WENTZVILLE—The long-term work of helping a single mother who perhaps has chosen to not abort her baby can be found right here within the confines of LINC (Love in the Name of Christ).
LINC offers a variety of assistance programs, family activities, and life management training opportunities for people in St. Charles County. It is located in Hidden Valley Estates, a federally subsidized housing area with approximately 200 houses and 400 children. The ministry has been active since 1992, and it has not always been easy in terms of financing. Right now, in fact, may be one of LINC’s more challenging times.
“We took a $52,000 hit last summer, July to July, and we’re in that year right now,” said LINC Executive Director Kathy Thompson, a member of First Baptist Church, Wentzville, who oversees a staff of four full-time and two part-time employees. “We should have been really stressed out, but God just provides and allows one more month to happen. We should have been out of operation money in January and February, and we have not seen a change.”
Thompson, a nurse from St. Peters, was a volunteer at a food pantry in 2005 when she began to notice how advanced LINC was in that area. (It now has a food pantry that can feed 1,000 people a month.)
“LINC allowed our food pantry to use storage and stop paying rent at a storage unit,” she said. “I just crossed a path with Pastor Dan Hite (previous LINC executive director, now chairman of the board) and said, ‘How do you write grants to pay yourself?’ It just blossomed from there.”
In the community, LINC strives to build relationships by strengthening and renewing ties with family and community while establishing and linking with personal and individualized assistance. Responsibility is taught by recognizing and changing non-productive behaviors and cultivating employable attitudes and skills which lead to self-sufficiency. Respect in the LINC model comes by fostering a sense of self-worth and responsible citizenship along with encouraging a personal faith in God and finding purpose in life.
A major area of emphasis is daycare. In mid-March there were 25-27 children at the facility. It can hold up to 38.
Among LINC’s other assets are a 9-unit computer lab, athletic facilities for football, basketball, and baseball, a community garden, and a multi-purpose room where three churches meet.
“If you have a need, we want to hear you out and see if we can help,” said Thompson in a July 2011 interview with stltoday.com. “We are here to be frontline, emergency, fragile-family care. We want to prevent people from being hungry and being homeless.”