From: Mosaic Wichita
Contact: Mike Furches, Pastor Mosaic Church, Director of Women’s Overflow Shelter for the Homeless
Many are familiar with the phrase, ‘There was no room for them in the inn.’ As the story goes, Jesus of Nazareth was be born in a manger and thus the origins of Christmas. One may never imagine that in Wichita Kansas, small children and the homeless go without shelter during the holidays, but they do. A small church, made up of primarily homeless persons wants to make a difference and see to it this horrid reality doesn’t continue to occur.
Mosaic Wichita opened its doors some 7 years ago, yet only in the last months, after several near death experiences, has the church been reborn in downtown Wichita with a unique ministry that offers services to not only the downtown community, but the homeless. They have more than quadrupled their size by involving the homeless in their church including teaching, serving and having members on the worship team. They are doing more though; they also serve the homeless 7 days a week by operating the only women’s overflow housing shelter in the city.
With a budget of less than $20,000 per year, Mosaic received a grant from AECH to operate the shelter until April 1, 2012. Despite their size they have more ambitious dreams. Mosaic is launching a campaign to try and purchase a nearby property that has been appraised at approximately $400,000 for around $50,000. An additional $200,000 would allow them to provide services for the first year which would provide year round shelter services for women, and families, including children. Furches, the pastor of the church has stated they have to turn down children virtually every day. ‘There just isn’t shelter space available without a waiting list for children. The location we are looking at and want to purchase would allow us to provide these services. I can’t believe that during this Christmas season agencies around town have to turn down services to families with children. I haven’t spoken to a single provider who is happy with the situation for children.’
Furches understands the plight of the homeless as he was at one time homeless himself. It is one of the reasons he is driven to this ministry. ‘My personal experiences and faith tell me, that what we have done for the least of these, including the homeless, is as if we have done it to Jesus. I am convinced, there is no greater present we can give Jesus than to serve the homeless and others in need.’ It is that example which moved Furches to give up much of his salary in order to allow the church to operate as it is currently does.
This Christmas Mosaic continues its service to the homeless including, operating the shelter each night, having several Christmas Concerts, various feedings but especially a Christmas Family Celebration on Christmas Day. Mosaic provided an angel tree with 47 names of Mosaic Homeless participants as to their wants for Christmas. Every name was taken and those gifts and others will be given to the homeless on Christmas Day. Mosaic is also seeking additional gifts to provide those who will be in attendance that didn’t sign up for the event.
Mosaic is a little church with a big heart and making a big difference for the homeless in Wichita. With the help from the community, they hope to do abundantly more. For those wanting to know more about how they can support this work, including volunteering, and/or providing funds to open up a new location to allow for additional shelter space for women, and families with children, contact Pastor Mike Furches at 316-807-8034 or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also find out more about Mosaic by visiting their web page, www.mosaicwichita.com
# # #
Mike Furches is an outspoken advocate for those who have been taken advantage of. From the poor to the abused, he has lived a life that has had him walk in the shoes of others. His writings have been read by millions, yet his goal is to reach one person