When wildfires and flood waters torched and swept away hundreds of Colorado homes in 2010 and 2013, big-name Christian ministries like Samaritan’s Purse and Convoy of Hope were on the ground within days of the disasters, offering clothing, food, water, medical supplies, comfort and prayer to people who had lost everything or needed temporary shelter. What surprised them and other relief and humanitarian assistance groups was that help had already arrived.
HELP International conducts its own local, national and global faith-based outreach from a 17,000-square-foot warehouse in Loveland, Colo., equidistant to wildfires in Boulder and Larimer counties where thousands of homes were evacuated or burned to the ground in 2010. HELP (His Everlasting Love Prevails) immediately partnered with the American Red Cross to provide toiletries, food, clothes and simple medical supplies to refugees fleeing the fires.
HELP’s worldwide reach rivals its bigger partners in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, having shipped 217 containers valued at $67 million to 97 countries since 2000; eighteen of the containers filled with clothes and supplies docked in Israel. In addition, HELP has staffed 12 disaster-relief centers in the United States and abroad, coordinated 43 worldwide missions trips, helped start 35 micro-businesses globally and, on an on-going basis, supports a Christian school and child-feeding program in Uganda where a third of the students are Muslim. At home in Loveland, HELP assists 1,200 families on average, annually.
From their barn, co-founders Don and Jean Kaye-Wilson birthed HELP eight years after receiving a prophecy from an unknown woman at church, who told them: “The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.”
“At the time, we said okay to the prophecy but had no idea what it meant” except that it was Moses' last recorded words to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:8, says Jean Kaye-Wilson. “We didn‘t even know the biblical meaning of the word storehouse in 1992.”
Since then, the Wilsons have come to understand that, in good times and bad, a storehouse holds supplies for people in need during seasons of prosperity; in seasons of drought or famine, a storehouse offers life, hope and liberty.
“We believe the Lord has set up a storehouse in this region for a time to come and, in this season of good, as a lighthouse to the nations,” says Jean Kaye-Wilson, a registered nurse and theology school graduate who will lead a medical missions team to Uganda in 2014. She will also oversee outreaches in Colorado, a missions trip to Israel and a second one to Uganda this year.
To support its global outreach, HELP operates two thrift stores; one named HOPE’s Storehouse in Longmont, Colo. and the other HOPE’s Treasures in Greeley, Colo. As with the word HELP, HOPE is an acronym: His Overwhelming Provision Endures. The profits from both stores are funneled to international missions efforts in Romania, Asia, Africa and wherever help is needed.
In Uganda, HELP feeds and educates students through the seventh grade and exports hand-crafted jewelry designed by 65 women. The micro-business, Bigger Than Beads, supports families and a Christian school with jewelry made from recycled materials. The school began under a tree, moved to shacks, and finally settled in older buildings on property donated by the government, with support from Kampala representatives and the people of Masese, Uganda.
Financial backing for HELP’s global endeavors flows from local churches and donors including an anonymous giver in New York who, for six years, has paid the $5,500 monthly rent for the Loveland warehouse. Because the donor’s circumstance changed in 2013, HELP is looking for additional financial support to meet its $10,000 monthly budget, or the generous offer of a comparably-sized warehouse. Run by an all-volunteer staff, HELP occupies a facility roughly the size of nine single-family homes on one floor and nine more residences on the second level, says Don Wilson.
“We are very honored to be serving the king this way,” says Don Wilson whose faith in God’s provision is as great today as when HELP began in his family’s 1,500 square-foot barn 14 years ago.
Leaders at the Wilson’s home church, Resurrection Fellowship, in Loveland say HELP is good ground to sow financial seed in because the ministry produces fruit for its labors, locally, and in places like Haiti where an earthquake in 2010 made Colorado’s wildfires and floods look inconsequential by comparison to the loss of lives on the island nation.