Sunnybrook Hope Center Newsletter

February 2023

Love and Grace

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved." Esphesians 2:4-5 (NIV)

Everyone has a story. For those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our faith believes that during the difficulties of life we know He is right beside us. No matter what we've done, we know Jesus loves us and extends His grace. For those who don't know Jesus, the darkness must be isolating.

Recently, a young couple walked through our doors. Their anxiety and fear was evident. They had been sober for 6 weeks, but were currently still living in an unsafe environment. The temptation they faced every day was a struggle. They felt like they were trying to do the right thing but didn't have anywhere to turn. We shared with them how grateful we were that the Lord led them to Sunnybrook Hope Center. We reminded them it took courage to walk through our doors - and we were so glad they did! Ultimately, we were able to connect them with safe housing. bless them with food, and pray with them. They did not believe they were worthy of God's love. What an opportunity to remind them of God's incredible love for them and His grace.

I was reminded the Lord continues to work through Sunnybrook Hope Center as His beacon of light to the hurting, lost, and under-resourced in our community. Our volunteers have the incredible responsibility to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Their open hearts and open minds extend Jesus' love and grace to each of our guests, including this young couple. I'm always in awe of how God uses each of our volunteers - and their stories - to minister to our guests.

Love and grace. It's that simple. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to witness all of God's goodness each week.

God's blessings,

Tina Stroud

Executive Director

God's Restoration and Healing

God's Gift of Hope

"Recently, I walked alongside a retired veteran who shared he was raising their grandchildren as their daughter battled with addiction. He was very negative in visiting about his life, retirement plans were disrupted, and there 'is no light at the end of the tunnel.'

But then, about halfway through, I said something that must have been from God. I can't remember what it was exactly, but something about second chances....and after that, I began to notice a shift in his demeanor. He suddenly admitted he hadn't been around much when his kids were growing up and this time with his "grandkids" and has been a chance to be a real father figure in their lives. His perspective seemed to shift on everything as he was beginning to view things from this new lens.

He even allowed me to pray with him (which at the beginning, did not seem possible). As he walked away, with a smile on his face and little more pep in his step, it occurred to me, that is hope at work; and God gave that gift to him.... and allowed me to be a small part of it. What a privilege to witness that firsthand."

Submitted by a volunteer

FOR Siouxper Bowl Collects 3,000 Pounds of Food

On the day of the Big Game, Sunnybrook Community Church hosted its first FOR Siouxper Bowl celebration to raise awareness for individuals and families facing food insecurity in Siouxland. Guests were welcomed into a football-themed lobby with photo opportunity, football inflatable throwing contest, and complimentary popcorn. A special thanks to Sunnybrook Community Church, Jolly Time Popcorn, Hope Center volunteers, and Morningside University Football Players for your generous support of the event. Together, we celebrated with 3,000 pounds of food that was donated!

"We are incredibly overwhelmed how God showed up in a BIG way," said Tina Stroud, Executive Director. "He moved in people's hearts to bring food to help stock our shelves; He whispered encouragement to individuals to join Him in serving in the Hope Center; and so much more. It was so much more than food."

Hope Redemption Center Donates $15,000

Thank you to Hope Redemption Center for donating $50 per completed football pass during the FOR Siouxper Bowl gathering at Sunnybrook Community Church. Over 300 completions were made that morning, resulting in a donation of $15,000 from Hope Redemption Center. WOW!! Thank you to everyone who participated on Sunday morning!

"We are so thankful to the Hope Redemption Center for their generous work they do to support the Hope Center's mission," said Tina Stroud. "This donation will help provide 2 1/2 months of food to begin and develop relationships with individuals and families facing food insecurity."

Hope Redemption Center provides an opportunity to help you recycle your Iowa $.05 deposit cans and plastic bottles for a great cause! Your support of this organization provides encouragement and mentors individuals struggling with addiction by providing employment in a Christ-centered organization. Drop off your cans and bottles in the trailer at Sunnybrook Community Church or the Redemption Center.

Jensen Dealerships Hosts Successful Food Drive

Food insecurity is a new term used a lot these days. It means that individuals do not have the ability to obtain nutritional food in a safe and socially acceptable way. The numbers for those in need of help with food insecurity are staggering – 12.6% of Iowans are food insecure. That equates to over 350,000 Iowans making difficult decisions on how to pay for their housing, transportation, medical bills, etc. and still put food on the table. Our local community has identified 25,000 individuals as being food insecure.

Jensen Dealerships wanted to help. They knew they could make a difference. Jensen employees put together a drive during the month of January with the goal of collecting 500 pounds of food to benefit The Hope Center’s Food Pantry. Our team exceeded the goal! A total of 544 pounds was collected which will help to provide approximately 453 meals to local individuals and families.

Tina Stroud and Roger Miller, both representatives of The Hope Center, were so thankful for the outpouring of support stating “Thank you so much for sharing your hearts with Siouxland – and our guests! We are so very thankful!”


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