Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Living incarnationally

For those who may not know this, our family, as we listened to God, have opted to live among and with a group of families in a particular neighborhood at a particular time. We are trying to experience what it means to live in poverty. We try to spend only what those on food stamps receive when we buy groceries, we live very simply, although, I wish we could get rid of all the stuff we have in the garage that we did not bring into the house. We try live out our lives the way Jesus did: Jesus was generous and gave gifts, Jesus told stories, Jesus threw parties, Jesus made lots of friends, Jesus gave hope and new life.

I am becoming more and more aware of what it is like living on the edge of society. Chris and I have been looking for jobs to supplement our income. We have applied at a plethora of places, I was told to come to an interview yesterday at a certain time. I cleared my calendar and went, however, when I arrived for the interview I was told the person was not there that was to interview me and that my application would be given to the manager and if he wanted to interview me he would call me. I was bit put out by this, because they contacted me for the interview. No one has called me back, don't think they will. We are working hard to find jobs, going out most everyday. We have a car, we have time, we have no small children to worry about, we are educated, have a good track record, we have nice clothes to wear and can hold our own in an interview. I can only imagine what a person who is without childcare, a car, an education, etc. does when they are constantly rejected. I would guess it would throw you into depression. I am understanding more an more the plight of the poor and the need to figure out ways for folks to get jobs. We are very critical of those in our society who are poor, we often say just get a job. It is not that easy, if you don't have the resources at hand to get the job(transportation, experience, education and childcare). I am reminded today of how blessed I really am. Jeff

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Blessing of the children UPDATE

We had twelve children in church on Sunday as each one was blessed. The service was filled with the presence of God. We had a fun party afterwards. Sunday morning was wonderful.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Answered Prayer

Praise God!!! Our finanical difficulties have been resolved for now. All our bills are paid!!! We recieved support from 4 different sources this week. God is so good to us. Keep praying we find a job. Jeff

Blessing of the Children Eve

Tomorrow we are having a blessing of the children service. I started this in Lowell and it was so well received there. However, there is a big difference between the two churches. Lowell had children in Worship. Here we have no children in worship. This is a leap of faith. I know God wants me to do this, so I will. We do have a trio of siblings that sometimes come to Sunday School. Chris the boys and I have been working with this family since we moved in, they live in the apartments across the street. . We have tried to build into their life to show them the love of Jesus. I took 40 bulletins over to their apartment so their children could draw pictures on the cover. I asked them to draw Bible Stories, pictures of themselves etc. I just got them back about an hour ago. They did a great job. But the one at your right blew me away. I think the plan to be incarnational (living among those you are trying to reach) actually works. It seems to be going faster than I thought, I figure a year or two to get this far. Not 18 weeks. The bulletin cover says: Dear Jeff,
We love you
you are are
Mom: Jamie Dad: John
Sierra, Thomas, Janie K

Wow this is very exciting and after a more difficult week than usual it is very uplifting.


Friday, October 21, 2005

New Podcasts

Dave and I just finished two podcasts. The first is up and going and the second one will be up soon. We did the podcasts at Taco Bell in West Lafayette. The one that is up now has to do with church programs and the second one that will be up soon, is a series of interviews we did with students at Taco Bell. We had a great time. You may find the podcasts at


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Personal update/prayer concerns

With the Katrina Relocation Plan/warehouse complete, we have to move on into the next phase of our ministry here in Kokmo. This week I have not only made a presentation to Grace Church on Sunday, but on Wednesday I presented the Kokomo Urban Outreach Plan to the Kokomo Kiwanis Club. I have worked this week with Ruth Lawson at the Daytime homeless shelter(CAM), visited all my parishioners in the nursing home, spent the afternoon with a good friend who is homebound for several weeks due to a leg injury, today Chris and I are taking a battered/abused neighbor to the bus station to return to Chicago to live with her mother. I will then be at the church working on a party that we are having during Sunday School on Sunday after we have a blessing of children. Later today I will be traveling with a friend to Lafayette. Tomorrow I am meeting another friend that is going through some difficult times. These times with friends are important to me as I find encouragement and strength through the meetings. These times are gifts from God. In the early evening tomorrow I will be helping a homeless family unload their belongings into the warehouse we used for Katrina Relocation. Saturday I have to finish cleaning our warehouse, we have a handful of stuff left but need to find a truck to get it out. Pray that we find a truck.

Jonathan has found a job at the hospital. He is a Mental Heath Tech he works there from 11PM-7 AM. He really likes it. He is a sort of a nurses helper and monitors rooms via TV camera. He is also attending school full time and plays in a Christian Band that travels almost every weekend, playing at different venues.

Andrew just finished marching band and loved it. He is now on a speech team and is in the ecology club. He likes both. He grew several different sizes of pumpkins, still cares for his rabbit and found a lizard at the warehouse which he made a pet.

Chris and I are job hunting. Nothing seems to be working out. I have put my name in to substitute teach(no calls at all), I am still waiting on an interview to be a hospice Chaplin but that doesn't seem to be happening, I also have visited all the funeral homes in town hoping to be of help of families without pastors(no calls),

Chris has applied at the school to work with special need children, but did not get the job. She has had three very promising interviews at Buena Vista(work group for special need s serving over 800 people) . They seemed interested but have yet to call back. She is applying at a place called CASA to monitor supervised visits of parents with their children. It is a Sunday afternoon job for about three hours a week. She is considering making crescent Rolls and selling them through her sister at the factory.

I really don't have time to have another job but we both need jobs now. Please pray we can find jobs.

The church is a good church,however, years of downturn has caused it to hit rock bottom. For the past three years it has spent 10,000 dollars more than it has taken in and all savings are gone. The church has little money. At the rate it is going it can only survive for about 1 more year at the most. We are going to have a meeting on Sunday in which we are going to have to make some hard decisions and the budget will need to be cut by 1/4 since it is a bareboned budget to begin with it will have to be salary cuts. I expect my salary in the church to be cut in half. There really isn't any other options at this time. We will have to cut office supplies first, meaning no bullentins, copy ink, or paper. We will cut curriculum too, along with Upper Rooms,
and music. Anyway please pray for the future of the church.

While this post seems negative, I am, however, positive we are where God wants to be and I know He will provide. God did not say it would always be easy but He promised He would be faithful. Thanks for the prayers. Jeff

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I just updated my rechurch page. The re: church page contains my thoughts and commentaries on theology, the Bible and the Church. I have also added the "writing" Re:Church so that anyone that wants--can read it. In other words Re: Church is just me rambling. I love comments. Jeff

Monday, October 17, 2005

So Blessed

I cannot believe how blessed we are. It is amazing how God uses his people to bless other. I started the day yesterday by welcoming some great friends to church, I haven't seen to them in so long, I used to see them several times a week. We had a good service. I was presented with a Pastor appreciation card from the congregation with a gift card to Living Water Book Store. Bought a book today. Haven't purchased a book in long, long time. Opted for George Barna's book, Revolution, I have read four chapters it resonates with me and what I am doing. I digress. After Church we(me, Chris, and our friends) went to Grace where I spoke about Kokomo Urban Outreach, it was very well received. I am Grace's Missionary to Kokomo. They will be financial backers in 2006. Afterwards the boys joined us for lunch our friends took us out to eat. It felt good to go to a nice restaurant and sit down and eat without a rush or having to be somewhere soon. We took our friends on a brief tour of Kokomo, of course stopping at the world famous steer and tree stump:) The pics are some of the things saw on their first time to stop in Kokomo.
In the evening we do what we do every Sunday Night, we have dinner with friends at their home. Several couples and their families meet for food and fellowship. Our kids go each week too, that is amazing when one is in college and the other is a Jr. in High School. They never miss it. It is good. The pace yesterday was slower and more relaxed.
Today I met with the director of CAM a daytime homeless shelter at the shelter, it seemed to be organized chaos. I saw and learned a great deal in about an hour and half. I have no clue how she does that everyday. They are payees for 72 homeless or semi homeless people, meaning they handle the 579 dollars that an individual gets in a month from Social Security disability. The check comes to them and they pay the bills for all of the individuals, however, they are swarmed with people that want a couple of dollars of their money each day to get by. They give it to them if the individual has it in their account. I met a couple that "borrowed" one of those plastic portable rubber maid sheds made for lawnmowers and put it on the CAM parking lot and slept in it last night. As with most ministries with the very poor, there is little money to operate. When I came home to my house, I was thankful to have a place to live. Thanks for the prayers and the support. Jeff

Friday, October 14, 2005

Day Off

Today was the first day in nearly five weeks that we have not been in the warehouse. When we left yesterday there was only a bit left I am anixious to see how it looks with all the racks out. Please pray for me as I speak at Grace United Methodist Church this Sunday at 10:45 I am looking forward to it. Jeff

Monday, October 10, 2005

Walk to Emmaus

Had a wonderful God-filled weekend. What a gift. After several weeks of long hard work(but very good work) God gave me a chance to be spiritually refilled. I worked on a Walk to Emmaus Weekend in the Crawfordsville Community. This was were I worked when serving Attica. I reconnected with old friends, met new ones, two of the participants were in my youth group in Attica and are now young s. Had a great time serving with Marcos as he was the Spiritual director. Time goes by so quickly. This week we will complete the closing of the warehouse and shift gears to refocus on other things. Sometime this week I should have a job interview. I possibly will soon have a paying part time job as a Hospice Chaplin. We shall see. Please continue to pray for Chris and I as we look for jobs to supplement our income. I really don't have time to work another job but our situation makes it a necessity. Thanks again for the prayers. Jeff

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Closing up Warehouse

Well, four weeks ago today we opened the warehouse for Hurricane Victims, on Monday we started closing it. We invited all the families back to go through it one more time. We continue to pass out stuff to other ministries and missions. Last night we spent 2.5 hours loading an empty semi from the United Methodist Kentucky Mountain Mission. We got a lot on the truck. All the couches about 12, most of the living room chairs about 20. Boxes and boxes of pots, pans and dishes along with 10 large boxes of blankets, pillows, sheets and towels. All of the toys are gone, some went to Honduras, boxes and boxes went to South Bend to Broadway Parish UMC that will be used in their toyshop at Christmas. Two trips of toys went to local resale shops.

We continue to take boxes of clothing to local resale shops. Yesterday we sent out two pick up full of clothing. We still have enough to have some sort of sale. The next big thing we need to find homes for are lamps at least 50 are left. No one wants the particle board commuter tables, coffee tables etc. We have about 15 of those. We also have about 50 kitchen chairs, 5 stoves and two refriderators. We know by this time next week we will be done. There is joy and sadness combined. Jeff