Summer H.E.A.T Update

Summer has quickly come to an end with our summer outreach efforts all wrapped up. As you know this summer was our summer H.E.A.T initiative, and between our workshops, children’s camps, and youth employment program we were able to reach a total of 167 people. It was a full summer and God really showed himself mighty.

We started the summer off with working with 9 high school aged workers (Amari, Erica, Naomi, December, Joseph, Damion, Kendrick, Deshawn, Jerrod) who helped us accomplish some much needed projects. Relationships were built and seeds, both spiritual and job related, were sown into their lives. I have since stayed in touch with Erica and Naomi and hope to continue to be a representation of Christ to them.

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Erica and Naomi during our ADAPT: Career Development and Life Skills Program

Throughout our 5-Day clubs we served 86 kids. It was a full week but each child was able to hear the gospel, and learn about world missions. At our second club we had a daycare bring all their kids, which was overwhelming, but exciting to know they heard the gospel. I ended up taking about half of the high school workers with me to serve during the 5-day clubs, they got right in and partook in the singing and games. The cool thing was, even though they were working they were able to hear the gospel themselves and opened the door to spiritual conversations with some of them.

 

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Joseph, one of our youth workers, helping the kids with their memory verse

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Kids at the 2nd camp at Westlawn housing complex

A quick week later we were preparing for our back to school bash, “Diving Deep”. This was the highlight of my summer and honestly the highlight of my whole time as outreach coordinator. Each day the attendance grew, and by the last day we had 32 kids. We were able to give out 42 backpacks with school supplies for the new school year on the last day.

For the past 3 years we have done a back to school bash, and each year the Malone family comes. Looking back, the first year I didn’t really remember them, the second year I remembered them, this year a real relationship was built with them. Each year we get a little deeper and have a little more impact in their lives. Additionally to the Malone family, two girls, Paris and Lundon, who were at the 5-day club came each day of the bash, as well as 2 families we have regularly serve in our Freedom Center- clothing/food pantry. This outreach was so impactful to me due to the continual seeds we have been able to plant in people’s lives and seeing relationships really form and grow. This really captures our heart of going deeper and reaching higher. We are now trusting God to bring the harvest.

 

I invite you to continue to be praying for these young people and families. We have already seen the schemes of Satan be at work in some of their lives, which is sad and frustrating, but would you please rally around them with me in prayer.

To pray for by name:

  • Johnson family
  • Ruby family
  • Malone family
  • Jesus Sifunets
  • Calderon/Lopez family
  • Diaz family
  • Chenille Cole
  • 9 youth workers (Amari, Erica, Naomi, December, Joseph, Damion, Kendrick, Deshawn, Jerrod)
  • Roman/Lacy family
  • Bowers family
  • Feest family
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LTM Summer H.E.A.T

With Summer here everyone is probably turning on their air conditioning while we at LTM are preparing to crank up the H.E.A.T.  Summer is a time for us to go in even harder to reach our community to have impact. We have a lot of things planned and moving forward for this summer. To capture all that we are doing we called it LTM Summer H.E.A.T  (helping, engaging, and, transforming)

Starting June 26th and going till August 11th, we are partnering with Employ Milwaukee through their Earn and Learn program. 10 youth/young adults will be working 20 hours per week at LTM. They will be helping us accomplish some much needed projects around our buildings, as well as learning necessary skills to get and keep a job. A good chunk of my time this summer will be supervising, and mentoring 5 of those workers. It is our prayer for these 6 weeks that doors will be opened for spiritual conversations and learned life skills that leave their lives transformed.

On July 24th-28th we are partnering with the Child Evangelism Fellowship and will be hosting a 5-Day Club for the youth. During this week we will be at 3 different locations in the 53218 zip code (one in the morning, one in the early afternoon, one in the late afternoon) It will be run like a VBS where the children will learn about the good news of Jesus all while having FUN! On that Friday we will invite all the children and their families from the 3 locations to LTM to have a Friday night rally where there will be food, prizes, and an opportunity to further our connection with them.

On August 9th-11th we will try to have yet another encounter with those same kids and families by having a 3 day Back to School Bash “Going Deeper” where again it will be run like a VBS, and on the last day the children can get a backpack with school supplies. Please be praying that children will want to come back to continue to hear about Jesus and the power He can have in their lives. If we can reach the children we can reach their families.

Additionally to these events, we will be hosting 3 workshops to help engage our community. On June 27th we will be hosting a “Real Talk” parenting workshop where parents from the community can come and learn/discuss healthy godly ways of parenting today’s children. On July 25th will be our “Power of One” relationship workshop discussing healthy relationships, and on August 29th we will have our “Project Me” personal development workshop. Where people can come learn the value of a healthy self.

As you can see it will be a very busy summer (I even intentionally left out other efforts we are doing to save you reading). I am excited for all that God has planned and the ways that He will reveal himself this summer, but I could definitely use your prayers this summer. As the lead of most of these things I am going to be very stretched. Please pray that I will rely on God for my strength, and that I will not try to do it all on my own as I tend to do. Please visit the prayer request tab for additional ways to be praying this summer.

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THE H.E.A.T IS GETTING TURNED UP!

 

Community Coming Together

With a simple, “Stop: Community Cleanup” sign, 3 young girls along with their grandma stopped to make a difference in their community. This past Saturday was our first community outreach of the year. We had 4 different cleanup locations throughout the 53218 zip code to target different neighborhoods. Although the turnout was not what we were expecting, sisters Janyiah and Madison and their cousin Ladora saw an opportunity to serve.

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They found so much joy in giving back. Madison (far right) would not leave my side and was so curious who we were and why we were out cleaning up. In that I was able to get to know her and represent Christ. Cleaning up trash was not our main goal, but building relationships and having a presence in the community was our focus. Although not many people came to pick up trash with us, we were able to pray with people, and continue to have a presence in the community.

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The Power of Small Groups

Part of LTM’s vision this year was to start our small group ministry which has been an outreach and discipleship vision of LTM for several years. It was placed on Dominique and I’s heart to start a young adult small group in hopes to have a more intentional ministry with our friends who are unsaved and/or unchurched.

We launched our first group on March 8th, and have since been meeting every Wednesday in our home. We have been so encouraged every week of how God is moving and using this small group for His glory and how He is drawing people to Himself through it. We gear our discussion around the sermon from the previous Sunday which is usually a 4 week series. We spent the first 4 weeks on a series titled “Rooted in Christ” (Ephesians 3:14-21), and just finished a series, “The Birth of a Nation-The Implications of the Resurrection”.  We were not sure how going off the sermons would go with half of the group not attending LTM, but with sermons that are presented in a transferable way, with key points, it makes recapping and discussing easy.

Although the group is diverse with people at all stages and maturity levels in their faith, there is a desire and hunger to know Jesus among the group which has been fun to watch. 3 people who have been coming to the group, have shared their negative view/experiences of the church which has been a barrier for them getting connected to a local body. Although they may not be open to coming to a church building, they are open and willing to come to a small group to learn and for community. It is our prayer that each person will come to a point in their faith where they get connected to a local church, that being LTM or some other ministry. We believe there is much value and importance of being connected to the body, but in the mean time this is a safe place where they can get poured into and learn from others while God is working on their hearts.

It is evident God is moving through our group. One night most of the guys stayed for about an hour after study just talking about God and life. One of the guys, one of Dominique’s close friends, shared how since coming to the group he has begun opening his Bible when he is tempted to sin. We are excited to continue to see God’s power move in simple ways like these.

Please be praying for this group that God will continue to use it to open doors for us to share Christ with our unsaved and unchurched friends and that true life transformation would take place. Please also pray for those who were coming faithfully to the group, but we haven’t seen in a few weeks.

Trusting God-Weekend Prayer Request

3 weeks ago some unexpected things happened with my care giving job, which put us out that income sooner than we were expecting. Although we are trusting God that His timing is perfect, there is an urgency to build my team of partners, and to function from a place of obedience rather than taking the easy road which I so easily tend to take.

This Sunday I will be worshiping at the church I grew up in, in Tomah, to share about my ministry in hopes to have more people join my support team both prayerfully and financially. Please be praying as I invite others to join my team this weekend.

Please pray specifically for:

  1. Peace as I am very nervous to speak in front of the congregation
  2. Hearts to be open to what God is doing in Milwaukee
  3. For the Spirit’s prompting in generous giving and obedient hearts
  4. for specific- 1 person at $200/mo, 5 people at $100/mo, 10 people at $10/mo, 20 people at $20/mo, and 6 people at $50/mo
  5. Pray that my faith would have actions attached to it

 

Trust Check

Trusting God is easy when everything seems to be going well and our way. It’s easy when our bills are being paid and we have a little extra to enjoy the fun things in life. It’s easy when our relationships are healthy and flourishing. It’s easy when things happen when and how we want them to. But when we’re called outside our comfort zones, when we may have to wait a LONG time to see the promises and fruit to manifest, when we’re dealing with the uncertainties of life, trusting God isn’t so easy is it?

I’ll say it again, this whole journey into ministry has been a stretching and a trying process. It hasn’t all been rainbows and butterflies; things don’t always go my way; I don’t always see the fruit when and how I want to. I am learning more and more of what trusting God means and looks like on a day to day basis. Oh, am I grateful for the cross, and for His grace He shows me day to day, because I get it so twisted some times!

When I think over Joseph’s life in Genesis. Joseph was a young man who had it all in the beginning. One day God spoke to him through a dream and showed him his purpose and plans for his life however the details were hidden. The hardships started, and the question was will Joseph trust God and His promises, no matter what the cost? Joseph did just that! However, God’s plan included rejection, hardships, years upon years of waiting, all before Joseph saw his purpose fulfilled.

What a great reminder and how encouraging! Waiting on God isn’t always easy, yet God’s promises and purpose stands! As I reflect and study on trust, God has been showing me:

  1. Consider the source-Who am I looking to? God? or Myself? Where are my eyes fixed?
  2. Lean not on my own understanding-How God works and moves doesn’t always   make sense to me but Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
  3. Take joy in the waiting period-Nehemiah 8:10, “…for the joy of the Lord is your [MY] strength.”

When it comes to trusting God, will we persevere and not give up before the due season (Ecclesiastes 3:1)? Will we wait upon Him even if it is years later before we see the fruit? Will we hold fast even when it doesn’t make sense what God is doing?

One specific area I have had to exercise and do a trust check in is the area of discipling women. I finally have been taking steps to function in my passion, yet it seems to me that every time I move in faith to pour into someone the cares of life/lack of motivation steals them away from staying in the processes and that relationship becomes stagnate. Through that I have been learning to not doubt what God has called me to because it isn’t going as I hoped, but rather trust God to do the work in their hearts and just be available to continue to love them where they are.

While God perfects my heart around trusting Him, please pray that I will look to the True Source, that I will lean not on my own understanding, and I will continue to keep my joy while I wait.

Bye-Bye 2016! Hello 2017!

It’s that time again. That time that always sneaks right up on me; A NEW YEAR! Whoa! Did 2016 fly or what? I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I am praying God’s best over you and that you will experience Him in a new fresh way this year! As I reflect on 2016, overall it was a very positive year both personally and in ministry.

As I look back at our corporate outreach encounters this past year we have served a total of 338 unsaved/unchurched people. 145 of them heard the Gospel. 14 people prayed to receive Christ, and 24 of them were people we have had contact with in the past where we have been trying to build a relationship with. On the Freedom Center side of the ministry, through our clothing closet, food pantry, and job assistance piece we have served an additional 136 people. We want to thank you for your prayers throughout this year as we’ve touched many lives with the love of Christ. I am confident that God is moving and drawing people to himself because of these encounters.

One of my favorite outreach stories from this past year captures the direction we will be moving towards in 2017 when it comes to outreach. In October, it was our plan to find 5 families to do a service project for, however only one family was open to us serving them. We met the Lockhart family (Dominique and I’s neighbor) and served them for several weeks by painting their house. Through that, a relationship was formed. The Lockharts were an unchurched family, but by us serving them and sharing our life with them, they have since been attending worship at LTM.  They even went out with us for our Box of Love outreach in November. 🙂

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Our ministry theme for this year is “Growing Deeper, Reaching Higher Together”, coming from the 1 Peter passage, “…like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation”. Each year we have served hundreds of people, but in 2017 God is taking us in a direction to invest in fewer lives in order to go deeper in relationship with them so that maturity will take place. I am excited for 2017 and to see how God moves and produces maturity in those we reach for His glory! Please visit the prayer request tab to let me know how I can be praying for you and your family and for update prayer requests. Let’s make 2017 great for Jesus’ name!

 

 

We Have a Choice

What will we do with Messiah?  As I reflect on the birth of Jesus I am reminded we have a choice with what we will do with Messiah. As Joseph heard the news that the girl he was pledged to be married to was pregnant he had a choice to make. He had in his mind to divorce her quietly, but God spoke to him through an angel and said,

“‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins…’

…When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.”  Matthew 1:18-25

The choice was Joseph’s, was he going to obey God or do what he had in his mind to do? Joseph chose to honor God, and from that he got one of the greatest blessings: being Jesus’ earthly father.

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We have been given a choice similarly.Will we honor God and obey His design and His way, or will we chose things we may have already set in our mind to do? What will we choose?

Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Jesus also says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

The angel of the Lord told Joseph do not be afraid. So what are we afraid of when it comes to obeying God? God sent his one and only son into the world so that we can have life and that more abundantly. Maybe it’s losing our perceived security. Maybe it’s fear of messing up. Maybe it’s if we take that step God says take life will get harder and messier.

As I heard this message on Sunday about it being our choice, what will we do with Messiah, I am reminded of the greatest gift I have been given and that is the Savior of the whole world living inside me, who will never leave me nor forsake me. Will I obey Him? Will I take up my cross and follow Him? Will I deny what I made up in my mind to do for His will? For the past 2 years I have only been trusting God with part of what He has called me to. Would you pray for me as I make the choice to go all in and obey him in doing ministry full time and all that entails? Just like Joseph, I am scared! But just like Joseph, I choose to obey God’s way!

I am praying you all have a wonderful Christmas and that together we will live to glorify and celebrate Christ this season!

Box of Love-Update

Thank you for praying for our Box of Love Thanksgiving outreach. We were able to serve 25 unchurched and unsaved families with a Thanksgiving meal. We shared the Gospel with almost every family and we had 1 young lady pray to receive Christ.

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Brother Jordan with a BOL

These last couple of weeks we have been busy following up with those families and the responses have been so encouraging to me. People have been so open to us to continue to be in there lives, and what has really surprised me was how some of the families have called us first before we got to calling them. Doors are being open, and relationships are forming!

On Saturday, December 17th we will be going back to some of the same homes to have yet another contact with them. Be praying for an ongoing relationship to really form with these families. Pray for another encounter with Christ. Pray for names specifically: Daniels, Martinez, Truss, Winters, Russ, Harland, and English.

Box of Love-Be Praying

Every Thanksgiving we partner with Cru Inner City (formally known as Campus Crusade for Christ) to serve our community with a Thanksgiving meal, a Box of Love. This year we will be delivering 25 Thanksgiving boxes to families in our community while sharing the love of Christ with them. We will be going out Saturday November 19th, between 3pm-5pm.

  • Please be praying for the Gospel to go forth with power
  • Pray that those who don’t have a relationship with the Lord or who are disconnected to come to see their need for Him and for community
  • Pray for safety as we go out to people’s homes
  • Pray that we will represent Christ well and that the families will see Christ through us
  • Pray for this outreach to produce fruit