August 08, 2012
Amani Chattanooga: Coming Soon!
New opportunities for Amani in the US!
Amani is moving its warehouse operations from
Washington, DC to Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Amani has always been a place where peace transcends. Thousands of people all over the world have been impacted through the work of peace and reconciliation. Amani started 16 years ago in Kenya as a holistic job skills training and reconciliation ministry for refugee women. Women came from homelands in conflict and found love and forgiveness in a foreign land, sometimes among their enemies. Early on in the life of Amani we realized that Christ’s transcendent peace needed to be extended beyond just refugee women--it needed to be available to everyone. Amani has grown over the years with centers in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Liberia, and Washington, DC. And now, it is finding a new home in Chattanooga![caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Volunteers welcome Amani to Chattanooga, just as the renovations got under way[/caption] The US Warehouse has been housed at AmaniDC, our first US center in the heart of Washington, DC, since 2009. The DC center has thrived and continues to grow its local presence through the retail shop and outreach programs in the community. Because of all the new growth, the US Board agreed earlier this year that the US Warehouse needed a larger space to better serve as a distribution center. Just as the need became apparent, so did the provision to meet it. God has opened wide the doors for another US home for Amani in Chattanooga. Soon after this decision, a team began emerging in Chattanooga and stumbled upon a building that could house the new center. The building was in foreclosure in need of its own transformation, but with two storefronts and roughly 6,000 square feet of space, it was the perfect place for Amani to make a new home. Amani has been able to purchase and begin the renovation process through an investment of some of its own savings and a generous donations of capital and labor from the local community. Chattanooga is a natural fit for a new Amani center. It’s the hometown of our founder, Becky Chinchen. Many in this city have walked with Amani since its beginning, supporting the work of God’s peace by hosting sales, sending short-term teams to the Africa centers, and investing in Amani through donations. With this move, Amani is going home to a community that has nurtured it since its beginning. As with every Amani center, Amani Chattanooga will have its own identity, yet will remain committed to Amani’s holistic mission. Amani will reinvest in the community, drawing in Chattanoogans through training, volunteer service, mission trips, and creative product design. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Joanna and Diane, bringing Amani to Chattanooga
Learn more about these trailblazers here[/caption]
---Many of you have walked with us in the past as we established new Amani centers, and we need you this time too. We ask for your prayers as we:
- Restructure operations
- Continue to renovate the building
- Move inventory from DC to Chattanooga
- Train new staff
- Recruit volunteers
- Get to know our neighbors
---Executive Director Becky Chinchen, on her hopes for the new center: “The Chattanooga location will be more than a warehouse. It will be the vehicle for people coming together, where the real work will be that of peace and reconciliation. I have learned from the African Amani centers that when people participate in a project focused on God's peace and forgiveness, the walls of economic, racial, and cultural differences soon come down. Amani gives people a reason to belong and a safe place to heal. We trust that this will be true for Amani Chattanooga as well.” We are again giving God thanks for another Amani center grounded in God’s peace. It’s exciting to imagine how the Chattanooga center will take shape. Our hope is that it will become a place where customers, employees, neighbors, and volunteers will find value, worth, forgiveness, and healing because of Christ’s peace, peace from above.