All of us experience poverty at some level. The Bible tells us that poverty is not just a material matter nor is it only a soul matter. Poverty is a whole person matter and so the answer to poverty must be a whole person answer.

We believe that poverty, at its most basic level is a lack of one or more of the 4 key relationships that enable human beings, created in God’s image, to flourish.  Those 4 key relationships are our relationship with God, Self, Others and Creation

Material poverty is experienced when our relationship to creation and work is diminished but more often than not that situation did not develop in isolation but is deeply affected or possibly even created by our broken relationships to God, Self and Others.  Jesus came to fix and rule over all those relationships and He is the true and ultimate HOPE poverty alleviation.  That is how he announced his earthly ministry and he invites us to join him in those efforts of bringing HOPE to all for the Glory of God and the flourishing of His people.

What
is it?

In short, Team Hope is an initiative begun by Peoria Rescue Ministries in concert with what we see as a larger movement of the Holy Spirit in our world. It involves to important concepts, church community and human flourishing. This is best evidenced in the parable of the Good Samaritan by the roles of the Good Samaritan, the innkeeper and the injured traveler.

COMMUNITY IN THE TRUEST SENSE

Without each other, we are going to have a tough time achieving anything. Apart from Jesus, we’ll fall apart entirely. It’s in this spirit of community that Peoria Rescue Ministries has developed Team Hope. It is founded first in the hope of Jesus Christ and secondly in the teamwork needed to bring that hope to bear fruit in the lives of our neighbors in need.

  • TEAM HOPE Dedicated to bringing HOPE to our neighbors in need by creating pathways of human flourishing that lead to renewed relationships with God, Self, Others and Creation.

    • The Community Groups of people coming together missionally and ecumenically as a church body to be the Good Samaritan focused on impact for the Kingdom of God, for the glory of God through the provision of help and hope for neighbors in need. They answer the call from Deuteronomy 15 to live openhandedly and give generously to their neighbors in need. This means not only financial gifts, but gifts of time and personal investment.

    • The Workers Stepping into the role of the innkeeper in the parable of the Good Samaritan, they work so that the traveler might flourish and move from the perpetual need of crisis care into pathways of transformation leading to renewed and sustainable life.

  • The Goal is that neighbors in need might flourish and experience life transformation through the radical good news of Jesus. As a community is relational in nature, the goals are also driven by relationship with God, self, others and creation.

Human Flourishing

Human flourishing is about sustainability. The goal of the innkeeper was to nurse the traveler back to full health and the ability to sustain that health himself. The goal of the Good Samaritan was to enable that to happen.

Unsurprisingly, over the course of Peoria Rescue Ministries’ history we have found the distinct needs in the lives of our neighbors that requires this type of partnership. We’ve experienced that partnership success as we’ve begun implementing programs that have show a great deal of promise if brought about on a much larger scale. The programs we have both in place and in development lead to pathways of transformation and renewal which can only happen through the good news of Jesus and his kingdom.

Help that may hurt

Some help, although full of good intentions, can actually undermine the potential for human flourishing. While many of our programs begin with compassionate crisis care, if we provide only that level of care, the transition and Christ-centered renewal of key life relationships (God, Self, Others and Creation) will not happen.

A Team bringing HOPE for human flourishing to our community and our neighbors in need can transform and renew lives toward sustainability and significance through the good news of Jesus and His kingdom.

If we wish to make a real impact on poverty and turn a net negative impact to a net positive we must address the whole person and develop pathways toward that human flourishing.  Estimated average costs of someone experiencing chronic homelessness are $40K annually.  With the recent drop of homeless of more than 100 individuals that’s an annual impact of somewhere in the neighborhood of $4M.  TEAM HOPE MAKES economic sense.    

From Transaction to transformation

The reality is this: transactional, relief-focused efforts are not sufficient to address human flourishing and bring about sustainable outcomes. A new relational, developmental focus is needed to bring about transformation.

Teaming up with Jesus who came to bring good news to the poor, proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, release the oppressed and to proclaim that the year of the Lord’s favor is the very core of that transformation.

CULTURE CHANGES

At Peoria Rescue Ministries we have spent the last couple of years making significant adjustments to our culture and ministry so that we are now ready to call on the Church as a Community to come and partner with us in bringing about human flourishing for the glory of God and for the transformation of our community. This means:

  • Partners committed to seeing God at work renewing and restoring our community and substantially alleviating poverty among us by:

    • Supporting PRM financially on a consistent basis – either monthly or annually

      • Based on the cost of relational – life of life ministry we would ask that you consider supporting at a $40/month or $500/ year basis but know this – if you want to be a part of TEAM HOPE and can’t give $40 /month but are willing to give some or other types of support – we want you to be a part of TEAM HOPE

    • Supporting PRM prayerfully that God will be glorified

    • Supporting us relationally – either as a Neighbor or engaging in an event

    • Supporting us “recruitmentally” actively recruiting others to join TEAM HOPE and make an impact on our community.  

  • Offering Jesus our small amount of Bread and Fish so that he can miraculously multiply that and bring blessing to thousands more.

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What does it mean?

God is doing amazing things in our ministry and our community but He wants to do MORE. What does this mean for Team Hope?

  • We must provide the necessary support to fully implement a ministry model that emphasizes relation-based human flourishing addressing all aspects of someone’s life: Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, Vocational.

  • We must continue to engage in and grow our developmental programing that focuses on individual pathways of renewal with the goals of:

    • Experiencing a life altering relationship with Jesus – we desire that all those we have the privilege of serving come to know our gracious and redeeming God through his Son - Jesus

    • Securing Permanent Housing – in the past 12 months we were able to place more than 160 Men and Women in Permanent Housing

    • Attaining Living Wage Jobs – in the past year we helped place more than 215 Men and Women in Jobs which is more than 4 times the amount we placed just a little over a year ago

    • Achieving Healthy Living – which means a life free from addiction and bondage to life controlling circumstances.

    • Establishing Thriving Connection to the Church where our graduates can grow and serve together with us as valued members of our communities.

  • It means we can grow our outreach and aftercare programs to better serve our graduates and community. That means the provision of new opportunities like our coming Men’s 1212 Community Home located at 1212 SW Adams where our program graduates can continue to grow and develop as they prepare for permanent housing. 

  •  It means we can enhance our Growth Classes, Personal Counseling and Client Advocacy so we can collaborate with our clients to create transformational pathways toward sustainability and significance.

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Why does it matter?

First it matters to someone like John  – John came to Peoria Rescue Ministry having spent time in jail, finding his life ravaged by addiction and believing the lie that no one cared, certainly not God and thinking that all anyone thought about him was that he was a loser, homeless, jobless, alone and addicted.  But at PRM and because of supporters like you -  we didn’t see John that way.

We saw him as a one who was created in the image of God with gifts and talents and the ability to flourish in this life if his relationship with God, with himself, with others and with Creation could be renewed and restored.  We saw someone that God loved so much that he gave his one and only son for John and that if John believed in that he would not only have everlasting life but abundant life here and now. 

We saw HOPE for John like God sees hope for all of us – hope to renew our brokenness and poverty and to enable us to enjoy and glorify him forever.  To flourish in and because of God and his love for us. And John believed.  And because of that belief John has become a new person with a new future, not just a way off future of eternity but a hope of living in God’s fullness here and now. – here is what John says about the HOPE he found at PRM and because of support like TEAM HOPE  “Lorem Ipsum, Lorem Ipsum, Lorem Ipsum.

Look, we have plenty of folks (thousands in fact) within our community that will provide some money for us to feed and shelter the homeless, to offer them help in the midst of their crisis.  And that’s wonderful – it really is.  But what if we could do more than that?  What if God wants more than that?  What if God wants to see those lives transformed by His grace and good news and what if he wants to see those men and women flourish and find HOPE for a renewed and sustainable life.  The answer is HE DOES AND HE WANTS US TO BE PART OF THAT ANSWER WITH HIM – Jesus told us that when he announced why he came -  He said He came bring good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed and to proclaim that the year of the Lord’s favor.  Folks that is the HOPE of the Gospel and that is what TEAM HOPE means to our neighbors in need and to our community - following Jesus in his mission for his glory!!!  Don’t you want to be part of that team, of his team???

In the end, it’s because this is what God sees as true worship (Isaiah 58:10-12).

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. (sustainable HOPE AND HELP)
Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.

Not all of us are CALLED to ministry to the poor and oppressed. God calls and equips each of us for a ministry of the good works he has prepared for us so again not all of us are called to a ministry to the poor and oppressed. BUT all of us COMMANDED and REQUIRED to love our neighbor, to live openhandedly and generously toward the poor to show mercy to those in need and all of us must do that and TEAM HOPE is one way we can partner together to do that.

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