“But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved, [Heb 10:39]”
This verse has been ringing in my ears all month. June presented us with many victories, sorrows and opportunities for growth. We are so thankful to Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith; and who always leads us in a triumphant procession to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere. [2 cor 2:14] He is causing our faith to grow and allowing us to see fruit in North Minneapolis.
A Look Back: June in Review
June was very busy! We partnered with our friends at Trinity Works for Love Twin Cities; a week of 24 hour worship/intercession with 24 hour evangelism. Teams of 20+ partnered with us to share the gospel with our neighbors in North. It was wonderful to see the Body of Christ come together across denominations for the goal of working in the harvest field towards the Great Commission. We had 5 people who prayed a prayer of surrender; inviting Christ to rule their life. Now the work of follow ups and discipleship continues.
Tammy was one who sat with Miah and I for about 2 hours. She’s been struggling with destructive behaviors and was in town for the Pride festival. She has 2 kids and wants them to be raised in church, but hasn’t found a church to go to yet. As we read through Romans 6 together, the weight of sacrifice hit her and tears began to flow down her face. She acknowledged that she wants to live for God, but doesn’t feel ready to surrender everything to Him yet. Please continue to pray with us for her, that she would realize that everything this world has to offer is really worthless when compared to the eternal glory of knowing Jesus personally.
Salt and Light
Miah and I have also been spearheading the Salt and Light Campaign; partnering with local churches on the Northside to cover every day in corporate acts of prayer and blessing. It is such a blessing to meet and pray with our neighbors on a regular basis, as well as give and receive encouragement from the local Body here. We have daily testimony to God’s amazingness, but I’ll just share 1 story for time sake.
Dark Clouds vs Jesus’ Light:
Our friends at Beacon of Hope put on a 2 day carnival a few blocks over. They had hot dogs, a bouncy house, games, and boxes of food for neighbors. It was wonderful.
A few local ministers met that morning for prayer and encouragement as part of the Salt and Light Campaign. Prayer clears the spiritual atmosphere and prepares the soil of peoples hearts to receive God’s love. That afternoon, Miah and I met a couple neighbors on the lawn. It was a beautiful day, and a mom (Suzy, in her mid 50’s) approached me to talk about the weather and tornadoes. [as a side note; random conversations are my favorite as they are generally a clue that the Holy Spirit is probably up to something and I need to wait and listen to what it is.]
Her daughter (Sandra, in her mid 30’s) later joined the conversation. As we were talking Miah offered some words of encouragement to Suzy. “God loves you and has given you authority when you pray,” was really all she said. [I love Miah, she has such a sincere and gentle way of encouraging others.] At this, Sandra blurts out: “I have a dark cloud that follows me every where I go!”
“Well, that’s not right,” I say and we offer to pray. For about 7 minutes, we hold hands and pray together on the lawn. All around us kids are eating hot dogs and bouncing, and in the middle the four of us are holding hands and welcoming the Holy Spirit. “Whoa!!! Whoa!!! He’s here! He’s in me and that thing is GONE!!!,” she says. I’m not exaggerating when I say Jesus showed up. Both the mom and daughter wanted to show us their goosebumps when we finished prayer.
The next day, we were able to see them again and Sandra says, “Jesus met me again last night! He told me I need to forgive everyone I’m bitter against!!!”
“Well, that sounds about right, Sandra.” Forgiveness is really important to Jesus, and I encouraged her to keep talking to Him and obeying Him. We were all filled with joy and smiles.
What I love about this story is:
1. There’s power when believers pray together. I believe fruitfulness happens when believers meet to mix their faith and encourage each other. This experience and the others from that outreach are directly related to the prayers that were offered before hand.
2. When we see others encounter Jesus, it boosts our faith and brings us joy! We were all so encouraged and filled with joy and faith to do it all again the next day.
3. Jesus is real. He’s not a fairy tale. His desire to make us 1 with Him is relentless. I love how He met her again that night and reminded her to forgive. The Holy Spirit is the greatest discipler; He guides us in to truth.
Other news to report:
I’ve been hiring local kids to do jobs for me. It gives me an opportunity to teach work ethic and Biblical truths. With each payment, I share a simple Bible story and I was really encouraged to hear the Gospel making sense to them.
For example: A couple of teen boys have been helping me a lot lately. Yesterday, they relayed that they were at the park talking to some girls and the topic of the Gospel came up for some reason. At one point, the girls challenged them “I bet you don’t know any Bible stories!”
The 2 boys were able to remember the story of the Pearl of Great Price. I shared this story with them as an intro to the Gospel. Jesus, (who owns everything), saw something of exceeding value (you and me), and sold all that He had to possess it (Phil 2). The Gospel is that Jesus loves us completely and gave up everything for us; even His own life. Loves’ reward is love. To have a relationship with Jesus is to love Him back the way He loved us; inventory our life and give it all back to Him.
They’ve had a lot of good questions over the weeks too: are there 2 heavens? Why did Jesus pray to God? How did you meet Miah? How do you find a good woman? How did you start your own business? Who was Judas? Where do you think Kevin Durant will go?
I can’t fully express to you how much we love these children God has placed in our life. They are each a treasure in a field. They are God’s gold mine. Miah and I feel so privileged to share our lives with them. It is not easy. Interruptions are constant and just about everything that we treasure in this world has been broken. However, God’s grace and peace have filled us.
Shootings, robberies, assault and the like are daily occurrences here. However, just like with Sandra; I know the power of Jesus. I know there is power when we pray; and by God’s grace I won’t be counted with those who shrink back. I want to rise up with faith and I want to see North Minneapolis transformed by the Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you check out the calendar and see if there’s any way you could partner with us this month?
Our goal is to see a community of believers in North Minneapolis raised up who will: have faith, worship, pray, intercede, preach, teach, encourage, fast, evangelize, and live out their faith as radical disciples of a radical God.
Currently, most of our schedule will coincide with www.thelightofnorth.com calendar. Some items that aren’t posted there yet include:
- Week of Kindness in partnership with Jordan Area Community Council and Habitat for Humanity. We will need manpower to help plant, paint, or clean along side kids in our community. Saturday, July 16th is the biggest day.[call or email for details]
- Art Flow: at the end of the month (July 28-30), we’d like to host a prayer table for the Art Flow along Broadway Ave. If you have skills in face painting or other artistic outlets, let us know! [I’m still putting this together, but July 30 will be the biggest day. Call or email if you have interest]
- Work Week: We’ll be hosting a group from up north July 27-29. They will be helping us with several projects, but mainly landscaping at the 810 house. If you have resources to help buy plants or partnerships with landscapers; we would appreciate any leads! We want to yard to be an inviting space for all our neighbors to come and pray and sense God’s presence.
- Monday night intercession/prayer walks 6:30-9 at 810.
- Wed, Fri morning prayer: 8-10 at 810 house.
- Thursday morning intercession/Outreach 10-12 prayer. 12:30-3 outreach.
- Thursday night BBQ’s: 5pm prayer. 5:30 BBQ for area youth. email for directions.
we need partners to stand with us in
- *intercession: we wrestle not against flesh and blood. our prayers have divine power to demolish strongholds. Will you pray with us? Email us to be added to our intercessor list.
- *disciple makers: will you walk with someone from n mpls? We have opportunities to mentor youth or help adult in their faith.
- *send us? we need monthly donors. if you’ve had it on your heart to partner with us in this way; now is the time!
Again, thank you all so much for your prayer and resources. We are blessed to have you in our life!!!