Desert Rose Ministries Closes Doors After 10 Years of Service

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Desert Rose Ministries will close its doors for good at the end of today. Pastor Jason Estle and his wife Shanna are seen here Wednesday with some of the volunteers. Pictured left to right: Patricia Sorensen, Pamela Lund, Carla Morgan, Shanna Estle, Mike Mehren, Jason Estle, Joe Thompson and Cindy McEver. (Photo by Michael Kane)

After a decade of feeding the homeless and helping addicts find treatment, Hermiston’s Desert Rose Ministries is closing its doors for good at the end of today.

“It’s been 10 years,” said Pastor Jason Estle. “I think we’ve put our time into the community. The Lord is pushing us in a different direction. I’m not going to say what it is, but hopefully we’ll stay in the community. We’re waiting to hear from the Lord.”

Estle and his wife, Shanna, opened Desert Rose Ministries (DRM) on Main Street in 2013 with the mission of giving aid to the homeless and addicts through Christ, said Mike Mehren, a longtime volunteer. Over the years, DRM has provided two meals a day four days a week. Just last Thursday, 51 people came in and received a warm breakfast and lunch. It has also given out food boxes and clothing to those in need.

DRM, located at 512 E. Main Street, is certified to assist people needing housing, a driver’s license and other types of government documents, said Mehren.

Estle said the success of DRM is due to God.

Pastor Jason Estle prepares a plate of food for Joseph Day on April 5, 2017, at Desert Rose Ministries in Hermiston. (Hermiston Herald file photo)

“We didn’t have Plan 1 when we opened these doors,” he said. “People told us it was a waste of time. It was all faith and trust in the Lord. We had no clue what we were going to do when we opened the doors.”

The first person seeking help from DRM 10 years ago was Pamela Lund. “She was hungry, so I went and got her a McDonald’s meal,” Estle said. “I guess you could say that was the beginning of our feeding program.” Lund has since become volunteer for DRM.

Estle and Shanna started a church service soon after opening the doors. It was a modest beginning.

“Marlette (Homes) loaned us a bunch of chairs,” Estle said. “We had more chairs than we had people when we started.  We didn’t advertise what we did or that we offered church services. It was just word of mouth.”

Estle, who has lived in Hermiston all his life, said they take about 30 addicts a year to faith-based treatment centers as far away as Portland and Seattle.

“We’ve probably helped about 300 people of the last 10 years,” he said. “Our whole point of being here is all about being a servant of God and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone.”

Estle told a story of one man who he encountered early on who told him he had no faith.

“He said ‘I don’t believe in your God.’ He had seen so much darkness in his life,” said Estle. “I invited him to come down and see for himself what we do. So, he started coming in and sitting in a corner. He never talked, he just watched. After about three weeks, he said, ‘I now believe in your God.’ He told me he didn’t think there was any way I could reach him. He’s still doing well today.”

When asked about his hopes for the final day of Desert Rose Ministries, Estle didn’t hesitate to answer.

“Me and my wife are praying we can take one last person to treatment,” he said. “That would be so cool.”

Before the doors are closed for good, Estle had one more thing he wanted to give – “a big thank you to all our donors and supporters over the years.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Jason and Shanna for your service to God and our community…I’ve seen you reach into the darkness and extend your love the broken people here in Hermiston. I am proud of you both for your work and proud to consider you as my friends. Much love and appreciation my friends.
    With love…Bonney Bozarth

  2. My heart knows the service you did for this community, I thank you for being there for thoes who needed you. I will miss coming by and bring clothes for the homeless. But I will definately miss your smiling face. May God bless and keep you. May your next assignment be just as fulfilling as this one. Much love.

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