HCC News Archives

10

A Preview of God’s Plan

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13, ESV).

God has a plan for your life. He has some objectives for you. Even knowing those truths, it’s still easy to get stuck in the bottomless vortex of questions: Who am I supposed to marry? Where am I going to live? What am I going to do for work? It’s time to set aside the questions and get back to what God has said.

His plans for you are not so much about those specifics as they are about developing your character. Everything else will sort itself out.

God always has plans for the welfare and future of those who are His. He always has plans to give His children hope. Even in the midst of sobering seasons of discipline, God pours out His heart for His people, pointing them (and us) toward relationship. The circumstances He allows are designed to cause us to call upon Him. We’re always able to call, seek, and find Him because He wants us to call, seek, and find Him!

When God says, “I know the plans I have for you,” His words are a great comfort. But wouldn’t you love to get a look at those plans? The tension isn’t, “Does God know?” The tension is, “I want to know!” Although God understands our questions, He doesn’t owe us any answers. It’s as if He says, “I know, but I’m not going to fill you in . . . yet.”

He does give us hints, however. God provides us with some general categories that describe His purposes. First, they are plans for your welfare. The Hebrew word is shalom, meaning “the complete state of well-being; fulfillment; prosperity; peace.” As God looks down the telescope of time, His plans are for your total well-being.

Second, His designs for you are not for evil. People who are determined to prove they can live contrary to God’s program will pay a price for their experiment. God’s plans take us away from evil; ours tend to take us smack into the middle of it.

Third, God’s plans are designed to give you a future and a hope, both immediately and eternally. The biblical definition of hope is a confident expectation of something better tomorrow. When your hope is in God, He’ll always deliver. It doesn’t matter what has happened, better things are coming. That’s hope! You can be confident He has good plans for you.

Journal

  • What have you learned about God’s good plans for you?
  • Why doesn’t God reveal all His plans for us now? How does the not-knowing grow our faith?

Pray

Father, thank You that You have good plans for me. How ever I may feel and whatever I may face today, I can anticipate that You are working for good in all of it. So I call to You, come to You, and pray to You, believing that You hear me. I seek You, believing You will allow Yourself to be found by me. I know I can’t imagine all the good You have planned for my life, but I trust Your Word, so I thank You in faith. In the unfailing name of Jesus I pray, amen.

— James MacDonald

For more from James MacDonald and the “Walk in the Word” Bible teaching ministry, visit WalkInTheWord.com.

 

22

Monthly Motivation: Turkey Blessings

Last month a friend called the HCC and asked if she could donate a few frozen turkeys and other Thanksgiving specific food items. Of course, the HCC welcomed these food donations and asked the friend to drop them off at HCC Phoenix the Saturday before Thanksgiving so they could be handed out to families that day. Little did we, the HCC staff, know that over 60 frozen turkeys would be delivered, along with an additional 500 pounds of nonperishables! Each family who visited and shopped at the HCC Phoenix that afternoon sure were BLESSED!

21

Welcome to the HCC Team!

All of us HCC would like to welcome Katie Martino as our newest team member. Katie will assisting in many areas within Harvest Compassion Centers such as, leading our social media efforts, helping with HCC shifts and various administrative duties. Katie, born and raised in Phoenix, has just been accepted at University of Denver as she seeks her master’s in social work.

Welcome to the HCC team Katie, we’re blessed to have you!

21

HCC Volunteer Spotlight: Kathleen Trapp

This December, HCC would like to shine the spotlight on an amazing HCC volunteer, Kathleen Trapp, whose own parents taught her how to serve at a young age. Today Kathleen continues to live out the same lessons she learned long ago. As Kathleen and her husband aim to teach their own teenage boys the same lessons in serving others, the HCC has played a key role. Kathleen began volunteering at the HCC over four years ago with her son, Max, as they were looking for service opportunities that allowed kids to volunteer. HCC welcomed Kathleen and Max with open arms and they immediately began volunteering on Saturdays. “I love this time with my son and learning about the needs of others right in our community,” commented Kathleen.

Kathleen and her entire family are now involved with HCC in numerous ways- from volunteering during HCC shifts, to helping with local bread pick-ups, joining our Advisory Board, helping with HCC’s backpack/school supply and Christmas toy drives and setting up community volunteer projects with Trapp Technology and the Paradise Valley High School varsity football team.

When we asked Kathleen what her favorite thing is about volunteering at the HCC she replied, “My favorite thing about serving at the HCC is definitely the people. Working side by side with HCC guests, volunteers and staff. It is a great feeling to work with a team that have the same desire, to serve others and show each person served they have value and they are loved. My favorite experience was scheduling the PVHS varsity football players and coaches to stock and get ready for the upcoming Saturday shift. Watching my son, Max, and his team work hard and have so much fun while selflessly giving their time really touched me. It’s exciting to be a part of HCC and I love that they welcome the youth of our community to serve and learn the needs right here in our neighborhood.”

As the HCC’s continue to expand there are also expanding needs. Kathleen constantly encourages others to use one’s gifts and talents at the HCC! Take a step of faith and give it a try. Serving others in your community and seeing the difference that is made in others’ lives is very powerful. It is not only rewarding, but also helps us see the bigger picture of God at work in all our lives.

Kathleen added, “God has blessed us to be a blessing and I am so grateful that HCC is a place where our family can serve. Funny thing is, when I volunteer for the HCC, I feel like I am the one blessed so much more by the other volunteers, community members and clients served!”

Thank you to Kathleen and the entire Trapp family for being a strong example of a family who serves and loves their community!

If you’re interested in volunteering at HCCs across the Valley, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Adrie Olson at aolson@msfcares.org.

3

Your Year-End Giving & Impact AZ Teaming Up!

As you consider your year-end giving this month, we humbly ask that you consider making a year-end gift to the Harvest Compassion Center. This year HCC has teamed up with Impact Arizona, an Arizona Charitable Tax Credit mentoring program. The Arizona Charitable Tax Credit program allows all Arizona tax payers to donate their tax liability to the Harvest Compassion Center instead of paying the state.

With our partnership with Impact Arizona HCC is competing to win one of their grants totaling $50,000! How does HCC win one of these Impact Arizona grants? Every Chartable Tax Credit gift helps us win! Charitable Tax Credits of any size helps HCC take one step closer to winning a grant and multiplying your gift!

Text FEEDAZ to 77977 or donate online today!

To learn more about this amazing Arizona program please watch this 2-minute video…

3

Blessing Kids This Christmas!

There’s still time to get in on Harvest Compassion Center’s Annual Toy Drive! This month HCC Phoenix and Maryvale will begin distributing toys to families who come in for their regular shopping trip. Each family will be invited to take up to two bags of toys. The toys in the bags are sorted specifically for girls and boys in different age ranges. To date, there are over 40 local businesses, groups and churches collecting toys to help us reach our MASSIVE goal of collecting and distributing 6,000 toys this month!

Will you help HCC bless kids this month? Please consider hosting a mini-collection with your extended family, neighborhood or at your work Christmas party. Toys can be dropped off at either HCC location through Saturday, December 15th.

Thank you to each volunteer and group who have been involved in helping make this HCC Toy Drive a blessing to our community.

To all HCC supporters and friends, we wish you a blessed Christmas!

1

Christmas Toy Drive

We need YOUR HELP to stock our centers with toys and holiday gifts for local families in need.

Christmas Giving Made Easy

What to do in 5 E-Z steps:

  1. Email Adrie Olson that you are interested in obtaining a Toy Collection Bin.
  2. Set your dates that your business/group/church will collect.
  3. Decorate your bin, spread the word about the Toy Drive and HCC’s outreach and have fun! People want to get involved! Click to Download Poster
  4. Collect toys and gifts for kids ages 1 to 16 years old. We especially need gifts for older teens such as make-up, athletic gear, body lotions, gift cards (Amazon, iTunes, etc.) Toys should be new and unwrapped.
  5. Schedule your drop off time at HCC to deliver your donated toys.

Please sign up early! Toy Distribution begins Dec. 1 to enable us to serve as many families as possible!

Other ways you can help:

  • Volunteers are needed to help HCC hand out donated toys.
  • Be part of one of HCC’s weekly shifts.
  • Donations of Food and Clothing are always welcome.
  • Make a 1-Time or Ongoing Monthly cash donation online.
10

Up For Renewal

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect ((Romans 12:2, ESV).

There is a bull’s-eye, and then there’s the center of the bull’s-eye. If you threw a dart that truly hit the mark on “how to change,” and someone else threw another dart, splitting yours right down the middle—that dart, the one pointed directly in the center of the dartboard—is “the renewal of your mind.”

The process of renewing your mind is at the heart of real change.

It’s how you…

Protect your mind. When Jesus was forty days in the wilderness, fasting and praying before setting out on the public portion of His ministry, the Word of God was His protection against temptation. You know this: how He answered every challenge with Scripture. “The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written…'” (Matthew 4:3–4a). “For it is written…” (verse 6). “Again it is written…” (verse 7). Jesus could have made up new words if He liked, and those would’ve worked too. But He wanted us to see how these words, from the Word we’ve already been given, are mighty for our safety. When faced with temptation, you can guard your mind from defeat if you’ve renewed it in the Word of God. It’s also how you . . .

Wash your mind. You alone know the things you’ve seen, the things you’ve heard, the things you’ve looked at and thought about—and how they can still factor into the sins you’re drawn toward. But the Word of God can wash your mind clean. Paul speaks of what Christ has done for us, for His church, how He “gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:25b–26). Through continuous exposure to Scripture—reading it, studying it, memorizing it, meditating on it, and sharing it with others—His truth can wash away what’s been infused or allowed into your mind, and in the process can sanctify (make holy) your thoughts. Let the Word cleanse your mind, and . . .

Set your mind. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). Just as you “set” a nail by taking a few strong cracks at it, anchoring it into position so you can drive it down into the wood, the Bible sets your mind in a sure and steady place. Maybe you’re waking up today to a thousand decisions needing to be made. Maybe you can feel the pressure building already, afraid you won’t be up to the task, afraid you’ll cave to old habits of coping. No, you’ll be fine, if you “set your [mind]” on the Word of God.

“Why can’t I get any traction with these problems in my family?” you may be asking. “Why can’t I seem to get ahead and make progress? Why can’t I get these temptations in my rearview mirror once and for all? Why can’t I change?” Take that dart in hand, and aim it squarely at the center of the bull’s-eye. Discipline yourself to pick up the Word, even if you don’t feel like it. Seek it for your protection, your cleansing, and your strengthening in Christ, and it will soon become your desire, then your delight. It will renew your mind every day.

Journal

  • What other alternatives can seem more urgent, useful, or desirable than the Word?
  • How has having a renewed, biblically-thinking mind protected you in recent days?

Pray

Father, thank You, thank You, thank You for Your Word. It is such a generous gift, perfect in all it asserts. It is healthy and helpful and nourishing. I need it—for comfort, hope, strength, and wisdom. Forgive me for times I neglect it and act like it’s optional. Bring me into a season of life where I’m digging into Your Word more intently than ever, with deep gratitude. Renew my mind in Your Word this day, in the name of Jesus, amen.

— James MacDonald

For more from James MacDonald and the “Walk in the Word” Bible teaching ministry, visit WalkInTheWord.com.

 

3

Team MSC Runs Another Successful Race!

Last month Team MSC gathered 200 strong as we partnered for the second year with DuPage Pads in Wheaton, Illinois for our annual 5k walk/run. MSC, Inc. has been racing annually for the past 8 years in the Chicagoland area each fall. We welcomed MSC partner Harvest Christian Academy who brought race participants and most of their student athletes to volunteer for the morning’s run.

Team MSC had over 35 race participants who locked arms with MSC, Inc. to raise funding for all MSC ongoing projects. Together Team MSC raised over $87,000 from over 360 donors!

We want to highlight Rockstar Team MSC participant Chuck Sampson who at 91 ½ years young took on the course and finished strong, plus raised over $5,000 from 59 donors! Chuck said, “As long as I have breath in my lungs and there is God’s work to be done, I’m all in!” Team MSC was inspired by Chuck’s tenacity and spirit and we thank him and every other participant, donor and partner who supported Team MSC!

A special thank you to DuPage Pads and Harvest Christian Academy and each volunteer who helped make this day possible.

View more pictures from the event here

10

HCC Chandler Making Progress in East Valley

Many of you know that there are officially three Harvest Compassion Center’s in the Valley; Phoenix, Maryvale and our sister location in Chandler, who serves in the East Valley. Recently, HCC Chandler welcomed a new Lead Coordinator, Jonny Dekkers who will be taking over all daily operations. Jonny is an Arizona native who married his high school sweetheart Carrie and together they have four children. Serving and working at HCC Chandler has been a family affair, as the entire family has been involved with HCC Chandler for quite some time. If you drop-in any day of the week you will probably see the entire family hard at work stocking shelves and sorting clothing donations.

When we asked Jonny what he enjoyed most about working at HCC Chandler he replied, “I have been amazed by the level of openness our guests exhibit. We can pray for real hardships, problems and fears with many of the people seeking help. As I was walking a woman out to her car with her HCC groceries I asked her if she wanted to pray for anything? She responded with joy telling me that the prayers at HCC were working and continued to share some awesome ways that God was working in her life.”

Jonny is excited to grow deeper relationships with HCC guests and partners as they continue to meet the growing list of needs of their community.

All of us at HCC Phoenix and Maryvale are excited to welcome Jonny and his family to the HCC family as we all continue to feed, clothe and love the hurting, hungry and hidden in the Valley.