Dear Friends and Supporters of Open Arms,
This has been a year of many positive changes for Open Arms. As the year began, Haroldo Nunes transitioned from a “two-hat” servant — Executive Director of OA and Pastor of Salem Mennonite Church — to a full-time position with Open Arms.
Open Arms has been blessed with the addition of four new Board members, one who began in January, the other three in September. We held an all-day Board and Staff Retreat at a cabin in Holmes County on Oct. 5 to build relationships and look to God for future direction.
Plans are taking shape for Open Arms to open an office at Orrville Mennonite Church, further advancing our exposure and connections to the local community. Ohio Mennonite Conference provided us with a generous $3,000 grant to purchase office equipment, sign, etc. In addition, we have hired a part-time Administrative Assistant who will begin work in January, assisting Haroldo in keeping tabs on the ever-broadening activities of Open Arms. We are forming new partner- ships with entities like Built-Rite Box & Crate Co. and O’Huddle (a mentor program in Orrville City Schools) to meet particular needs that have presented themselves in recent months.
Perhaps less dramatic, yet at the very core of our ministry, are the many ways that Haroldo and Esmirna, Raul and Vanita, as well as volunteers, continue to share God’s love with Hispanic immigrants in our area on a daily basis: transportation to immigration offices, medical appointments, school physicals, and translation by phone, to name a few.
For many of us, the highlight of the year was the creation of Immigrant Detainee Care Kits at Orrville Mennonite on Oct. 2. About 125 people of all ages from local churches assembled 175 kits in just over an hour, and sent them off to our southern border with a song and a prayer.
With the generous support of churches and persons like yourself, we anticipate ending the year in the black. An important part of our revenue comes from “Amigos”, persons who commit to annual gifts of at least $1,000. Consider joining this group; if you are not able, any end-of-year gift will be much appreciated. Checks can be sent to Open Arms, Box 124, Kidron, OH 44636.
We give thanks and praise to God for all these blessings as we look forward to sharing God’s love with our immigrant neighbors during the coming year. Please keep us in your prayers.
In Christ’s grace and compassion,
Dan King – Chair, Open Arms Board