Message from LUM Executive Director

LUM is Family | Resource | Partner | Resilient

My Beloved LUM Family,

In April 2020, I came to this community thinking Lafayette Urban Ministry was a good nonprofit organization doing many compassionate things. I know now that LUM is a whole lot more than that.

LUM is a beautiful and diverse family.
People from multiple generations, ethnicities, incomes, cultures, and faiths function at LUM as a family with a mission. There is a sincere love and a compelling purpose in this family. The LUM family includes volunteers, donors, staff, and clients.

LUM is a vital resource.
After almost 50 years of day and night ministry in this community, LUM has become a trusted and necessary resource to thousands of people in Greater Lafayette.

LUM is a key community partner.
LUM offers excellent services addressing housing, children, immigration, financial assistance, nutrition and social justice. Yet the needs of the community are far greater than any one organization can meet. LUM partners with a wide array of other organizations and refers clients for clothing, mental health, addiction recovery, judicial, medical and other needs.

LUM is resilient.
The challenges of 2020 did not cause LUM to halt its work of mercy and justice. The challenges of 2020 simply caused LUM to adapt and evolve. LUM never missed a night or day of assisting the most vulnerable members of our community.

If you are reading this, most likely you are part of my beloved LUM family. Thank you for your interest and support. I pray that a healthy sense of pride, belonging, and gratitude wells up in your heart. There is so much to celebrate, in spite of all difficulties.

All glory and thanks to God. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.…

Wes Tillett
LUM Executive Director

{Pictured above are Wes & Rita Tillett and their children (L to R), Tobias, Noah, Avalyn & Kidest.}


Welcome to the Lafayette Urban Ministry!

Hello! It is a joyful honor to re-enter the Lafayette Urban Ministry orbit. My wife and I have fondness in our hearts for LUM (15 years ago, when I had hair) and are excited to jump back in, rekindle old connections, nurture new connections, and introduce our children to this amazing ministry.

If you are reading this, it tells me that you are an active part of the LUM family. Thank you! Every person matters. Every act of generosity of time, talent, and treasure counts. I am grateful for how you have helped make LUM such a helpful and healthy agency that serves others.

As I enter into the Executive Director position, I am humbled by and appreciative of the fabulous and faithful leadership of Joe Micon. His record of 495 consecutive board meetings is in no danger of being broken by me (I’d have to serve until I was 83). I know Joe built on the foundation of Executive Directors, Rev. Jud Dolphin and Rev. Ron Elly. I am asking God for the grace to continue a legacy of courageous servant-leadership with LUM.

No doubt there is some anxiety as a new person takes a place of leadership.
Can we trust Wes? Is he capable? Will he change everything? Will we like him? Will he like us? Can he faithfully maximize the good that is already present in LUM and effectively navigate future realities? All those questions are honest and good — and normal.

In response to those types of questions, I reassure you that I come into this role with both a sense of humility and confidence — and a “dependence on God” to give me the wisdom to respond to the ever-evolving needs of the Lafayette / West Lafayette community and to show up strong in the midst of my weakness (“My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” 2 Corinthians 12:9). As a recovering perfectionist, I am keenly aware of my weaknesses, more than my strengths; and it is a comfort to know that God fills in my gaps.

As for my confidence, it is built upon the reality that “God cares more about this than I do and will work it out better than I can.” This faith has guided me over the past 10 years – moving to the Middle East (Lebanon) and moving back to the Midwest (Michigan) to start a new congregation (Voyage Church).

I have seen the faithfulness of God at every turn—honing my strengths and granting me success. All of this goodness gives me confidence to experience that goodness in the present and the future.

I am excited to move back to Tippecanoe County, learn the ropes of LUM, appreciate what is, and dream about what could be. What would it look like to more and more effectively meet the needs of children and families, of immigrants, of individuals without homes, and the most vulnerable among us? What would it look like to do what together we do at LUM so well that other communities seek to follow our model? With God all things are possible.

Let’s continue to lean in and serve those around us. I am eager to learn and grow, to lead and serve.

Wes Tillett
Executive Director
Lafayette Urban Ministry