Unto Me Shelter residents thankful for chance to make fresh start

Stanford—Since early October, the Unto Me Shelter has become a temporary home to five (and counting) persons, who are grateful for a chance to get back on their feet.

The shelter, begun and overseen by Lincoln County Baptist Association, has become a temporary place of refuge for those in transition between homes or those trying to make some changes in their lives.

“We were looking at a name for this house, and we called it the Unto Me Shelter because Jesus said, ‘What you have done to the least of these, you have done unto me,'” Nick Manzie, pastor of Stanford Baptist Church and committee member explained, referencing Matt. 25:40.

He continued, “It’s not a shelter; it’s not the type of place where someone is going to come in here and stay a couple nights, and we kick them out. It’s a place where we help them transition from the state they’re in into a self-sufficient atmosphere.”

Nick and Brittany came to the home ready to find jobs and a place to live. After spending time at the shelter, they now know Christ as their Savior.

“It’s been a blessing in its own way,” Nick said. “We were out in the cold, and they brought us in, fed us and put us on the right path.

“Me and my wife Brittany—we both accepted Christ,” he said. “It’s more than words can explain.”

Brittany added, “Yesterday was exactly one month to the day that I have been clean, and if it wasn’t for this house and the help that the Baptists are giving, I don’t know where I would be.”

“Our intentions are to share Christ with them,” Manzie said.

He shared the story of James, one of the residents. “James … was kind of contemplating it, but like most people he got caught up in the logic of things. We talked a little bit further and he realized faith isn’t about logic; faith is faith. He accepted Christ as his Savior.

“That’s probably our biggest want, is to see people either come to Christ or grow closer to Christ through this process,” Manzie said.

The shelter was donated to LCBA by a local business owner in cooperation with First Southern National Bank, who repaired the home before handing it over to the association.

The shelter is managed by a committee and funded by area churches and businesses. Additionally, some of the food for the shelter comes from the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s Hunger Relief program.

The property consists of a common area, full kitchen, two rooms with four beds each and a small apartment for married couples. There is a strict no alcohol, smoking or drugs policy, and residents are reevaluated every seven days.

“We just want to work with these individuals and put some daylight into the dark,” Gary King, Lincoln County Association’s director of missions, said.

“This just proves that God answers prayer,” he continued. “I’ve been working on trying to get some type of shelter in Stanford for 15 years. I knew God would do it in His timing.

“We’re very fortunate to have the cooperation that we have with local businesses and governments,” King concluded. “They have been very supportive. We’re just thrilled to death that we at least have something to offer now and to be able to do more in the future.” (WR)