A Short History of Love-Lift Ministries Organizational Restructuring
January 2003 – Our five member Board of Directors was formed, and on January 22nd, 2003 we filed Articles of Incorporation registering the name, "Love-Lift Ministries," as a California Public Benefit Corporation. The board met once a week, often until late at night, to complete the demanding work of creating an organizational structure and completing an application for non-profit status with authority to issue charitable donation receipts on our own. A number of knowledgeable advisors and consultants volunteered to help the board with the necessary paperwork.
March 2003 – After twenty-five years of ministry at Newport Mesa Christian Center in Costa Mesa, under the church’s "umbrella of authority," and using the church as our facility, we began the hard work of moving out of NMCC and into our new independent facility in Santa Ana. Our trust in God gave us confidence that the government would soon approve our application for non-profit status.
Love-Lift volunteers pitched in to cleanup the offices and warehouse, and to paint the large interior. We sorted, packed and moved hundreds of boxes. Board director Chris Mills dismantled fourteen units of storage cabinets and relocated them to the new Headquarters. A patron advisor donated a computer and a significant sum of money to purchase the many shelves now lining the warehouse walls, and other Love-Lifters helped instal the shelves. Another Love-Lift family donated the office furniture.
May 2003 – On May 15th we received official recognition of our non-profit tax exempt status from the Secretary of the State of California. On May 26 Memorial Day our lovely new sign went up on our rented headquarters facility. Our large sign, "Love-Lift Ministries," is easily seen as people pass by on the busy street of MacArthur Boulevard, near Calvary Chapel, Santa Ana. On May 28th the Federal Government, Internal Revenue Service, joined the State of California and gave official recognition of our non-profit tax exempt status. We were finally identified as a legal entity known as Love-Lift Ministries with full authority to issue receipts for Charitable Tax donations. Board chairman, Marian LaFollette, provided the new organization with a solid financial foundation giving us the confidence to move ahead with a renewed vision of what God was preparing to do in the future.
2004 - Settled now in the new HQ - offices, workshop and warehouse - Love-Lift Ministries operates a Four Part Program, each program serving a different need, but each having the vision of encouraging and "lifting up" missionary and indigenous Christian leaders, and the people they serve, in foreign and domestic mission fields. The four parts of the Ministry are:
1.) The Christmas Stocking and Gift-Bag Program in two parts:
a.) The annual Christmas Love-Lift, beginning early in the Fall, in which participating . churches and other organizations fill stockings and bags, and send them to LLM HQ.
b.) The Christmas-All -Year- Long program in which faithful volunteers at our facility fill stockings and bags from our warehouse inventory every week of the year. Our warehouse inventory is purchased with your financial contributions, or material donations.
2.) The"Church Bag" Program which sends out larger items such as our created and sewn quilts, donated good used clothing, donated household items, larger toys etc. to help missionaries and pastors of small village churches as they minister the Gospel to their people.
3.) The Layette Program which helps young Christian mothers who have nothing with which to clothe and care for their newborn babies. The inventory for the layettes is purchased from your financial contributions, donations of baby clothing, or created by the Dorcas Ministry Group. Faithful volunteers at the Ministry workshop put the layettes together weekly. Each layette has about twenty-five items, including a plastic bath-tub which doubles as a baby-bassinet .
4.) The Dorcas Women’s Sewing Ministry Group which meets every Tuesday at our facility headquarters and workshop in Santa Ana to work on such projects as sewing unfilled stockings and bags, and crafting new gift-items such as quilts, stuffed dolls and toys, pillows, etc. The meeting is a time for fellowship, as well as a time to work.
At this time in our history LLM is hoping to significantly expand our ability to reach out beyond our historical focus on helping missions all over Mexico, and on American Indian reservations. Historically we have been able to help in places such as White Eagle Christian Academy - www.whiteeaglechristianacademy.com - or Black Buffalo Trails - www.blackbuffalo.org - and over one-hundred small Navaho churches who have no website. Foundation for His Ministry - www.FFHM.org is an outstanding ministry far down in Baja, Mexico, which began as an orphanage and still has this program, (as well as other outreaches) - see "The Children" on the Foundation’s home-page. LLM has been able to deliver hundreds of Stockings and Bags over the years to this excellent ministry. Also, hundreds of layettes (with about 25 items in each) have been delivered to help newborns at the Foundation’s nursery.
We have had an ongoing opportunity in recent years to send significantly large deliveries of the Love-Lift to the Tarahumara Indians in Chihuahua, Mexico. This group of people is one of the most impoverished and primitive of all Indian groups. They live in caves, raise their own food, face drought and freezing winters and lose many of their newborn babies to the harsh living conditions. Our layette program has been a real blessing to these babies and their needy mothers, many of them widows.
We have always welcomed opportunities to minister to missions in other countries all around the world. Among the countries where we have been able to help missionaries and indigenous Christian leaders in recent years are places such as Tanzania, Africa - www.maranathatz.org - see the "Tailoring School" on the home-page index. Love-Lift Ministries purchased the sewing machine seen in the picture, and several other sewing machines as well, so that a woman’s sewing group like our own NMCC/Dorcas Group in Costa Mesa could get started in Africa. Also, we have recently been able to help fill a shipping-container with a large Love-Lift delivery sent to another indigenous African church which is serving H.I.V/A.I.D.s children and families in the Name of the Lord.
From time-to-time windows of opportunity for service have opened up all over the world. During our history we have been able to deliver Love Lift gifts to these countries: AFRICA: Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Egypt. ASIA/ PACIFIC: Philippines, Australia, Japan, South Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Cong China, New Guinea, Indonesia, India, Malaysia. LATIN AMERICA: Costa Rica, Haiti, El Salvador, Equador, Peru, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala. EUROPE: Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Austria, Cypress, Greece, Belgium, Switzerland. Also: Israel, New York City, and Central Los Angeles. We are always alert to find Individuals and Groups who are traveling and with whom we can send an extra suitcase full of LLM gifts. Occasionally we have been pleased to find opportunities for larger shipments to worldwide nations.
Thanks for reading this rather long "History of Love-Lift Ministries." If I were to tell the whole story of God’s blessings upon us, and upon the people which Love-Lifters have reached, the text and pictures would fill a good sized book. We look forward to the next period of "What comes next?" We are willing to serve as your ambassadors in His ministry as long as the Lord wants us to work. When our work is finished - and it will be finished someday - we will be happy to lay our treasures at the feet of the Master and rest in His good judgement.
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