The Embassy exists to offer rest, refuge and restoration to people in need. Our vision is to equip and empower people in despair to live healthy, enjoyable and productive lives that they can be proud of, and give by giving them a hand-up not a hand-out to get started.
That is the mission statement of The Embassy, a faith based restoration ministry located here in Sedalia.
The Weekly Observer sat down and spoke with the current acting Executive Director Gary Smith. Smith is currently the Pastor at Liberty Life Center, and a current Embassy board member.
The Embassy was founded back in 2010, and according to Smith, last year alone the program helped 47 men. The women’s program began in 2013 and it currently has seven women participating.
According to information given by Smith, the goals for The Embassy include access to a safe place to rest and obtain assistance, coaching and direction to get back on their feet, to be able to learn new ways to achieve higher self-determination by cooperating and working together with others, accept responsibility for their actions, develop their resources including a resume and job search strategy to increase long term success and obtain employment, and increase those skills and income necessary to providing long-term sustainability and success for themselves and family.
They also include obtaining and remaining in permanent, stable housing that is safe, decent and sanitary, as well as enhancing parenting and family skills and obtaining freedom that comes through Christ and being a part of the larger community that cares.
The Embassy works closely with the Missouri Department of Corrections and they help place former inmate into the program.
“Usually, the individuals that are incarcerated, they hear about it when they ask about a home plan. They have to fill out an application. If it is approved, then they can start the program,” Pastor Smith said.
The Embassy program consists of four levels, with the first being the Point of Entry: Compassion Program. That portion of the program lasts from one to seven days.
The next level is the Refugee Program, and that level lasts anywhere from 1-30 days. The next level is the Citizenship Program. That lasts anywhere from 6-12 months. The final level is the Ambassador Program and that lasts from 6-12 months as well. For more information on the different program levels, people may visit The Embassy website at www.theembassyinc.org.
Smith went on to explain a little more about the program.
“The Embassy is not one house, or even several houses. It is an umbrella of residences, businesses, ministries and networking; networking with other like minded agencies or industries,” Smith explained.
Pastor Smith was asked where the funding for The Embassy comes from.
“We receive funds from the United Way. Other than that, most everything comes from individuals and charitable donations from the community. If we could encourage churches, organizations and individuals to give even $25 a month, then that would make a huge difference in helping meet our needs,” Smith said.
Smith was asked where the idea for The Embassy came about and he replied, “The vision was from Chris Patton. He was a member of our church at the time. He came to our elders and his vision really matched up with our vision at Liberty Life Center. Chris remains the president/CEO of The Embassy.”
The Embassy board of directors consists of five members, as well as a six person board of advisors.
“I really commend the board of directors. They’ve stayed with it through some really tough times. They have stayed with it and kept the program going,” Pastor Smith said.
Smith finished by saying, “We are real excited about the number of people and groups that have started donating and giving time and resources to meet the immediate needs of The Embassy. We are very thankful to the people that are coming forward. We have people sponsoring rooms and churches sponsoring houses. This is a worthwhile mission and ministry for the community.”