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Anawim Christian Community is a community church made up of the homeless and the mentally ill. Our main goal is to provide for people's needs (including the need to be a disciple of Jesus) where they are at. We don't feel that a person needs to be something different before they get the help they need. Our center is in Gresham OR, which is where we lead and organize day shelters and a worship service. We also have a community house in N. Portland where housing is being provided for a few people and opportunities for community worship. We are connected to ministries in SE Portland and St. Johns, where we distribute food and clothing. And finally, through the internet, we educate people from almost every country in the world about homelessness, mental illness and the Christian response to each.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Save My Life

We Need Your Help!

"Blessed is the one who considers the needy, for the Lord will help him when he is in need." 
Psalm 41:1-2 

Dear Friends of Anawim:

If you think this is a fundraising letter, well, it is.  I apologize about this right now.  I'm not comfortable with anybody asking for contributions, most assuredly not myself. However, we do need your help. Here's why:

Anawim is providing a service that few can do.  Yes, many churches out there feed the homeless. I'm glad they do. They're making a great contribution to aid a very serious problem. But how many churches create a Christian community of the homeless?  How many give the homeless a home, physically, spiritually and socially?

I'm not trying to say that we're better than other churches.  Frankly, we realize -- better than most -- just how much work is involved in this process, as well as the heartbreak and effort in overcoming various kinds of anxieties. We don't expect most churches to do this.  But because this ministry is unique and provides something most churches cannot, we need your help.

Because we are a community of the poor, we need assistance to maintain our financial base so we can continue to help ourselves:

-- We need help to purchase and maintain our center where we worship and offer showers, clothes and food. 

-- We need help to maintain our community house where the homeless live in Christian community and given a place off the street, especially those whose health  cannot allow them to be on the street anymore.

-- We need help to maintain our transportation which brings food to those who need it.

-- We need help to restore IDs for those who lost them

-- We need help to offer day labor for those who are unemployed

-- We need help to offer warmth to those lacking shelter in the coming winter months.

Every day, we are doing the work other churches might want to be doing, but can't.  We are loving the poor, meeting their needs and coming up with innovative ideas to improve their plight.  I'm not trying to boast, it's just what we have dedicated our lives to doing.

We aren't a large organization, however.  Our base is really four couples and a number of homeless that help out.  And we don't have a huge budget.  So we try to make the money count.  And it means that our people aren't dependent on our money, just our friendship, knowledge, prayers and space.

Would you be willing to partner with us? Even a small donation of $10 per month would help a great deal.

Last year about a dozen people offered to contribute every month to help us keep our doors open and to provide opportunities to the homeless.  Now we are looking for others who might make this kind of commitment, as well.  Would you contribute a monthly amount to keep our doors open?  And I don't mean this metaphorically.  If we get the help we need, we will be able to keep our doors open.

I know it's a hard time for everyone.  But if you have a little, could you please help us? Whether you can afford a one time gift or a regular monthly contribution, it will mean a great deal , not just to me but to the hundreds of homeless people we serve.

To those of you who have given to Anawim in the past year, I thank you with my whole heart. You have kept us alive. Please consider doing so again. I wouldn't ask if it weren't so important.

If you are willing to give, please reply to me with the amount you are pledging to give.

 You can send your contribution to us via regular mail at 3733 N Williams Portland, OR 97227 or you can pay online through Paypal here:  Tax-deductible  receipts are available upon request with mailed contributions. Please make checks payable to Anawim Christian Community.

Thanks for your prayers and help.  And thanks for your consideration.  God bless you!

Steve Kimes
Pastor of Anawim Christian Community

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Today we are focusing on Sanctuary. Sanctuary isn't just something that
Anawim provides-- shelter and safety and hope for the homeless and mentally ill.  Sanctuary is also a place -formerly Peace Mennonite Church- an acre and a half of property in North Gresham.  Anawim and our sister church Bethel International City Church have been managing Sanctuary for the last year and we have made a lot of changes, along with much help from our brothers and sisters of many congregations in East Multnomah County.  Over time, this spot has truly been a Sanctuary not only for the homeless, but also for African immigrants and Hmong immigrants. We have a prayer house dedicated to prayer and a center which teaches immigrants basic computer skills.  And there is much that the homeless do for themselves.  Sam and I would like to give you a short tour here. 

Putting It Together

Here is Anawim's greenhouse.  As you can see, we still have a long way to go before we are ready to plant.  But Jeff Strong is working on it.  If you'd like to help him with supplies or work, please contact us.

Cleaning Up

Every week Anawim provides more than 50 showers to people who don't otherwise have access to showers.  This means that we have more than 50 towels that have to be washed every week. Vickie at the Anawim house stays up all night once or twice a week to wash the towels and donated clothes we receive from the homeless.

Let It Grow, Let It Grow, Let It Grow

 Here is a row of our veggie garden.  This year, we have planted tomatoes, squash and peppers, and we will be planting more.  Look at that rich soil! This food will go to the homeless and families that find produce to be too costly.


 "Shalom" , the Hebrew word usually translated "peace",  is not just a lack of violence, but  the well-being of a whole person or a whole community.  For the homeless to live well is to give them self respect as well as a secure place to be.

“Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
~John 14:27

Everybody Get Together

Every Tuesday different people from Anawim and other churches gather to work on the acre and a half property in Gresham.  They keep the
landscaping in shape, create gardens and do some general clean up.

Talented Foks

“I'm fixing a hole’”…. and a lot else.  At Anawim, we have many skilled laborers in carpentry, landscaping, painting, bicycle repair and other kinds of handyman chores.  We use what skills we have for our properties.  You could use some locally as well, just contact us.

(If you click on the picture you can better see John repairing a hose.)

Waiting For You

Here is Yvan Strong's new art studio.  This is a place where those in Anawim can create art using a variety of mediums.  If you'd like to join us, regular hours will soon be available to anyone!

A Mess By Any Other Name Might Still Be Organized

It may look messy, but Linda knows where everything is!  On these shelves are soaps, toothpastes, razors, first aid, lotions, deodorant, hand warmers and various other items that the homeless need to survive.

Behind the Scenes

Here's Sam and Paloma getting this newsletter ready for you.  Isn't
Paloma a great helper?