The Mennonite Missions Network (MMN) outreach program, SOOP, provided a format that would enlist persons desiring to find meaningful ways to serve during their time in the Valley. Families from the Trinity congregation provided a room for volunteers. The volunteers served in various ways in the community, one Love in Action, a faith based organization that served many different needs in the Glendale area.A dream for the Phoenix SOOP program was to have a home where all volunteers could live in community. In addition, tax deductible donations were needed to support the SOOP program. MMN is a conduit to over 70 SOOP units across the United States.
SOOP in Canada was a mission of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) of Canada and promoted SOOP in units in Canada and the U.S. However, these organizations did not provide financial support to the local programs.In 2007, both objectives became a reality. A home was purchased on the same street of the Trinity Mennonite Church campus. At the same time, Goldensun, a residential program that serves developmentally disabled adults with four homes in the immediate community, was willing to take SOOP on as a part of its organization in order for SOOP to receive tax deductible donations. SOOP volunteers found great reward in interacting with the Goldensun residents.
Peter and Rheta Mae Wiebe hosted the SOOP program during the early years with Roland and Dottie Yoder taking on the leadership role during a time of significant growth and development. With the SOOP house now a central part of the local program, the numbers grew each year. With a need to pay the costs of renting a home, utilities and repairs a plan was made to utilize the house throughout the year and not just during the prime winter months.Originally known as the SOOP house, the house located on Vista Avenue now became the Phoenix Menno Guest House.
The word was out that a Bed and Breakfast located in the Trinity Mennonite Church/Goldensun community now provided lodging for family members, church wide agency staff and anyone seeking a home environment at a reasonable price.Jared and Traci Stoltzfus were the first Guest House hosts beginning their two year term in September 2009. This responsibility also included directing the SOOP program during the fall and winter months. In 2011, Jon and Martha Lapp assumed the role which they held for two years. In September 2013, Bill and Edna Ressler assumed the role as Host of the Guest House and Directors of the SOOP program. Jim and Lila Gascho served during the winter months of 2016. Ben and Mary Jane Newcomer began their term of service in October 2016.