on Saturday, August 10th. This FREE event is the first time The Rock has held their event outside of Tipton. They are excited to bring this worship opportunity to Kokomo and to Cross America.

Our prayer is that you will encounter God’s unconditional love for you as you come into a place where the Spirit of the Lord is able and willing to rescue you where you are no matter how impossible it may seem. We pray that not only do you experience the Holy Spirit’s presence, but that you will make the exchange from your old self to your new self in Christ. We want to go with you on this journey and know that you will  be set free and set a blaze with passion for God by the power of Jesus as you let Him invade your life.

— The Rock

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners.” (Luke 4:18)

A Reminder to Remember

I am beginning to identify with Jeremiah, the one called “the weeping prophet.” Not that I consider myself a prophet, but I am one who weeps.  
Each time my fingers tap out the words to send from my heart to yours, this thought runs through my brain, “Maybe I should write something that has a lighter feel.” And each time God whispers to my ear that there are so many people hurting, struggling, wounded, and uncertain about the future. I count myself one of the many.

We truly want to finish well the race that is set before us. But in the spirit of authenticity, sometimes I find my faith teetering on the fence of doubt. 

Perhaps the days of lightheartedness will come soon. I hope so. 

But for now, we are called to-

lock arms 
hold one another up 
offer grace when one stumbles
lift each other up
and take one more step in this heavenly race.


We are to remember that this world truly is not our permanent home (Hebrews 13:14). There is a glorious place waiting for us. But until we stand face to face with Christ in all of His glory, we must remember we are ambassadors of His kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20-21). We are called to bring what’s up there down here in our day to day lives. We are reflectors of grace, set apart for a greater purpose.

We are called to know Him and the power of His resurrection as well as the fellowship of His suffering (Philippians 3:10). Confession time. We have all seen that crazed football fan. The one who paints his/her face with the team colors and roars with every advancement of the ball down the field then jumps up punching the air with his/her giant sponge hand when the team scores.  That’s me when I hear the first part of this verse, “the power of His resurrection.” YES!!! Go, God! That’s what I want to see, the resurrection power. 

As I reflect on this verse in light of so many who find themselves in life’s hard places, there is a clearer message coming into view. There can be no resurrection power without death first. Wow! I never saw that before. 

Maybe today you are experiencing a death of sorts–the death of a dream, a job, a relationship, health, or expectation. My friend, these are the places where His resurrection power breathes life into dry bones. 

Every victory won was first a battle fought.
Each body cured, was first a disease diagnosed.
All mountain top views were reached by trekking the valley.


This week’s “Hope for the Journey” is less organized in thought than I am comfortable with.  However, it seemed fitting to take a step back and remember some truths about who we are and who we are called to be. Suffering never negates the greater purposes of God or our identity in Him. 
 

Stand strong, dear one. Hold tight to His promises. Live with your eyes wide open to…

His divine peace
His miraculous ways
His overwhelming joy
His unexplainable presence
His extravagant love
His wondrous grace


This is our God!
Remember Him and live in awe.

Until next time, let’s find hope in the journey,
Evelyn

Hi There! My name is Evelyn. I am a lover of all things family, faith and Fall. So grateful that you found your way here. The chaos of life can leave us feeling a bit worn around the edges. Sometimes a little ray of hope is all we need to provide courage for the next step in our journey. So come on in, take a deep breath. My prayer is that in this space, you will be able to grab hold of hope. For more of Evelyn’s columns, see her blog Hope for the Journey.

When All You Have is a Silent Prayer

My drive into work finds the car filled with an unfamiliar silence. This space is typically flooded with prayers and contemplation woven together with an outburst of worship songs. But not today. Fatigue weighs on my shoulders like a wet blanket…pressing down, smothering. I am trying hard to pray, but nothing escapes my lips but a deep sigh. “Lord, there’s nothing I can say that I haven’t already said.  I am worn. So, if it is ok with you, I will exhale a silent prayer.” 

I wait in uncomfortable silence. Will He speak? If He does, will it be the answer to so many prayers I have wept? Will strength find its way to my weary bones? 

Then in the quiet, I hear that still small voice, “Look around.” Hands clutched tight around the steering wheel I glance to the left. The sun is peeking up over the eastern horizon spreading rays of vibrant orange, plum red, and canary yellow across the sky. I turn to the right and catch a glimpse of cornfields, swaying gently with the rhythm of the wind. My heart inhales deep gratitude for the farmers who thought their fields would lie in muddy waste this year.  My eyes are waking up as I spy geese skimming the diamond-studded ponds on either side of the road. The fog begins to lift off of the landscape and my heart as I take in the wonders of His handiwork.  

He speaks.

“My child, you have prayed all your wants, concerns, and needs. Though I long to hear your heart, there is something you are missing. You are consumed with expressing your weaknesses, while I am more concerned that you understand my strength. This life is less about you constantly remembering your inefficiencies and more about embracing my all-sufficiency. Remember me, who I am. I am God.

God

With that simple yet profound word whispered to my heart partnered with the visual reminder of His creative power, hope and strength begin to rise. 

There are books of the Bible that get referenced abundantly when we face trials. David paints a picture of the authentic heart throughout all of the Psalms. We get a front-row seat to his deepest struggles and his resolve as he concludes that God is God. Somehow, his version of man’s inner wrestling is easier to identify with than say that of Lamentations. Just the mention of Lamentations and I feel as though I have watched a movie where all the heroes die in the end. 

Yet today, that is precisely where God led me. Tucked away in this book of deep grief is a passage that solidifies what God has been speaking to me in the car. Written by someone whose prayers were steeped in more pain than the ones I have been praying. But someone who in the middle of the crushing remembered the very character of God…and that was enough. 

But this I call to mind,
and therefore, I have hope:
 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore, I will hope in Him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24

There is truth to be gleaned from the old hymn Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

It has been quite some time since I have shifted my gaze toward Him. I had allowed the weight of my circumstances to nag at me, reminding me of lack. But one glance in his direction was all I needed to remind me that He is enough. No matter what surrounds me, He is enough to face it head-on. 

What about you? Do the voices in your head pull your gaze away from the one who loves you more than you love yourself? Are your eyes locked tight on your failures rather than His faithfulness? Then maybe these verses from Lamentations will guide your vision back to His glory like they did mine.

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
to the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:25-26

Oh, my friends, life gets so busy and burdens pile up. It is in our nature to grab hold of our failures rather than reach for His faithfulness. But if we are to be a people of hope in troubled times, then we must turn our gaze away from our inadequacies and behold the One who is more than enough. 

“Father, the landfill of my failures continues to pile up. But You, oh God, are the faithful one. Today, fix my eyes on you the one starter and finisher of my faith. Remind me of all the ways you have led me up to this point in my life. And as I remember, may hope rise out of the ashes. May I see with a fresh vision that you God, who created all things, is the very one that cradles my heart in your hands.”

Until next time, let’s find hope in the journey,
Evelyn Sherwood

Hi There! My name is Evelyn. I am a lover of all things family, faith and Fall. So grateful that you found your way here. The chaos of life can leave us feeling a bit worn around the edges. Sometimes a little ray of hope is all we need to provide courage for the next step in our journey. So come on in, take a deep breath. My prayer is that in this space, you will be able to grab hold of hope. For more of Evelyn’s columns, see her blog Hope for the Journey.