“Mr. Tim, can you pick me up?”
I wasn’t even intending to pick up the phone, but I did on accident. It was -13 outside and I was tired and didn’t feel like talking to anyone. On the other end was a kid whom I hadn’t heard from in months. I see his grandma or aunt on occasion at the bus stop or on outreach, but his home life is so unstable it’s hard to keep track of a working phone number or address. The call itself wasn’t that significant, but that fact that he still knew my number and thought to call meant a lot. As I picked him and his brother up from the rec center, we got some food and caught up just a little bit. Tongues of fire didn’t form over our heads and the hamburgers weren’t multiplied, but we shared stories and warmth. It was simple and sweet.
Little moments like this remind me why God has placed us here. Not just to be a taxi, but to be a trusted adult who loves Jesus and loves his family is unfortunately unique. Phil 2:15 puts it this way:
“Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.”
1 Peter 4:8 says “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
Miah and I have grown to love our neighbors deeply. There are many cases like this 10-year old boy at the rec center, where sin has done a number on his home and family life. We live in a generation where sin is ever increasing and families are experiencing more brokenness. Can God’s love cover our neighbors? Can our family’s faith, hope and love shine like a star, even in ways we don’t realize?
As we look forward to this year, I feel God correcting me on this point. It’s tempting to get caught up in programs and numbers and business, but what matters most is loving Jesus with all my heart. From His love, I can love my wife and children the way I’m supposed to. Our imperfect love can be a beacon of Christ’s perfect love.
Our prayer for you is that Christ would fill your hearts with His peace and that we’d all learn to be content with Him; wherever He has placed us.
Below is a bit of review for our December outreaches and programs. At the bottom you’ll see some upcoming events and links to our schedule. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with a prayer request or any other need we can help with. And THANK YOU for all of your prayers, comfort, and support in lifting us up in North Minneapolis.
Because of some generous donors we were able to:
Have a Ginger Bread House party with our neighbors. We learned the value of working together and about building a house on a solid foundation [Jesus].
Many provided ingredients for cookies which kids decorated
Stockings stuffed with love
A special family provided us with stockings full of some goodies. We were able to give these out to local youth and families, along with Gospel tracks and other treats. [Thank you Dignans!]
Thank you to the generous givers who gave hats, mittens, coats and snow pants. They were put to use right away!
Another kind donor put together blankets for our youth. Each of our kids was blessed with their own new blanket!
Game season has started
It’s been a joy to watch some of our local youth participate in team sports.
Our family made the trip down to One Thing this year. One Thing is an annual youth conference celebrating Jesus as the “One Thing” that matters. Along the way we lost our van in a snowy highway accident. Praise the Lord no one was hurt, and we were in close proximity to a rental place. This van has been part of our family for almost a decade and taken us a lot of places, and it’s sad to see it go. Please pray for direction on a new vehicle for our family!
- Super Bowl: We’ve got some special things cooking for the Super Bowl at US Bank stadium this year. Check the events page for updates!
- Valentines: Our 4th Annual Valentines outreach is coming up next month. Each year we bless neighbors with roses, chocolates and love letters from Jesus.
- Winter Retreat: We’re planning a winter retreat for our neighbors in March.
- Fishing: We got some ice fishing trips coming soon!
We’re having a little break from our regular programming and our family has been praying and fasting together for His will in 2018. We trust that as we remain in His love, we will grow in love for each other, our neighbors and our community at large. Again, thank you for all of your prayers and support. We hope we can bless you the way you’ve blessed us!