IREM, the Institute of Real Estate Management (Las Vegas Chapter 99), is an international community of real estate managers dedicated to ethical business practices, maximizing the value of investment real estate, and promoting superior management through education and information sharing. An affiliate of the National Association of Realtors, IREM is home for all industry professionals connected to real estate management.
Our daughter, Susie Clinger, belongs to this chapter and invited Pastor Cody to their “2017 IREM Forecast Event” on January 11th where he spoke briefly about Broken Chains. IREM, during 2017, will be donating goods to Broken Chains and attending some of our Wednesday night homeless outreaches.
We thank them for recognizing the needs of the homeless in our city and for their support in this area!!
Over the next few newsletters we will be telling you a little about each of our current board members. We sent them all a questionnaire and this month we would like to feature DeeAnn Bennett, secretary on the Broken Chains Board of Directors, and her answers to these questions.
How did you first hear about Broken Chains?
Through attending Hope Church and hearing about the food drive the church was conducting in 2012.
What made you want to get involved in the ministry with Broken Chains?
I saw a need in our family to serve others. Up to that point, I had served by myself but I wanted to be a part of a ministry where my whole family could serve.
Describe your first experience volunteering with Broken Chains?
Our first experience was to serve at the Wednesday night outreach at Myron Leavitt Park. I saw that socks were a big need so I went with my kids to Big Lots and bought a bunch of socks. I told them that we were going to hand them out at the park.
What was the feeling you walked away with after that first experience?
As my family and I drove away from the park, I told my 5 year old and 7 year old that they had just given Jesus socks. They said “But mommy, we didn’t give Jesus socks”. I then told them about Matthew 25:35-40: For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” It was an incredible experience that neither of my kids ever forgot.
How did God use that first experience to continue your desire to work with Broken Chains?
God gave us a heart for the homeless! From that moment on, my older son Samuel (in particular) had his eyes opened to the plight of those who don’t have a home, don’t have clothing and have little to no food. He began to pray EVERY NIGHT for God to give the homeless a home and food. To this day, he still prays for the homeless every single night.
What is one unique way that you see Broken Chains fulfills a ministry role in Las Vegas that no other organization or group provides?
Broken Chains unashamedly preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ as the ONLY way to transform a life. There are organizations in Las Vegas doing “good” things but sadly, many of them refer to God in politically correct terms like “a higher power” or they point people to themselves in a “self-help” kind of way. Broken Chains reaches the soul of a person by first loving them where they’re at.
As a board member, what are some of the passions and desires for the future as you partner with Broken Chains in a leadership role?
My passion and desire for the future is to get more people in Las Vegas involved with this ministry. And when I say “people” I mean people that are Christians and Non-Christians alike. This ministry has opened many doors for me to speak about Christ to those who are far from God. Those who may not know God feel a deep desire to do “good” and to “help others” but they just don’t know WHO put that desire in them in the first place. I feel it is my duty to show them the love of God and to show them that they have a purpose on this earth far beyond a career, raising a family and paying bills to exist. I was once a workaholic (and not that working hard is bad) BUT when you put it first in your life before God and Family, you miss the TRUE blessings of God. Only God can show you what you were put on this earth to do!
What are 3 simple ways you would recommend everyone could get involved in helping with Broken Chains?
1. Donate items from the monthly needs list that Broken Chains publishes in their newsletter and on their website. This is a simple and easy way to be able to involve your family. Take your kids with you when you go to buy the items, I promise it will impact them for the rest of their lives. Let them know at a young age that we need to love and serve others and I promise, they will always remember it!
2. Go to a Wednesday night outreach at Myron Leavitt Park. This is a great way to interact with our city’s homeless and bless them by showing them that the community cares about them. You never know how your personal experience could touch another person’s life. For example, I’ve never been addicted to drugs or been in jail but I’ve had close family members who have and I can always relate that experience to feel compassion and love for others who may be struggling in this area.
3. Use your position in your career or as you are out and about to tell others about Broken Chains. You never know WHO you are speaking to. Sometimes I meet people at the gym or while my kids are snowboarding and when these new acquaintances hear about Broken Chains, they often offer to help OR they may know someone who can help.
How does serving with Broken Chains benefit volunteers?
Oh my goodness, you will be SO blessed. Your heart will soften, you will feel purposeful and you will see God work in the lives of people around you. The experience you will have serving others will follow you the rest of your life. When you give up time and resources to help others, it helps you not hold on to material possessions so much. It shows you how to be more grateful for what you have! You are never closer to God than when you are serving those whom God loves!!
Everyone is invited to attend our weekly Bible study and BBQ. It is held at Myron Levitt Park (the old JC Park) on Wednesdays at 5:30pm. The park is just north of the intersection of Eastern avenue & Sahara avenue. If you would like more details including a Google map, please visit our website contact page. Come and join us any Wednesday!