Walking the Talk
We aren’t where we are to just peripherally care about the people on the margins as some superfluous gesture or token nicety. You are where you are to help others where they are. ~ Ann Voskamp
We actually believe this. In fact, we feel so strongly about it that we started a non-profit – Beyond the Walls – dedicated to bringing together real people in need and real people who can help. We encourage everyone at Mendham Hills to step outside their comfort zones and serve – locally, domestically and internationally – whether it’s in a garbage dump in Guatemala City, a Native American reservation in South Dakota, or right here in our own backyard. To use our hands to give others a hand. To actually live out what we say we believe.
Family promise of Morris Country is dedicated to ending homelessness and helping families move from dependency to self-sufficiency. MHCC partners with them by providing temporary housing through our Grace House Guests ministry several times each year. Opportunities to work directly with the families and/or behind the scenes during and between host weeks are available.
Beyond the Walls’ most comprehensive work takes place in the Guatemala City garbage dump, working with the 11,000 adults & children who live and work there. Over the past ten+ years our volunteers have built more than 75 homes, provided health care services, run sports camps/day camps and participated in food distribution. We have also supported educational, nutritional, personal development and micro-enterprise programs.
The Market Street Mission in Morristown works with individuals to overcome addiction, poverty and homelessness using several different strategies. MHCC volunteers have been involved in these programs for many years, working directly with the men in the program and behind the scenes. We are privileged to have both current program members and graduates as part of our community.
Why It Matters
Eight years ago, my husband and middle daughter went on a Beyond the Walls trip to Potter’s House in Guatemala. Daughter #3 was too young to go, so I stayed home with her and our older children. To be quite honest, I didn’t really mind; I was content to be a “sender” and didn’t feel called to go with them.
Then they came back… and I saw a dramatic change in both – one that was not temporary. I saw how God had transformed them, and I wanted the same for myself, and the following year, I went. I thought I was prepared – I had seen pictures and heard stories – but I was wrong.
I will never forget the first time I walked into the community or the first time I laid eyes on our first sponsored child, Veronica. God moved in my heart in a way that was unlike anything I had ever experienced.
I feel closer to God here—in the area surrounding a landfill—than I do anywhere else on earth. I see His hand move, and I see His glory on the faces of the Treasures.