Northwest Ohio Agape House
P.O. Box 53074
Pettisville, OH 43553
In October 2006 God brought together a small group for North Clinton Mennonite Church's 40 Days of Community. The group soon discovered that each one of us can fulfill God's plan and purpose in community with other people in our church, family, small group, neighbors, and/or workplace -- in fact, we are better together.
"At the beginning of our study, some of us attended a local event where needs in the community were reported," share Norris and Nancy. "We knew it was time to put our words into action. God put a great burden on our hearts for those in the midst of a storm in their life, wanting to give them the needed help to get "back on their feet". We also wanted to point them to Jesus who specializes in calming the waves and silencing the winds. But we knew that this could only happen by first having a relationship with them -- helping them with some of their needs as well as showing them how they can help themselves."
The group began exploring how to go about helping person who are homeless in the local community and soon realized the need to organize and secure non-profit status. While arrangements were underway to form the non-profit foundation God provided two homes -- one in Wauseon and one near Pettisville. As word got around the community about what was happening volunteers just started showing up to work, but the paperwork to open the homes and receive tax-deductible donations was still in process.
"A family needed a place to stay, but we felt like we needed the official non-profit status before we moved people into the house, " reports Norris. "It came down to a family was going to be without a home, so we called the family and said they could move in around 3 pm on Monday. Late in the morning on Monday I got a phone call that the tax exempt status was approved. God provided as we stepped out in faith."
NOAH Foundation provides temporary housing with the length of stay dependent on the need. Each family agrees to meet weekly with a shepherd for accountability. "They set goals and we help them meet the goals." shares Nancy. "We want to guide people through the consequences of some of their past decisions and help them form new patterns."
Oversight is provided by a Board of Directors, with many others providing support. Individuals as well as a number of local congregations continue to be involved in providing finances, serving as shepherds, providing transportation, and volunteering wherever needed.
God brought together seven average couples in a small group. Then He opened their eyes to the needs around them, filled their hears with a passion to minister, brought others alongside to provide the needed resources, opened government doors, and brought those in need to the very doorstep He provided.