Stories Are Who We Are

Stories Are Who We Are

At the Evansville Christian Life Center, we value the power of stories. Read on to celebrate the wins we have witnessed from each and every one of our services.

Stories From Truth Talk

Truth Talk web 001

A story from our Truth Talk Facilitator, who received a note from a teacher: 

“Thank you so much for leading my class in Truth Talk. Your connection with the kids was inspiring to witness. Keep inspiring others with your love and passion for educating youth. It takes a village.” 

Another note from a teacher: 

“I didn’t know what to expect when my students began to participate in Truth Talk, but now that I’ve witnessed how it benefits students and how it teaches them to build healthy relationships, I can’t wait to recommend the program to other schools!”

Stories From Our Health Clinic

A Visit To Evansville Christian Health Clinic Saves A Life:

Bob visited our Dental Blitz event for an extraction. The volunteer dentist who cared for him approached our staff and mentioned that Bob had a suspicious-looking area in his mouth. The volunteer informed us that Bob would need to be examined by a specialist. God’s timing is remarkable because our next Dental Blitz would have a specialist! Bob returned to our next Blitz, and he was examined and brought in for a biopsy. The biopsy report stated the site was cancerous, and it was removed and repaired. Bob’s prognosis is good, and we’re grateful our Dental Blitz team caught this early! Dental health is essential for many reasons, and preventative care like the story above scratches the surface of what access to all forms of medical care can mean for so many in our community. We are thankful for our donors and volunteers that make these events possible!

No Matter A Patient’s Ability To Pay, They Will Receive Medical Care

“We had a new patient at our Health Clinic recently whose entire family had recently lost their health insurance because of job loss brought on by the pandemic. The patient remembered receiving a brochure in the mail about available dental services at the clinic. Their entire family needed dental cleanings. While here, a dentist volunteered to provide additional services, not offered at the clinic, at his office free of charge. The family was relieved to receive vital care at an affordable cost when so many other options weren’t available. It is a blessing and privilege to ease the anxieties of people in our community who require dental and medical services.”

Stories From Our Life Skills Classes

A Story Our Food Services Coordinator, Speaking With A Participant Of One Of Our Nutrition Classes 

“I have been on staff for about three years now, and before that, I was a board member and volunteer for a few years in the early 2000s. What has me so excited is the one on one conversation we can have with our clients. In the first class I participated in, I met Kayla, and as we talked, I learned more about her and her walk with Christ; and I shared my walk with her. It occurred to me this was the most profound spiritual conversation I have ever had with a client. It was a great blessing to have an experience that felt like I had a chance to speak life into someone with such ease and with no worries of being somewhere else during a class. I’m thankful for God giving us the ability to become more client-focused so they can reach their potential!”

A Story From A Client Who Has Utilized Multiple Services, Including Our Online Free Life Skills Classes Offered

Jane was terrified of the concept of being a single mother and needed help. She called the Family Care Services Department, and she met one on one with a Real Alternatives advocate. Jane is a brilliant, educated, responsible young woman. She wanted to build her parenting skills and be prepared to be a single mother. She is due to deliver the baby anytime. Jane states, “These [Bright Course] videos are amazing. They have helped me a lot! I don’t know what I would have done without them!” We are excited at all the potential Jane continues to show as she becomes an amazing mother. 

Stories From Our Family Care Services

Never Alone

Betty started coming to Family Care Services after finding out she was pregnant in July of 2018. She expected to deliver the baby in March of 2019. Betty had just lost a baby the previous year, and as a result, began to self-harm to numb the pain she was feeling from her loss. I encouraged her to seek medical attention to help her cope, and thankfully she did. Betty was terrified during the first trimester of her new pregnancy. The grief she went through with the loss came back to her, and she had a hard time believing that she was pregnant and doubted her capabilities to be a parent. We met every two weeks and would discuss the baby’s fetal development, pregnancy symptoms, everything relating to the pregnancy, and her progress. The loss of her first child created a hesitancy to be excited for this baby. Finally, in her third trimester, I noticed a change in her. She wanted to talk more about the baby’s nursery, the baby shower, the baby’s name, etc. In March, she delivered her baby and brought her in for all of us to see! I have never seen Betty so happy, she was glowing. Because of the trauma she had experienced, Betty was negative for most of her pregnancy and didn’t care about learning how to become the best parent she could be. We provided her with that continuous support through the Real Alternatives program even though she was scared and doubtful about her pregnancy. It was an honor to give her baby items, pregnancy support, and positivity through every phase and beyond.

We Love Hearing From Former Clients Who Have Moved Forward On Their Journey

A former client sent us a text with pictures stating how thankful they were for our services. The images were of her child in an outfit from the Family Care Services boutique where parents can get items needed if they participate in our services. The text said, “Just wanted to show you this outfit has been through two children. And maybe more in the future! Forever thankful I met all of you!”

Stories From GAIN Initiative

The Change We See

Tori joined a GAIN Cohort in 2020. During her time with us, she’s improved her credit score, found access to stable work that moved her forward to proper financial stability, bought a reliable car, and enrolled in Ivy Tech! This is major! When we hear stories like these, it is an excellent reminder of what GAIN participants can do when they have an incredible amount of tenacity and access to the right resources and encouragement from partners and mentors.

A Massive Win For Our Participants

In 2021 alone, four GAIN initiative participants graduated from college.

Stories From Accent On Christ

Lives Can Be Changed Through Community

“Not only myself, but I’ve seen many people come through here and have their lives changed.” – AOC Participant

Find Life Again With The Support Of The Accent On Christ Family

“AOC didn’t give me my life back, they gave me a life better than I ever would have thought I could have had.” – AOC Participant

Stories From The Clothing Department

The Clothing Department Remains A Vital Resource

Covid-19 caused significant job loss, which of course meant an increased amount of job interviews and new work found by our neighbors. Something that is often taken for granted is dressing well for a job hunt and prospective employers. Even after a person lands a job, dressing appropriately for work becomes a huge need. Melissa was one of the many people who faced these obstacles. She came to our Clothing Department looking for work shoes because she had just gotten a job at the unemployment office. Our staff found what she needed, and Melissa was very excited to purchase three new outfits for her new job. These stories are not uncommon but continue to show the critical steps our neighbors are making as they work towards getting ahead and their potential.

Finding An Affordable Outfit For A Special Day

We had a gentleman come in because he was getting married and didn’t have anything to wear. He told us it would be a small ceremony and that his fiance wasn’t expecting him to dress up, but he wanted to surprise her by wearing a suit for the first time in his life. We walked him back to the men’s department and started going through the suits with him, and when we found the perfect one, he was so thrilled and kept saying how he was praying on the way here and that God put that suit there just for him. Answered prayers!

Stories From The Food Co-op

Money Saved To Put Towards Debt

“The amount of savings from just one Food Co-op experience can be placed on top of the minimum payment due on our littlest ‘debt snow-ball’ debt” – A new Food Co-op client

Accessing Essentials For A Reduced Rate

“I went from receiving one roll of toilet paper at a food pantry to purchasing a pack at the Co-op.” – A Food Co-op member

Stories Are Who We Are
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Take a Tour

Take a Tour

Are you interested in learning more? A virtual tour is a great way to start.

Contact Gina by email or at 812.492.0711.

Take a Tour
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Classes, Training, & Coaching

Classes, Training, & Coaching

Over 100 free online and in-person classes, training, and coaching to help neighbors affected by COVID move forward.

Even before COVID-19 hit, many neighbors were struggling to get ahead. Now, with the financial fallout of lost jobs, lost income, and lost opportunities, even more of our neighbors are falling behind.

Our classes, training, and coaching equip anyone in the tri-state interested in improving in some area of their life.

– Finances
– Relationships
– Family & parenting
– Spiritual growth
– Health & nutrition
– And more!

Services like these are funded by neighbors like you.

Thanks to your gifts, these classes, training, and coaching are available at no cost to the community.

We invite you to consider giving a gift to support our services.

Your gift during this unique season helps neighbors learn parenting, budgeting, and other life skills that serve as resources to equip them to gain stability and move toward their potential.

Thank you,

Gina Gibson, Josey Roth, and Katie Merrick Grunow
ECLC Development Team

P.S. – Interested in trying a class? Call us at 812.423.9222 to learn more!

Classes, Training, & Coaching
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Virtual Gathering

Virtual Gathering

Want a way to help while you’re at home?

Have a “virtual gathering” like our friends below did and help spread the word about our services!

All you have to do is:

  1. Schedule a 10-minute Zoom call with Gina or Katie
  2. Share that video on your social media and/or email

That’s it!

(We’ll take care of all the technical things and send you the video ready to share. The entire process should take about 15 minutes of your time.)

See below for some examples.

Contact Gina by email or at 812.423.9222.

Virtual Gathering
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Exciting News For Volunteers!

Exciting News For Volunteers!

We’re excited, and we know you will be too!

This year has brought about change for everyone, and at the Evansville Christian Life Center we’ve been changing and adapting for the better. This is excellent news!

One huge way we’ve experienced change is how our volunteers interact with and invest in our clients.

This past year, volunteers have had the opportunity to take the time needed to get to know our clients on a deeper level. Volunteers are learning about their neighbors’ lives, their struggles, their wins, and their losses in a way we’ve never seen before.

We discussed these exciting changes in a new video below. Learn about how you can get involved and how we can continue to evolve and help our community together!

If you choose to be a volunteer, a donor, or both, you WILL see change and bring hope to your city. You’ll invest in people that come through our services and see with your own eyes the endless amounts of potential each one of them has to offer.

If you’re in need:
Please use our services.

Become a volunteer, become a donor, become a partner at the Evansville Christian Life Center and make a lasting impact in your community.:
Please support our services.

Exciting News For Volunteers!
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Due to COVID-19, our more public services were temporarily closed and others shifted to serve our community in new (and many times virtual) ways.

We have been reopening our public services as wisely and safely as possible. Please check for updates and changes as requirements are changing daily.

Below is our service schedule, based on recommendations from the Health Department.

Clothing Department:
Open 2 days per week (Wednesdays & Thursdays only)
– A limited number of shoppers will be permitted at a time
– Those waiting in line will need to wait outside
– Only 1 person per household permitted to shop
– Shoppers must have I.D. for registration

Other specific details and restrictions may be required when shoppers arrive
– Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Last person checked in at 12 noon)

Hot Meal Program:
Our Hot Meal Program is temporarily closed.

Thanks to multiple food providers like Feed Evansville and other area organizations, demand for our Hot Meal Program has decreased. In order to be good stewards of the resources given us, we will be sharing our donations with other local organizations and reassigning our Food Services staff to other areas. We will reevaluate our plans in September, when some of the temporary community food efforts end.

Evansville Christian Health Clinic:
– Pregnancy, Dental and Medical services will continue by appointment and walk-in availability.

Family Care Services (Parenting Rewards and Fatherhood Initiative):
– By appointment only please call 812-423-9222

Accent On Christ 12-Step Recovery:
– Reopened for regular, in-person meetings
– Meetings are conducted according to recommended cleaning, sanitization, and social distancing guidelines

Abstinence Education:
– Truth talk classes are being done by video per school district requirements
– We are working with local schools for the remainder of the school year

GAIN Initiative:
– Will continue to meet via in-person, video and telephone

In addition to the details listed above, strict cleaning, sanitization, and social distancing procedures will be followed in all ECLC departments by staff, volunteers, and clients.

We invite you to support your neighbors as they rebuild their lives and move toward stability by donating financially to fund our work.

Together, we are continuing to work toward an Evansville with less poverty, stronger families, and more Jesus.

Peace be with you,

P.S. — If you have any questions, please contact us through this form or by calling 812.423.9222.

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3 resources to help you share potential!

One person who sees you for your potential can sometimes mean the difference between failure and success.

We’ve created three tools to help you share the message of each person’s potential and our work of restoring people from need to potential in Christ.

Plus a 30-Day Challenge!


This tee is designed to be a conversation starter around the message that each person’s God-given potential is needed for a thriving community.

Order yours today!
($25 w/shipping)

Also available at the Vineyard Christian Resource Center!



This journal is designed for you to connect with one of our core beliefs: that each person’s God-given potential is needed for a thriving community. Use it to write down notes, ideas, or anything that helps inspire you or keep you organized.

Available on Amazon, at the Vineyard Christian Resource Center, or by calling us at 812.423.9222).

WHEN I SEE YOU I SEE POTENTIAL journal web graphic 01


This decal/sticker is designed to create awareness and conversations about our shared belief in each person’s potential. Place it on your car, laptop, water bottle, guitar case, or skateboard.

Get yours free! Simply contact us (via this contact form or by calling us at 812.423.9222) with your name, email, and mailing address and we’ll mail you one for free (while supplies last)!

I see potential sticker


Looking for some action steps you and your family can take to show you believe in someone’s potential? This 30-day challenge gives one simple action step each day to help show someone that each person’s God-given potential is needed for a thriving community.

Read/download the 30-Day Challenge printable calendar (PDF).

WHEN I SEE YOU I SEE POTENTIAL 30 day challenge web 01

Photography by Rachel Mathew Photography.
T-shirt printing by Surface Apparel Company.

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83% of Evansville identifies as Christian. Yet…addiction, abuse, housing, and poverty are major issues in our community.

Is something in our faith disconnected?

Like looking at life through a broken pair of glasses, a limited view of the gospel hurts our community, our churches, and even our own lives.

What if Jesus’ way of life is designed to affect every area of our lives, our churches, and our community? We partnered with Community One to create this book to start a conversation about how a full understanding of the gospel can transform our community.

HEAVENSVILLE: How a limited view of poverty, social justice, and the gospel is keeping our community from thriving…and how we can change.


“…combines a deep understanding of Scriptural truth and a wealth of practical wisdom for caring rightly for neighbors in need.” — ROBERT LUPTON, Atlanta community developer, author of Toxic Charity

“…one of the clearest and most compelling cases for Christ-followers to lift up their eyes and see the bigger and more beautiful gospel…” — ERIC SWANSON, Leadership Network, co-author of The Externally Focused Church and To Transform a City

“This is an excellent practical guide for holistic urban ministry. Solidly biblical. Full of practical wisdom. This a superb guide for holistic ministry that combines word and deed in the way of Jesus.” – DR. RONALD J. SIDER, author of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger

“…a ‘must-read’ if you have a deep desire to help bring about lasting change with poverty, social injustice, and communicating the gospel.” — DAVE SCHWAMBACH, Family Pastor, Bethel Church, Evansville

See what some of your neighbors are saying about HEAVENSVILLE:

“If God built a city from scratch, what would it be like? It is more than everyone knowing who Jesus is, and it is more than resolving every social injustice. The city God would build is a place He would live and a place we all would want to live. ‘Heavensville’ is a unique gift to our community that gently and carefully guides us to consider how we can hold in balance the proclamation and the demonstration of the Gospel. Telling and sharing go together. Let this be a guide for you as you work to see our city be a place where everyone experiences Gospel flourishing.” — ROSS CHAPMAN, For Evansville

“…a vivid picture of not only what is but, more importantly, what every city and community should be. With clarity of insight and a wealth of practical expressions, this book challenges and encourages me to move more deeply into a fully engaged gospel life. ‘Heavensville’ is a valuable resource for anyone ready to initiate great conversations and holistic transformations wherever you call home.” — KEVIN BRIMNER, Lead Pastor, First Christian Church, Newburgh

“As someone who has deep convictions on many subjects, I typically begin to cringe when an author or speaker tells me they have something to say on the subject of social justice. But this book gives us the proper definition and role of Godly justice in our society today. I highly recommend pastors, lay leaders, and church members read what they have to say on this important and timely topic.” — KRIS HOLZMEYER, Associate Pastor, Living Word Christian Church; Chaplain, Evansville Police Department

“…an in-depth roadmap for transformation, but that transformation comes through a full understanding of the Gospel. Reading ‘Heavensville,’ our hearts were challenged to be agents of shalom, flourishing, and to let Jesus’ life overflow through us. This book encourages the reader to help to rewrite the DNA of our community.” — THE KANDEL SISTERS (Kris Schwambach, Karen Kizlin, Kathie Poe, Linda Mason), authors of Get on Your Knee Replacements and Pray

“What if the root cause of poverty has been our stinginess with the Gospel? ‘Heavensville’ breaks down the complex problem of poverty in our city, and points us towards the place where lives and society can change.” — GREG GRAHAM, Creative Director, Blue Grass UMC, Evansville

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5 Minutes In Poverty Playing Card Experience

5 Minutes In Poverty Playing Card Experience


…helped me to understand the hard choices that individuals living in poverty have to make. It was a great learning opportunity for my kids. – Doug


One of the biggest challenges to fighting poverty is understanding it.

For those of us who have not experienced the struggle of poverty, we simply don’t understand the realities that our neighbors in these circumstances are going through. Therefore, our view can be distorted by misconceptions and misinformation.

Those working to move out of poverty look a lot like us, but they also face unique challenges and choices.

To help us as a community better understand some of these unique challenges and choices, we’re introducing the 5 Minutes In Poverty playing card experience.


elife cards web


It points out the ripple effects and impact from one critical decision to the next. – Terry

Each card presents you with a scenario that a person in poverty might face. Choice cards give you options as you continue on through the cards to see where decisions take you.



…almost every decision that has to be made leads to a negative outcome. – Jim

While not designed to be a “fun,” entertaining game, this experience will hopefully help you empathize and appreciate the struggle by making these difficult choices yourself as you play.

Here’s how to play:
1. Contact us to order a pack ($10/pack).
2. Schedule a tour where you can have the opportunity to play.

P.S. – If you haven’t already, check out the 5 Minutes in Poverty walk-thru display.

5 Minutes In Poverty Playing Card Experience
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Introducing the e-life process: helping people move from need to potential

When someone misses out on their potential, we all lose.
When just one person moves toward their potential, we all win.
E-life helps clients, supporters, and everyone in between destroy poverty and build a better Evansville.

We’re all partners, we’re all pointed the same direction, we’re all e-life.

Watch this video to learn how e-life helps someone on their journey out of poverty:


1. Relief
2. Resource
3. Release


Watch this video to learn how e-life helps someone on their journey to love people by connecting to causes they have a heart for:


1. Experience
2. Educate
3. Connect
4. Grow


E-life is the unique process the Evansville Christian Life Center uses to help destroy poverty and build an Evansville with less poverty and stronger families.

Our group of volunteers, clients, donors, and staff have the privilege to take part in many stories like these:

“I created an adoption plan.”
“I learned how to raise a Christ-centered family.”
“I came to a place to regain custody of my children.”
“I donated items to the same food pantry I once used.”
“I overcame loneliness through volunteering.”
“I went back to school and completed a master’s degree.”
“I volunteered where I used to be a client.”



Take part as a client:
Learn more about our services, then contact us by email or at 812.423.9222.

Take part as a supporter:
Learn more by taking a tour, then get involved through volunteering, donating, or being an ambassador.

Learn more about poverty and solutions:
• Check out 5 Minutes in Poverty playing card experience.
• Explore 5 Minutes in Poverty interactive, walk-thru display.
• Watch one or more CONVERSATIONS.
• Read (or listen to) The Community I See book.

Contact us by email or at 812.423.9222.


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