March 23, 2019

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PROVERBS 16:3 ESV “Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.”

 

For 35 years the Lord has blessed the Christian Caring Center to be a blessing to others.  When we first opened at Pemberton Browns Mills Road, Pemberton in a 20 x 40 foot roadside farm stand (with no heat and no bathroom but a fire place and running water), it was with St. Mark’s Lutheran Church’s Pastor Peter Amerman and his wife, Sue Amerman with their approximately 60 member congregation response to a community need and to share the love of Jesus.  They opened a food pantry every Saturday from 9-12 am.  They opened with donations of food items and clothing.  When I started volunteering 4 months after they opened, they prayed for a miracle every week.  When they asked me to become director a year after they opened, they had 12 regular monthly donor.  BUT GOD!  In 35 years we have NEVER NOT HAD SOME KIND OF FOOD ITEM TO GIVE!!  When we didn’t have food on occasions we said we would open and give the people prayer and clothes.  When we opened someone would pull up with a bread donation, then another with a food drive that their church had for us that we didn’t even know about, etc.  Not one time did we have nothing to give.  We then grew to become a Salvation Army Service Unit.  Then we opened on Thursdays and Saturdays.  Not too long after we started, we began doing Holiday Baskets and the SHARE food program.  We stayed at our little road stand for 9 years, then we moved to 328 Lakehurst Road, Browns Mills, opened a Thrift Shop and began our street outreach to the woods.  The number of people we served, the programs we developed, the people getting saved, delivered and healed began to really soar, but our finances were not keeping up and we soon had to leave 328 Lakehurst Road for 378 Lakehurst Road for a smaller more affordable facility in 1996.  This Outreach Center was a Chinese restaurant which allowed us to open a community lunch and breakfast.  We then opened the Jack Stelle Men’s Emergency Shelter in 1998 to house 4 homeless men at 84 Delap Court.  This shelter saw miracle after miracle of men’s lives being transformed by a merciful God!  In 2008 we opened our Village Thrift Shop with 2 attached apartments for us to rent to low income residents. Also in 2008 Code Blue Shelters were established in Burlington County and the Christian Caring Center was one of 2 Shelters that have grown to 5 shelters now!  In 2016 we were awarded a grant for Rapid Rehousing.  In 2017 we were able to purchase a duplex along with Won by One Community Partnership, Inc.  One side will soon open as another men’s emergency shelter to house 5 homeless men and the other side a 3 bedroom homeless family shelter!  All this time literally over a thousand people saved, delivered and healed in the name of Jesus!  And Jesus is not done yet!  We just had the land donated to us next door at 376 Lakehurst Road, Browns Mills where we want to develop a facility with 6 micro housing units of permanent housing for 6 homeless individuals.  The Community of Hope @ CCC will be the 1st Housing First project in Burlington County-PTL!!!  None of this could have happened without JESUS and you!!!!  We are His hands and feet to others around us.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you and I’m sure all of those thousands thank you too!!

 

Abiding in Him,

Madelyn C. Sutton, Executive Director

 

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