Serve Moses Lake STREET TALK

A message…from Brandon LaBonte, Director

For Goodness Sake Posted on Nov 21, 2019
Word on the street is a new Director of Serve Moses Lake is in town. Greetings! My name is Brandon LaBonte, and let me share with you my beautiful family: my wife Melanie Joy, twin sons Ethan Marc and Logan Kyle, daughter Autumn Grace…oh, and dog Vasi. We journeyed back from Medical Lake one year ago for ministry here in Moses Lake. We are not strangers to this area, where we have lived six years overall. I enjoy bird hunting, road trips with the family, and a good fire.

My amazing wife is the Children's Director at Journey Church and studying to be a teacher. Our beautiful daughter loves sugar so much; the holidays and candy are a big deal. The twins are sports studs now and are enjoying Football and X-Country as freshmen this year at Moses Lake High School.

As the Director of Serve Moses Lake and a new friend to our community, I am not going to paint an unrealistic picture of what we do. The reality of ministry is messy – people hurt, and needs do not stop. Over ten years, Serve Moses Lake has willingly loved those in the trenches who struggle on the streets with homelessness and addictions. This can be risky based on the lack of ungratefulness that accompanies our efforts. When we do find the grateful ones – it is a blessing, and a genuine relationship begins.

Another chapter faces our Moses Lake community. A new page has turned with fresh leadership and eager partners coming alongside Serve Moses Lake to take it to the next level. Our aim as a ministry to the community is to focus on the person of Jesus Christ, who ultimately helps people find their greatest need – forgiveness. Every chance we get, we are trying to help people, encourage reconciliation, and connect them to the local church.

This winter season will be tough for our homeless neighbors. With the bitter cold soon approaching, our outcomes to help do not always conclude with a yes. The difficult moments where a no results for some, disappointment or anger arises. This holiday season will be no exception. Serve helps people find the help they need; however, we are not trying to create dependency rather encouraging a God-dependent person who is interdependent to the local church.

Serve remains a team of volunteers from local churches around Moses Lake who seek out the proper services to formulate a remedy to stop toxic behaviors. Think of it as a "doing with" paradigm instead of "doing for." In Robert Lupton's book, Toxic Charity, he states, "Giving to those in need what they could be gaining from their own initiative may well be the kindest way to destroy people" (4). Serve's goal is not to destroy personal initiative, on the other hand, we promote those in need who have the capacity to go do for themselves and show that they are willing to walk with us in a relationship.

Any time we have challenged a change in bad habits, individuals face some difficult decisions that can alter their entire lives. Change is hard, and that is why we remain a beacon of hope, a place of faith, and an outreach of love. We are not a "hand-out" organization; instead, we aim to be a "hand-up" ministry to the broken and downtrodden.

It takes a willingness to get messy to build relationships with difficult people who are burdened with a difficult circumstance. Jesus said, "I have come to seek and save the lost" (Luke 19:10), and this came at a cost. Our journey to help people this winter will not be easy; it will come at a cost. Many will not want to get well; they will just want and nothing more. Those that do express a sincere desire for help, especially God's – we will rejoice and embrace them.

The word on the street is to love God and love people, and we understand this is not always easy with the messes we make of our lives (Matthew 22:37). We need to witness people live out their God-given convictions toward the homeless in Moses Lake, which in turn can become an agent of change. We need places where faith, hope, and love exist, and Serve Moses Lake is one of them. This holiday season, ask yourself – "How can I be a blessing?"
May you all have a Thanksgiving to remember and Merry Christmas Moses Lake!

Be encouraged, Brandon LaBonte Director