Ministry Village Offers Showers of Blessing
Last week, we introduced a new Tender Hearts Caring Hands service, soon to be available to our homeless clients. The Showers of Blessing ministry will operate a clean and safe shower facility on the campus of Ministry Village at Olive.
“There will be guidelines in place for anyone who uses the facility,” explains Kathleen Schuster, Program Director for Tender Hearts Caring Hands. “Safety, cleanliness and hygiene are the priorities for everyone.” Once the Ministry Village team had secured the 4-shower trailer from My Father’s Vineyard, Kathleen jumped into planning and execution mode. The plan included pouring a foundation behind the MVO building, near the neighboring Health and Hope Clinic who serves many of the same clients as Tender Hearts. The trailer also required electricity, so electrical work needed to be part of the plan.
After construction delays and weather interruptions, the foundation was continually being postponed. Not to be deterred, Kathleen, Jeremy Portmann – MVO’s Executive Director – and a few other Ministry Village employees watched some YouTube videos on framing a concrete pad. They decided to gather the necessary supplies, pray, and move forward with a little DIY project. Working together, they framed out the foundation themselves in a day, and then called in some construction friends to level the area and pour the concrete. Even after having to repair the concrete from footprints left by a delivery person who ran through the fresh concrete (they seemed to dash a little harder when they realized what was happening, if we do say so ourselves), the team declared the concrete foundation project a huge success, and they were thrilled to be able to move forward to the next phase.
Once the foundation was complete, the trailer had been delivered, and the electrical work was underway, Kathleen’s focus turned to organizing the supplies needed and outlining the procedures necessary to make the new ministry successful. The 20,000-pound trailer is movable, and will be relocated for safety during natural disasters like hurricanes. The initial program plan includes offering showers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to those who check-in with the Tender Hearts ministry. The showers will have locks and a water timer to ensure fair access. The Ronald McDonald House, which receives an abundance of hygiene donations from area hotels, has offered to partner with MVO to provide toiletries and some linens. And as an additional answer to prayer, an Olive Baptist women’s group (SHE – Sharing Helping and Encouraging) led by Pam Hinote, donated new towels and washcloths to help get the shower ministry off to a great start.
“I am so thankful that the Lord is providing this new opportunity for our ministry,” says Kathleen. “We have so many friends in the homeless community who are kind and caring individuals, who deserve to be treated with love and dignity. This is one way we can show them that they have not been forgotten, and that we care.”
Tender Hearts Caring Hands and Ministry Village at Olive would like to thank My Father’s Vineyard for allowing us the use of their shower trailer. We would also like to thank Pam Hinote and the SHE group at Olive for their donation of linens; Ronald McDonald House for their donation of hygiene items; Jerald Miller for doing the electrical work to make the trailer operational; and Karen Tillman for volunteering to help manage the new ministry. Thank you for using your time and talents to shine the light of Jesus and serve our community through Ministry Village at Olive!
❤️ To see more photos of the construction and setup process, click here and check out our Tender Hearts Showers of Blessing photo album.❤️
- The mission of Ministry Village at Olive is to put the words of Jesus into action throughout our community – “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40, NIV) Tender Hearts Caring Hands is MVO’s benevolence program, which provides family food bags as well as financial assistance including rent and utilities to those who qualify. THCH is also a lifeline to a large number of homeless men and women in the area who depend greatly on the hygiene bags and ready-to-eat food items THCH provides.
- Tender Hearts Caring Hands accepts donations Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 2PM at the Ministry Village at Olive office (1716 E. Olive Road). Donations of nonperishable food items and travel-size hygiene items are accepted. Financial donations are appreciated and go toward purchasing the items THCH distributes each day. Supporters can also make purchases through Amazon and items can be shipped directly to the Ministry Village at Olive office.
- If you would like to make donations specific to the needs of the new shower ministry, contact Kathleen Schuster by email (KSchuster@ministryvillage.org) or phone (850) 475-1118.
- To donate financially to Tender Hearts Caring Hands or any Ministry Village program, click here.
- If you would like to volunteer with Tender Hearts Caring Hands, contact Kathleen Schuster at (850) 475-1118 or by email at KSchuster@ministryvillage.org.