Stay Connected 8-10-17
As an organization and as individuals, we have felt challenged to sacrificial prayer. God has been reminding us of how important prayer is to the foundation of this work. It is through prayer that we will receive God’s miraculous and transformative power to change people’s lives! I am hoping to share more in future communication, but God has challenged me to crucify myself in two critical ways in my life and ministry through prayer. He has challenged me to fast 1.5-2 days a week and to commit to “prayer runs” (because it is challenging for me to run, it causes me to pray). Would you seek God on what sacrificial prayer looks like for you in your life, and for the ministries you serve with, and for the Kingdom and our city and beyond?
This is a marathon, not a sprint! I have preached this statement hundreds of times and still need to re-learn and let the words sink into my spirit. When it comes to people, Jesus demonstrated such an unfailing love, with such patience and perseverance and always seeing the potential in everyone. Sometimes the question can loom in our minds, are we making a difference? Or we may see where someone is at and forget how far they have come, or forget that God will walk with them no matter how long it takes! Investing into people is a lot like gardening. Some plants sprout up and produce fruit right away, while others take a lot longer to produce any fruit. It feels good to reflect back on someone’s life and think of all the ways they have grown over the process of time. Our friend Mary is one of those people who we have watched grow over the past 3 years.
When we first met Mary, she was homeless, sleeping in her car with her children. She was in a bad situation, coming from some pretty broken relationships. For months, we wanted to be able to help get her into an affordable place to live, but we just didn’t have any connections or openings we knew of. But God never asks you to do what you can’t do, He asks you to bring what you have, even if it seems little or insignificant. We invested into Mary as much as possible, to support her, and encourage her, and get her any resources we could.
During that time, she started coming to church with us and gave her heart to God! Eventually she found housing and started working a good job. It seemed she was finding stability quite quickly, but the challenge for her became the unhealthy relationships that were still in her life. Those relationships really brought her down and caused her to struggle in many different ways. I remember several times wondering if she was going to make it. But one thing we know, we love Mary and her family, and no matter how rough the process might seem, we are committed to her no matter what! While we know it will continue to be a journey, we rejoice with her as she has been working a very well paid job for over a year now! She loves Jesus and her family! Does she still have challenges? Yes, some really big ones, but we stand in awe of God and of what He is doing and how Mary continues to rise in her journey! Watch out for Mary, because she is a person affecting a lot of people’s lives and I believe she will be known for that!
GR Dream Center Heros:
Mike & Kirsti Haverdink: Mike and Kirsti connected with the Dream Center in the fall of 2015. It has been amazing to see their passion and commitment to people as they serve on a weekly basis through the Oakdale Adopt-a-Block. Often times they are visiting people even beyond the weekly AAB. Their leadership has helped reach the neighborhood in profound ways. They are investing into people at so many levels. People are drawn to their humility, compassion, and wisdom. Big thanks to Mike and Kirsti for their commitment to the Gospel and Kingdom of God!
Powerhouse: God presented an open door to a deeper relationship with a partnering ministry earlier this year. After much prayer and planning, we are happy to announce that Powerhouse will be combining as an official ministry of the Grand Rapids Dream Center! It will be a bigger collaboration between GRDC and Resurrection Life Church. We are so excited for what God has planned for this expanded relationship!
Prayer/Intercessory Team: With growing efforts for the foundation of prayer, we are happy to inform everyone that we have a dedicated intercessor who will be praying for us weekly during Adopt-a-Block. LuAnn Kruis, Aleya Raterman’s Mom, will be going into her prayer room from 6:30-8pm. She welcomes building any relationships with others who may have a heart to go to your prayer spot or a group spot to war for God’s work! Aleya will be the prayer coordinator helping us involve other intercessors, receive prayer requests and track our prayers as we fight for heaven’s will on earth! Aleya can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Freedom and Discipleship of those who are being reached
-Prayer for our city’s children and youth and our in role reaching them. We have a huge desire to deepen our connection to reach people while they are young, to hopefully avert them from the many deep rooted problems that can occur when they are older.
-Ministries & Church Unity In Our City
Honor to serve with you,