On the Move at Esperanza’s Fitness Room!
At 9 am nearly every weekday at Esperanza’s Fitness Room, located at our Hunting Park site, you’re likely to find José De Jesus doing his daily fitness walk on the treadmill, along with a growing group of regular exercisers. His Esperanza physician, Daniel Chen, M.D. (says José, “He’s a great doctor!”) and dietitian Christina Yi, RD, LDN, who teaches the diabetes classes that José attends, recommended that he start a walking program. When José started walking in December, he was totally new to regular exercise, and needed a cane to walk. Now, José can now walk for 90 minutes without stopping, and no longer needs his cane!
“I’ve been telling everyone about the Fitness Center—my friends, my family,” said José. “It’s a gift from God to come here, because I can see my doctor and then use the Fitness Center. Next to my own house, Esperanza is like my second home!”
Meet Our Mission Year Volunteers
For the past several years, we’ve partnered with Mission Year (http://missionyear.org/), a “year long urban ministry program focused on Christian service and discipleship” that places volunteers in five U.S. cities, including Philadelphia. Since last September, we’re grateful to have had Heather McIntyre and Matt Cowman (R) serving with us.
During one of her first weeks at Esperanza, Heather was able to attend the fall staff retreat, and remembers “being amazed that an organization paid its staff to take a day for worship, fellowship, and prayer.” In addition to monitoring our Fitness Room each day, Heather supports many other projects for our Department of Community Health and Wellness. She has especially enjoyed building relationships with Fitness Room users. “Their faithfulness and determination are an inspiration and encouragement to me, both in my faith and in my attitude toward my body and health,” said Heather. “I’m thankful to have been able to observe and learn from the community here in North Philadelphia and at Esperanza, especially with regard to what it means to love God and people.”
Matt has served in many ways at the Kensington site—whether it’s supporting our office manager, assisting people in Affordable Care Act insurance enrollment, restocking shelves, or supporting the electronic medical records system. Said Matt: “Through my time at Esperanza, I’ve come to realize that wherever I am, I’m able to worship in the workplace. The times I am staring at a computer for hours upon hours, I am able to pray for those patient names that so often can be blurred into patient ID numbers. I am so thankful for my time at Esperanza and the relationships that I have formed here. Esperanza is a place that has reminded me of the light Christ-followers ought to be, and has given me that extra sodium I need to heed the call of Christ in being the ‘salt of the earth’.”
Esperanza Runs Broad Street!
Nearly 20 Esperanza staff, family and friends were among the more than 40,000 runners in the Broad Street Run held on May 4th, one of the nation’s largest road races. Esperanza runners joined this winter for group training runs to prepare. Said Esperanza’s Isabel Ou: “I felt God gave me a glimpse of what it looks like at heaven’s gate: thousands of people of all colors, backgrounds, and ages, all running towards one glorious destination.”
SMI 2014 Starting Soon
Only a few weeks remain until the start of the Summer Medical Institute (SMI) Philadelphia 2014! From June 28‐July 19, 2014, a group of health professions students along with community church members, Esperanza staff and volunteers will conduct door-to-door health screens with hundreds of North Philadelphia residents, and will seek to share the love and good news of Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, with those they meet. You can read more about SMI Philadelphia here. For more information, please contact Holly Favino, SMI Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.