This is our journey:
A church planted back in 1983, we have been through many seasons. In these seasons we have found ourselves geographically located in various parts of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. With the ultimate goal of one day owning our own building, we found ourselves in a constant cycle of renting occupied buildings, store fronts, and churches, never having a place to call our own. We never wavered, however, as we knew that one day God would provide. All we had to do was be patient.
Then I received a call.
A Pastor friend of mine had called me to inform me that a church property they owned was going to be up for sale. The previous tenants would no longer be there and soon it would be on the market, unless, I wanted to claim it first. Was this God finally giving us everything that we had been praying for for so many years? Surely we are in no position to purchase a building, I thought, but in my spirit I felt God tell me to move.
We arranged a showing and I, along with the elders of the church, visited the property for the first time.
At first glance, it was obvious that there was going to be a lot of work that would need to be put into it. Renovations that would need to be made, repairs that needed to be done. Buying this building meant that we would be committing to much more than a mortgage, but rather hours upon hours of manual labor, many late nights, and exhausting every resource that we had.
In that moment the easy thing to do would have been to walk away. "Thanks but no thanks. We're good. We don't need this headache." But again I felt in my spirit that God was telling me to move. It was in that moment that I knew, in order for us to receive all that God had for us, it wasn't going to come without a cost. It would only be an uphill battle, but we were ready for the fight.
We entered into a lease to own agreement and signed a 3 year contract with a purchase price of $450,000 with the expectation that we would either raise the money or finance through a bank. The purchase would include the church building as well as the house on the next lot over which we would later convert into a multi-purpose office space.
As the renovations began, we held a meeting in what is now our fully renovated sanctuary. We stood together in one large circle and prayed that God would continue to guide us through every step of this process. We knew it wasn't going to be easy, but it was possible.
Throughout the last three years we have become a staple in our community as a place of hope for the Town of Cicero. We offer various programs for troubled teens, marriages, families in need, and are always looking for ways to continually impact our community.
We have held many fundraising events and after securing a loan with a bank for $315,000 we now find ourselves only $55,000 short of seeing Gods promise come to pass. $55,000 is all that stands in our way as the last hurdle that we must climb before being able to call this building our own once and for all.
It is with this in mind that we urge you to come alongside us as we look to raise the last $55,000 that we need. Any contribution that you can make will ultimately push us one step closer to our goal.
We thank you in advance and ask that you exercise your faith the same way we did when we said yes to this challenge. Thank you for believing in us!
Pastor Edwin Melendez
Please visit us at: www.newharvestchicago.org
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***Any donation received, unless left anonymously, will receive an end of the year letter of donations for tax filings.