Ministry Turns Vacant Hospital into Refuge for Poor

Veronica Neffinger | iBelieve Contributor | Monday, July 25, 2016

Ministry Turns Vacant Hospital into Refuge for Poor

A new transitional facility for homeless families has opened in Kansas City, Missouri, and is extending the love of Christ to those in need.

The new facility, converted from a vacant hospital, is the brainchild of Pastor John Wiley. CBN News reports that Wiley had been working toward the dream of opening such a facility since 2009.

Now that the facility, called River of Refuge, is opened, Wiley is amazed at what God is doing:

"It feels surreal, you know seven years of believing it was possible," he said. "We've helped hundreds and hundreds of families over seven years but we couldn't bring them here and give them a transitional place. But now we can so here we are in a former 150,000-square- foot hospital dedicated to families living in homeless."

River of Refuge is meant as a transitional housing space for the working poor. Wiley and those involved in the project hope to provide not only temporary rent-free shelter to those in need, but also a place where those in need may stock up on groceries, clothes, and other necessities. 

In addition to providing material support, River of Refuge seeks to provide resources to help the poor break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

One such family who has been helped by River of Refuge is the Glynn family. Mario Glynn and his seven children had been living with a friend in a one-bedroom apartment before coming to River of Refuge.

Glynn spoke for many families who have found help in coming to River of Refuge:

"I didn't even believe it was real. When I got in here I was sitting here waiting on like, 'What's the catch? Are we gonna have to stand on the corner and sell candy or something to stay?' But it wasn't a catch here they just genuinely want to see people do better," he said.

River of Refuge currently has 11 apartment units, but Wiley says they are looking to expand as soon as possible as applications for their program are coming in faster than they can accommodate people.

Wiley underlined the real reason River of Refuge exists:

"What you have is the most incredible gift -- love attracts a crowd. I challenge my friends who love Jesus: Go find a motel family and don't try to fix all their problems. Just become their friends. Ask them what they need. Open your living room, open your checkbook. Love the people you see."

Publication date: July 25, 2016

Ministry Turns Vacant Hospital into Refuge for Poor