I've lived in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philadelphia and Baton Rouge, but was raised mostly in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.
My husband's work and a brand new baby brought me to Lynnwood, WA, in 2002, where I fell in love with my neighbors and my community.
As a freelance journalist/editor, I have covered community news in Snohomish County and become increasingly burdened for the lives and stories of my homeless neighbors, particularly seniors. Yes, they are neighbors, yours and mine. They have roots and want stability, despite being classified as "transients." Oddly enough, "transient" is how many people of faith describe their own course in this world, so that's a good common-ground starting point to understanding why Mary and I started Isaiah 58 House and do what we do.
I am the offspring of pastors and missionaries, so God made it easy for me to learn about Him because of my family's great example, but real faith comes from knowing God personally for yourself. Through prayer and reading the entire story of the Old and New Testaments in the Bible, I saw His amazing faithfulness to rescue us, His free-willed, wayward creations, from our self-centered lives. We are so bent on pursuing our own benefit, yet often hold God entirely responsible for the destruction our pursuit inflicts on others and our world.
God's solution was to come in the flesh as Jesus Christ and sum up a new Way: Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). He even defined the greatest love as being willing to lay down your life for your friends (John 15:13). If everyone loved each other this way, there would be Heaven on Earth. Just about everyone can agree with this.
Jesus (God) proved it by living a perfect life that warranted no blame, yet chose to die in our place so we could be declared righteous before God. That's right, you are now righteous before God! And the only way you'll lose your righteousness and "earn back" God's condemnation is if you reject the Person of Jesus Christ, the One who loves you and saved you and called you to His Way.
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There's much to see here, so take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about us. We hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line. We live and work in Lynnwood, Washington. I am the daughter of a teacher (Bert) who lived his life teaching social studies, political science, and Russian. The best thing about him that I strive to emulate is that he was so present with everyone and totally caring about everything about their lives.
It is not surprising, given my Dad being one of the founders of Teen Hope in Shoreline, WA, that I would grow to deeply love the Lord Jesus through whom everyone can step out of orphan-hood and become a son or daughter. I promise you that Jesus's love is very real! Ask Him and find out; He will answer you.
My first meaningful relationship with someone homeless is with D. D had a drug addiction and twice went to rehab. I very much encouraged her to have a richer life (by that, I don't mean more money or more stuff).
We all need family to be there caring for us and cheering us on, and in my life, I have had riches beyond belief from Christian family and friends. Everyone on my Dad's side knows and loves the Lord. Jesus is my reason for being, and I promise you that we walk the walk here. Karen and I both have set aside a large portion of our own resources in support of Isaiah 58 House. There is no "charge back" happening in our non-profit for any percentage. We get no salary and we donate our time as well. We have some friends and a church that have donated to us, and we anticipate in the future that that will increase. That all being said, we have no plans to pay ourselves back and if and when we do, we will inform you all here!
We wish you the rewards and blessings that come from a giving heart, as our lives have taken on new depths in relationships. I would honestly say that relationships have been a blessing for me and for the homeless friends I know. Karen focuses on housing some elderly homeless, and I focus on providing needs for the younger homeless that are living in the woods not far from where we both live. There are about 13 living in the woods, and 5 or 6 others are living in an abandoned, condemned property with no water or electricity. We also help people, on occasion, that are located at a local motel on Highway 99.
We recently got a partnership set up with the local food bank, but so much more is needed: emergency supplies, sundries, water, and bathing.
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