Friday, June 30, 2006

A Ton of Food to Distribute

We received more than a ton of food today. We plan on passing it out in the middle of the month when things start to get tight. I am looking forward to passing out groceries and praying with folks that we serve. Today we received:

  • 350 pounds of salmon
  • 200 pounds of instant potatoes
  • 300 pounds of rice
  • 500 pounds of individual cups of chocolate and vanilla pudding
  • 120 pounds of pasta
  • 600 cans of fruit
  • 450 packages of Raman noodles
  • 420 pounds of peanut butter
  • 48 cans of black beans
  • 24 jars of pickle relish
  • 300 pounds of table salt
  • 42 bottles of juice
  • 24 boxes of cereral
  • 52 loaves of bread
  • 68 bags of corn chips
  • 32 cans of black olives
Tomorrow at 2:00 we will be having a surprise baby shower for one of the women in the apartments she is due at the end of July and has nothing. We have gathered stuff together and we're taking a card table, a table cloth, a cake and some punch setting it all up in the yard in front of her apartment. I think it will be a surprise. People say we're crazy, but I think Jesus would through a party for a single mom that has no support or resources and that is just what we are going to do. Thanks for the prayers. Jeff

Monday, June 26, 2006

Did you want your burger wet or well...

This picture is not us, but it looked like us last night. I carefully watched the weather yesterday afternoon and knew that rain was headed our way, big time. At 4:15 it was not raining, we(me and a small group of volunteers )decided we would start the picnic early as rain was on the way. We quickly loaded everything up, drove to the picnic site and started began to sprinkle. By the time everything was unloaded and set up it began to rain. We were under a canopy of trees so it really wasn't too bad. We knew that this was an important week as it is the last of the month, not much food available right now. So we thought the rain would blow over quickly and we could serve the needed food. There were children already in line waiting for either a pork burger or a hotdog to get done. It began to rain harder, volunteers went to cars and retrieved umbrellas. The situation became worse as the harder in rained, the longer the line became. The long line was something we were used to, however, this time children and parents were asking for 4 or 5 sandwiches so they could take them home to their families. The serving table was getting wetter and wetter. One volunteer had a tarp in her car we got it and covered the table, trying to keep meat, buns and chips dry. Dee one of our main stay volunteers was working hard under the tarp as two of us tried to hold it up high enough for her to prepare the meals and keep the food and her dry(she was the only one on the serving line, usually there are 5 or 6). People came out with broken umbrellas, plastic trash bags, and even towels over their heads, many had nothing just stood in the pouring rain, drenched and shivering. People were patient as they waited at times up to 10 minutes for their food, as our pork burgers took a bit of time to cook. We were thanked over and over for serving in the rain. It seemed like the rain nor the line would ever let up. Finally, after an hour and 45 minutes the line disappeared along with 100 pork burgers, 60 hotdogs, 20 large bags of potato chips, 200 cups of chocolate pudding and 150 juice bottles. As we began to load up the rain stopped and the sun returned. The children began to fill the grounds, playing and jumping in the mudpuddles. We left wet and tired, yet sensing that we were used by God. Last night was a defining moment in my life as I am quite sure I would never wait in the pouring rain to get a free hotdog and a handful of chips.....but then again I have never really been hungry either. Thanks for the prayers. Special thanks to our "all wet" volunteers that went well beyond the call of duty. They were Gary and Dee Hostetler, Boyd and Dan Mozingo(all from McGrawsville UMC), Jim Williams from Grace UMC, Cindy Myers from St. Lukes UMC, and Pastor Mike Tarner from Russiaville UMC. Jeff Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New Podcast

Dave and I just finished a new podcast. We have a great time doing these radio like shows, it is kind of our hobby. We are not sure how many listen to our 20 minute shows with no commercials. In this episode we chat about church shopping, cable TV, American culture, church success, secret agents and oh yea, we also talk about the book called, "Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America" by by Darrell L. Guder (Editor), Lois Barrett (Editor).

The show is here.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

News Article from Grace United Methodist Church

Be sure to check out the picture link Jeff

Allelon, The Sunday School Class,

Lends A Helping Hand To

Urban Outreach's Sunday Cookout.

Delegation and coaching won out. The gang mastered assembly-line bagging of give away food. And you would have enjoyed seeing them rise to the challenge of fast food service - - scrunched buns, splattered ketchup, crushed chips and all.

Seriously, the team worked well together. But what's an activity without a few glitches?

As they arrived the rain drops started. The sky darkened. It was touch-and-go for awhile. The group feared the gloomy, chilly weather might ruin the picnic. It didn't. The families knocked down 80 hot dogs.

Shirley Hoy, master "condimentier" enticed the kids to smile as they picked up their meals.

Jeff Newton brought 30 comfortable plastic chairs. That way people could sit down as they ate.

Rob Pinto and Ralph Cory took pictures. Go here to check them out: 06_ur ban_outreach/

The extra help freed up the teachers to play with the kids. The kids crowded the teacher as she blew up and tied the baloons. Then they seemed everywhere as they scurried about trying to keep them in the air.

Paul Zimmerman proved a soft-touch for seconds at the cookie station.

Karin Pinto proved masterful at "packing and arranging". She missed her real calling.

Karen Zimmerman developed true expertise in the fine art of "bunmanship". And Leanna Zimmerman created a strong support station for her mother as she slapped the dogs into the buns.

Suddenly it was time to clean up. One little boy asked Jeff,"Pastor Jeff, do you have to go?" Jeff said, "I'll be back next week."

As the group walked back to Trinity UMC, 3 of the children tagged along. They played with their teacher - - and hi fived it with the rest.

You can help these kids. Each week it's a struggle to find enough sodas. It'd be great to switch them out for juices sometimes. But that seems a dream. I think Jeff would "beg, borrow, or steal" to get some of your home baked cookies. It gives the kids a special treat.

You can even leave them at GRACE UMC and Urban Outreach will pick them up. Just let Jeff know. You can reach Jeff at 765-461-9618.

Remember, there's nothing like the love and trust of a child.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Feeling better? sort of

I am starting to feel better, it has been two weeks since I started feeling bad. I have too much to do to stay in bed, which is what I have been doing most of the time. I did do all my Sunday stuff last week. We had a neighbor come to church, it was very exciting to me. On Sunday Night we had our cookout in-- off and on rain. We still served 100. We were blessed to have a Sunday School Class from Grace UMC helping. Patric and others played games with the children. It was a great night. We saw the Kingdom of God!!!

Please pray for Jim he is 22 with a 6 year old daughter that he has raised totally by himself since birth. He works in Logansport at Tysons(about 15-20 miles from here). He got a raise and they raised his rent and then he got his hours cut(no hogs right now). He went to housing to talk about not being able to pay all the rent right now and they told him his car was a luxury and he needed to sell it to pay the rent. Of course, if he does that he can't keep his job. He collects cans at our cookouts to buy gasoline to get back and forth to work. He also has some dental issues that he needs addressed but has no insurance and no way to pay. Please pray for him in his difficult time. Oh yes, as we have been praying for Jim a volunteer on Sunday Night has befriended him and is walking with him and is being sure this month's rent is paid --which Jim and his daughter will not be evicted(becoming homeles) and his car does not have to be sold. Jim is experiencing the Kingdom of God.

We've been praying for Shar who is expecting a baby in July. She is living with her sister in the apartments which is against the rules, if caught she will be homeless. She has nothing for the new baby. However, God has provided everything she needs. We are going to throw a surprise shower for her on her doorstep in a couple of weeks. We are bringing a baby bed filled with gifts and we are setting up a card table with a cake and punch. The Kingdom of God is Near!!

Jane is a single mother of three who is really a great mother. However, the stress of life, has been almost too great. Her children went to her ex husband's house for a couple of weeks and somehow he was able to gain temporary custody of the children. As I and several others worked with Jane we were able to get her to legal aid who assures her, that the children will be back with her soon. The Kingdom of God is Near!!

The other night my son Jon was up late and heard yelling and a gunshot. The neighbors called police, no one was hurt. The Kingdom of God is Near!!

It is exciting that God is using KUO to make a difference in the lives of so many. Without your prayers and your support, many folks we are working with would never see the Kingdom. Everytime God's will is done on earth as it is in Heaven, we see the Kingdom of God. God is at work with his people to make things right. We are seeing God's Kingdom come in a little 4 block area of Kokomo that needs to experience the Good News of the Kingdom. What is really neat is that so many of our volunteers are seeing what the Kingdom of God is like as they work with us.

Thank you in advance as you continue to pray for us and that we will be effective builders of God's Kingdom in Kokomo. Jeff

Names have been changed to protect privacy but all are true stories.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Down sick

Please pray for me as I went to the doctor, yesterday, and found out I have pneumonia. I have not felt this bad for a long time. Looking forward to feeling better. Have barely got out of bed. Hope to update everything soon. Jeff