The Well is a church plant in downtown Ionia, Michigan. It continues to expand its impact on the community.

The sign that graces the entry way to the quaint little home tucked away on a quiet dead end street, simply reads Hope House. No one would have guessed the future of this little house only a year ago. No one—except God.

In July of 2015, The Well Church of Ionia, Michigan received what is now known as Hope House from a local bank. The house was given freely to The Well and immediately I knew that this house would be used as an extension of The Well to fulfill its mission: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teach these new disciples to obey all of my (Jesus’) commands.” (Matthew 28:19) Prayers were lifted up as The Well listened for God’s direction. It didn’t take long to receive confirmation that this house would be used to bring God’s hope to a community that desperately needed it.

The Hope House received its first temporary resident in mid-October.

A young woman who had been taking care of her sick, elderly grandfather found herself homeless a few weeks after his passing. Without employment (due to the fact she was caring for her grandfather), she was not able to find low income housing and relatives were not able to take her in. She is now residing at the Hope House with an eight-week projected stay. During this time she will receive help finding employment and housing as well as being cared for emotionally and spiritually.

Without the Hope House, we honestly don’t know where she would be and if she would be able to sustain herself in life.

It took a lot of work to make the house ready for this kind of ministry.

Renovations began last summer, and the little old house started coming alive. Hours were poured in as a labor of love. Floors were replaced, walls and cupboards were painted, and conversations about the purpose of the house were generated. Just like the renovations that were going on within the walls of this home, so it would be with the lives that would walk into the Hope House. The mission of this house of hope is to love on and temporarily house those having a need for hope and help in life’s difficult circumstances. The Hope House not only provides transitional housing for those facing a hardship, it also offers peace during the storms of life. While staying at the Hope House basic needs are met, skills are taught, mentoring occurs and Jesus-focused discipleship takes place. This is all possible with someone living there as the Hope House Designer. The Designer manages the affairs of the house and sees to the care of the people who reside there and leans upon Romans 12:12-13, Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”

Ed Love serves as pastor of The Well