Life Pax began as a personal response in obedience to Biblical commands to feed the hungry and share the love of Christ with the world. A can of soup, cheese, crackers, 100% fruit juice, spoon, napkin in a zip-lock bag provided a complete, healthy, inexpensive, quick, convenient, compact, nonperishable meal that could be eaten on the spot and handed out of the car window when stopped at intersections inhabited by panhandlers. A small note tucked inside shared a personal message of hope, faith, and relationship.
Many individuals had voiced their desire to give to panhandlers but refrained from doing so, questioning whether their money effectively met the needs of people who asked for help. Then, interest and encouragement grew from positive responses to an article on Life Pax written for the March 2002 monthly newsletter, produced by Crossroads Community Church of Vancouver Washington. At the same time it became apparent that these packages could be mass produced and made available for a reasonable price, enabling people whose time was at a premium to purchase and distribute food to the needy during their busy routines.
May 2005 The Church Responds
Sale of Life Pax began on May 29, 2005, occurring twice a month after services at Crossroads. An initial gift of 500 Life Pax was donated for this cause and the money received for the sale of the Pax were routed to an account at Crossroads. Inventory has been replenished by returning receipts for reimbursement. At the present time this is a
self-perpetuating project developed and run by innumerable volunteer hours.
April 2006 Passion Fest
In April, Passion Fest 2006 held at Pioneer Court House Square in downtown Portland, OR, requested fifty Life Pax to be used for distribution to the homeless attending this event. The cards enclosed in the Pax were modified in order to remove the distinctive “Crossroads” appearance and the contact/help information was moved to a small business card which included ten churches and outreach organizations located in the downtown/metropolitan area.
Pastors at Crossroads caught the vision of this project and encouraged the formation of an independent 501(c) (3) corporation that would move out from under “Crossroad’s umbrella.” This would enable Life Pax to move across ecumenical boundaries allowing other churches and faith-based organizations to purchase and distribute their own Life Pax.”1
Life Pax becomes a 501(C)(3) charitable organization
Life Pax participated in another Passion Fest.
- Crossroads Community Church became the first independent organization to operate their own Life Pax ministry separate from Life Pax organization. Life Pax begins expansion into Clark County and Portland
- Northwest Parish Nurse Ministries endorses Life Pax
- Trinity Lutheran Church of Vancouver begins distribution of Life Pax
- Memorial Lutheran Church of Vancouver begins distribution of Life Pax
- Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church of Vancouver begins distribution of Life Pax
- Christ Community Church of Vancouver begins distribution of Life Pax
- St. John’s Lutheran Church of Vancouver purchases Life Pax to satisfy requests for food
- Thrivent Financial for Lutherans of S.W. Washington purchases and donates 500 Life Pax for high school pack and distribution through local churches
- Thrivent Financial for Lutherans of Oregon purchases and donates 450 Life Pax for member event in Aurora, Oregon.
- Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Vancouver orders Life Pax for the youth ministry.
- Boulder Falls Landscaping begins supporting distribution of 600 units per year.
- East Woods Presbyterian Church begins distribution.
- The Madeline Parish, Portland begins distribution
- First Friends, Vancouver begins distribution.
- Saint Mark Lutheran Church, Salem, OR places a trial order.
- St. Francis Parish begins distribution with St. Vincent de Paul.
- A Peaceful Path Montessori orders for a special packing.
1 History excerpted from “Narrative Description of Activities” included in 501(c) 3 application, dated 7-12-2006. Life Pax were used in a second Passion Fest celebration in 2007.