Jordan Ministries Expands By 'Labor of Love'

( [email protected] ) Mar 08, 2004 02:19 PM EST

THERMAL,CA. – Jordan Outreach Ministries International celebrated the grand opening of a new 22,000-sq. ft. building on Friday after a lot of hard work put forth especially by the ministry’s founder Joe Jordan. The bigger space is testimony in itself to how much potential the ministry has in becoming a cornerstone in the lives of people at Coachella.

"It’s really exciting. We’ve waited a long time to expand. The need is here in the east valley," said Jordan, who founded the ministry in Thermal in 1997.

Jordan Outreach Ministries International is a Christian nonprofit whose mission is to help meet the spiritual, educational, physical and recreation needs of poor and at-risk children and their families.

Starting out with only seven children in the first program, Jordan is now expecting up to 1,500 kids a week.

The new center will have plenty of space for the new children and families that will be utilizing the center.

The new Children’s and Family Center sits on 15 acres and has three buildings painted a soothing peppercorn and sage green. A 10,000-square-foot gymnasium houses three basketball courts. There is also a 7,000-square-foot classroom and food distribution building. The 5,000-square-foot activities building includes a self-sufficient center by itself with a computer center, an arcade/game room, a chapel, a dining room and kitchen, and offices all under its roof.

There is also room outside for children to enjoy themselves, either by riding horses at the 5-acre equestrian center or fish in the small pond behind the activities building. Plans for a softball field, a baseball field and a football/soccer field are yet to be crystallized.

According to Jordan, it was God’s will for the facility to be completed.

"God cares about Coachella, he cares about impoverished families," he said.

Jordan’s wife, Kris Jordan, was “in awe” when she looked at the facility.

Many of those whom have benefited from Jordan’s services before are thankful for the new building but also for what he has already done for them.

"He’s given me a job. He gives me food,” said Pancho Segura. “My kids used to come to his programs all the time. I’ll be bringing them again. They love all the activities they get to do."

Councilwoman Rosanna Contreras said that her friends have also appreciate what the ministry has offered them.

Among the activities and services offered to children and their families include: after-school program; educational support and assistance; horseback riding; sports and recreation; food, clothing and product distribution; emergency/crisis aid; marriage and family counseling, and holiday events.

Although the services offered at the facility are free of charge, the construction of the buildings came at a price.

Jordan worked 80-hour weeks acting as the general contractor in order to save money during the construction process. The role he played combined with donations and governmental assistance, took an initial estimate of the project from $3 to $3.5 million turned it into $1.5 million to build.

Getting the facility built was a labor of love, said Jordan.

However, he doesn’t mind. "This is my calling,” he said.