Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Local Voices: A poem and statement for Mayor Patty and all of Lansing


Submitted by Pastor Leon, Mt Zion UFL Center

The poem

In Lansing’s heart, a tale unfolds,
A ministry’s journey, a story told.
Mount Zion Center, a beacon of light,
Embracing the community with all its might.

Council’s nod, a vote of trust,
Welcomed as an asset, a bond robust.
Worthy of exemption, a tax-free path,
Lansing’s heart opened, clearing the aftermath.

Mayor Patty Eidam, with scissors and grace,
Cut the ribbon, a step to embrace.
Homeless, poor, handicapped, in need,
Found a haven through compassion’s deed.

Pantry doors open, a lifeline extended,
Hands outstretched, lives intended.
Food and clothing, a generous hand,
Guiding the struggling to solid land.

Pandemic’s grip tightened, needs did soar,
Two, then three times, opening the door.
From Walmart’s blaze, a spark ignited,
A helping hand stretched, the battle fought.

Incorporated, programs grew wide,
Twenty to thirty, side by side.
Homeless find homes, counseling there,
A symphony of care, a village to repair.

Mayor Patty’s choices, wise and clear,
Turning Lansing into a land that cheers.
A chorus of hope, a melody of grace,
Singing for a better life, a brighter place.

From pantry’s inception, a beacon shines,
Reducing hunger’s chains, breaking confines.
Twenty-four hours of nourishment and care,
A haven to find, a shelter from despair.

Streets see fewer souls lost in the night,
Crime’s shadow retreats, replaced by light.
Blessed is Lansing, a helping hand’s embrace,
A community uplifted, a better life’s pace.

Pastor Juan Leon (left) and Betty Burley pose in front of the coats they offered to the community in 2020. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

The statement

Since our ministry’s arrival at Mt. Zion Center in Lansing, the city’s council has acknowledged our presence as an asset to the community. Recognizing our efforts and impact, they granted us tax exemption, underscoring our positive influence.

A few years back, we initiated a pantry with the esteemed Mayor Patty Eidam inaugurating the occasion, providing assistance to the homeless, the needy, and the handicapped. As time moved forward, the demand for our support swelled. The outreach from our pantry became a lifeline for those seeking sustenance and aid, especially as the pandemic and then the fire at Walmart, our outreach evolved to offer assistance to the entire community. The frequency grew to two or three times a week, reaching its height of impact.

Today, our program stands as a cornerstone, incorporated and extended across 20 to 30 outreach initiatives spanning neighboring cities. From aiding the homeless in securing housing to providing counseling for the troubled, and offering sustenance to those in need, our efforts have been instrumental in the betterment of the community. Credit goes to the wise decisions of Mayor Patty and the council members, who have chosen the path that turned Lansing into a thriving village. Their choices have translated into a harmonious life for the community, transforming it into a land that hums with hope and prosperity.

As our pantry continues to flourish, the numbers of homeless and hungry individuals have considerably dwindled. A safe haven remains open 24 hours a day, ensuring no one is left to brave the streets without a meal or clothing. This endeavor has brought forth not just physical nourishment, but also a renewal in spirit and a reduction in crime.

We find ourselves blessed to be a part of Lansing’s journey, a guiding hand in its transformation.

Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Leon

Local Voices
Local Voices
Local Voices is The Lansing Journal's version of “Letters to the Editor.” The opinions posted here are those of the writers, and posting them does not indicate endorsement by The Lansing Journal. We welcome input from fellow residents who have thoughtful things to say about topics that are important to our community. Submissions may be sent to [email protected] with “Voices” in the subject line.