For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places~Eph 6:12
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds~2 Cor 10:4
Our ministry is founded in prayer. We believe that prayer moves us into God’s heart for the lost, the poor, the broken and the hurting. It is through a season of intense prayer that God moved Miah and I to ‘sell all we have and follow Him.’ We’ve followed Him to North Minneapolis, and He continues to break our heart for the widow and the orphan who are now our neighbors.
James tells us that the prayer of the righteous are powerful and effective. We are told that God’s eyes look to and fro throughout the earth, seeking someone to show Himself strong on their behalf. We want God to show Himself strong in our weakness. We want revival and a great move of the Holy Spirit, and we believe the prayers of a surrendered life move mountains. We want to see mountains moved in North Minneapolis, and we are grateful to have a front row seat into what He is doing in this generation.
A couple weeks ago, our city council member organized a community crime and safety meeting. A panel of officers were gathered with community members for a discussion on ways to keep our community safe.
As you may be aware, tensions between officers and citizens have been extremely high and it didn’t take long for the meeting to erupt. From the first question, people began shouting at each other and the panel of officers. Some neighbors would budge in line to grab the mic, others would shout out “Uncle Tom!!!” at neighbors across the gym and the scene was fairly chaotic.
“Shut up!” “Be quiet!” “Sit down!”
At one point, the facilitator began yelling into the microphone and seemed poised to cancel the rest of the meeting. I happened to be next in line so he did decide to hand me the mic. “I’m going to do the only thing I know how to do in this situation,” I said; then proceeded to pray in the Name of Jesus for His peace and presence to come into the gym.
The mood of the evening tangibly shifted to the point where others thanked me afterward and said, “did you notice how things changed after you prayed?” Jesus tends to do that.
I share that story for 2 reasons.
I share that story for 2 reasons.
1. Tensions are high between police and citizens. Since this meeting, the DA has announced that there will be no charges against the police officers involved. Police have been bracing for rioting, although there hasn’t been any.
As followers of Christ, part of our job is to pray for peace. We need the sustained prayers of our friends and neighbors for peace and justice in North Minneapolis and beyond. I’ve heard so many opinions from so many people on this subject; and I guess all I have to say on this topic is that God knows all and sees all. Everything hidden will be brought to the light. The things we whisper in corners will some day be shouted from the rooftops.
In our neighborhood, the answer isn’t as simple as saying “just obey the police, don’t do anything wrong, and you have nothing to worry about” as I’ve heard some say. If you are a person of color in North Minneapolis, this statement simply isn’t true. We need a pathway to true peace. Paul encourages us to pray for our leaders, and we need wisdom and humility from our civic leaders now more than ever. Please pray for North Minneapolis.
I would encourage all of us, myself included, to take time to listen and “seek to understand before we seek to be understood” (quote from the director of Antioch). Please pray for reconciliation, justice, and peace in North and our nation.
2. Prayer matters. We have been given divine authority over our personal lives, our families, our homes and our neighborhoods. We are the aroma of Christ. Living a holy life that pleases God and contending for a lifestyle of prayer matter now more than ever. When we ask you to pray, we trust that as you do God hears you and is moving both in your life and in our communities.
With the idea of prayer in mind, we are planning a cross-denominational Summer long event called the Salt and Light Campaign. The idea is to have a church or local believer adopt each day in outdoor prayer and a simple act of blessing for their neighbors. We feel this is a simple way for the church to combat darkness in our area: by being Salt and Light. The salt is our prayers; adding flavor, preservation and healing to our streets. The Light is our witness; touching our neighbors in the Love of Jesus.
More details can be found at http://www.thelightofnorth.com
Mid-way through our first Alpha series with local teens, we planned a Holy Spirit retreat at the Blessing House in Victoria. This was a day set aside to get the kids out of their environment and talk through who the Holy Spirit is, and invite Him into our lives.
As Jesus would have it, a missionary from India was also there this day. He was leading a conference on the Holy Spirit. We invited him to pray with the kids and we all were blessed by his prayer. Every teen left HAPPY, full of God’s peace and tangible joy. It was so fun to not only talk about Jesus, but to watch the kids act like kids: playing hide and seek, monopoly, fishing, eating smores. Many of these kids have to grow up so fast, and our whole family had a blast hanging out with them for the day.
The following week, all the kids kept asking when they could go back. A young girl gave her life to Christ that night and testified to feeling God’s presence and peace as she invited Jesus to be Lord of her life. There is no greater treasure in the world than to see others meet Jesus and begin their journey with Him!
There are many more stories we simply don’t have room for: Miah took all the neighborhood kids for a run, a man in our Bible study prayed for the first time and was full of tears of joy, our neighborhood evangelism is always fruitful, we’ve been deliberately just hanging out playing cards and other games with the kids from the neighborhood, and so on. We truly are grateful to be here. Thank you to those who have helped to send us!
The electric should be finalized this week. Trim is slowly being added. God is good. We’ll be using this place as a daily outreach hub for the Salt and Light Campaign this summer. Every day, we’ll gather for prayer, worship, evangelism, and discipleship. It’s going to be kinda awesome!
Prayer matters. Please continue to pray for us, as we can feel its effect. Also, another practical need we have is ongoing financial support. If you would consider supporting us or inviting us to talk to your church or small group; we would be honored. In order for us to accomplish our ministry plans for the summer, it’s just not practical for me to maintain another job anymore. I need to be here full time to:
- *minister and disciple youth
- *train and disciple men
- *meet, pray, and support local pastors
- *continue to develop evangelism teams
- *preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- *work towards justice and peace by building deep relationships within our non-profit, private, and civic organizations.
Support can be given online at www.damascusway.com by marking “The 810 Project” in the drop down menu; or by sending a check to “The 810 Project: 2811 Fremont Ave N, Mpls, MN 55411”