WILLIAMSON – During the holidays, a lot of focus is placed on helping those less fortunate. While that is certainly commendable, it is important to recognize those that contribute year round. Janette O’Brien, Director of Jacob’s Well Mission, works year round to help feed the less fortunate in the Williamson area.
Janette recently took a moment from her busy day to discuss her work at the mission with the Williamson Daily News.
“I have been working at the mission for about nine years. Before I was here, I helped at Intermission. That is where I got my training. Four years before that, the Lord told me that he wanted me to put in a soup kitchen. Then someone reminded me that there was already a soup kitchen so I backed off and waited on the Lord. When the other lady dropped her soup kitchen, I went and looked for a building and I put one in,” Janette said.
“I know that is what God called me to do. The Lord spoke to my heart,” she continued.
Janette also explained how she named the mission. “People have asked me how I came up with the name Jacob’s Well. I had been going to church in Huntington. They wanted a name for the coffee shop. The members were able to write down what they thought it should be. I wrote down on a napkin, ‘Jacob’s Well: The well that never runs dry.’ They picked Hebrews. Evidently Jacob’s Well was for this (the mission). We really enjoy it. God keeps us going and blesses us financially and food wise. Yesterday, we got three or four truck loads in of clothes to give away and toys for the children’s program,” Janette explained.
When asked how she manages to do it all Janette said, “The Lord has really blessed us. We have two buildings now instead of one. We were renting, but now it is rent free. God pays all the bills. He has blessed us so much. I give him all the glory, all the praise, and all the honor. Jesus owns this place. I am his helper. The Lord supplies the need, and he supplies the volunteers. I really don’t have anything to worry about because God takes care of everything. I just have such good people working with me now and I just appreciate them so much.”
The mission is open seven days a week and running it on a daily basis requires a large portion of every day. “We feed anywhere from 50 to 100 a day. We have fed up to 200 a day. During our Thanksgiving dinner, we did 300 and I figure Christmas will be about the same way. I am here anywhere from five to 10 hours. It depends on what comes in and what has to be done. Usually about five to seven hours every day,” Janette said.
The mission has grown throughout the years. Jacob’s Well provides meals, has a clothing program, church services, and holiday programs “We have grown. We extended the current building to put more tables out. We are planning on taking out a wall and extending. We have put on Facebook that we have pews to give away. We didn’t used to have a clothing program. Now we are over ran with clothes. Thank God I have people here that are good with it. We take used clothing. We had it open all last week. We gave garbage bags full of clothes out. They can take all they want,” Janette explained.
For more information on Jacob’s Well, visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Jacobs-Well or call 304- 236-5955.