Four physicians saw a mission field in their backyard 20 years ago as people fell through the health care system cracks due to a lack of insurance. These four decided to do something about it, to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ, and care for those in need. That’s how Christ Clinic began.
Little did they know a second ministry would unfold – Christ Kitchen. Volunteer Jan Martinez counseled women at the clinic and felt compassion for them, many who lived in isolation. Launched in 1998, Christ Kitchen provides life skills, job-training and a work program for women from backgrounds of abuse, addiction, and poverty.
Step out of your office for a minute. Imagine losing your family and your job. Imagine being hooked on meth and your only hope is the next high.
This is where Kari Kelli found herself almost fourteen years ago. She learned she could package dry soup and gain some cash at Christ Kitchen.
“I was willing to listen to whatever they wanted and package soup for money to buy a packet of cigarettes,” she said.
She clocked in, attended a Bible study, packaged soup, and met Jan Martinez.
“I wanted to have the light she had in her eyes,” Kari said.
After fourteen years she credits her changed life to Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit – and she now gives back to other women and manages the kitchen working alongside her friend Jan.
The heart and passion of the four physicians continues in all the volunteers and employees who serve 500 patients per month with their physical, emotional and spiritual needs at Christ Clinic and job training and hope to women in poverty at Christ Kitchen.
So does this inspire you? Do you want to make a difference for your community? You can. You can make a big impact. Here are some ideas:
This season while we think of presents and mistletoe, Christ Clinic and Christ Kitchen remind us what’s most important – investing in people. We always say Buy Local to support your neighbors. Let’s not forget to also to Give Local, too.