Monday, February 26, 2007

The weather about the weather

When bad weather comes I am never sure what to do. I don't know weather or not to cancel events or to move forward. Last weekend the snow forced a group that was coming on a mission trip to Kokomo to cancel. However, we did not cancel the large event we had planned. We invited all the neighbors to a winter dinner and carnival. At the dinner we had barbecued pork, mac and cheese, greens, corn bread and banana pudding with vanilla wafers. We served 141 meals and had about 70 kids come to the carnival. The problem we faced before the event was that we needed about 25 volunteers to make it happen and there was only about 5 parking spaces as most of the street etc had huge snow drifts along them. I put out an email to some key people and we had 45 volunteers come to our aide. It was a great night.

Yesterday (Sunday) we had to cancel church due to ice. However, by midday the ice had all melted. Last night we had a large group of first time volunteers. We had a confirmation class from a local church(about 12) and we had a small group (Bible Study) of about 15 plus our regular awesome volunteers. Again we had a great night.

On Saturday I was blessed to share at an Evangelism Conference. Chris and I led a workshop, called, "Becoming the church next door" . We did it twice and was able to talk about what it means for a church to have a missional attitude.

I was to go to Anderson after church yesterday to share with a church there, however, the weather forced us to cancel.

Next week I am speaking at all three services at the Episcopalian Church in town. Please pray for that. Also, pray for the Crisis Child Care Center that will be opening soon. Thanks Jeff

PS: I want to thank my friends Ben and John for traveling a great distance through the snow to build a back drop for our Sidewalk Sunday School Stage :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Outreach to the Under-resourced

Kokomo Urban Outreach is a network of churches, organizations and individuals that have a heart for hometown missions. Our goal is to help churches think and act "Missionally". The church that I led is moving in that direction. The church building is located in the midst of a large number of "under-resourced" families. Under-resourced families not only lack finances but also systems of support (family, church, community). Over the past couple of years I have learned a great deal about reaching out to the under-resourced and have seen a great transformation-----in me.

Outreach to the under-resourced is not simply doing my good deed for the day, nor does it exist to give me something to pat myself on the back about. It is not the impersonal distribution of my leftovers. It is about sharing Christ… His provisions…, compassion, kindness and warmth with the hurting, the broken, the hard living and rough edged. It is about being light and salt in places of darkness and hopelessness.

Outreach to the under-resourced is not reaching from our high position down to their low position. It is rather our reaching out as peers. It is about my coming to terms with my brokenness—reaching out to other broken individuals. It is about… dignity and respect… looking into the eyes of another human being… being real and building relationships… sharing my meals, my home and my life. It is about reconnecting the disconnected, as well as connecting with the disconnected.

Outreach to the under-resourced is about seeing people and the neighborhood through the eyes of Jesus. It is seeing more similarities than differences, yet dealing with the differences appropriately.

Outreach to the under-resourced is less about ethnicity or race, and more about geography, population density, and culture. It is about a culture of poverty. Not simply economic poverty, but a poverty of spirit and attitude.

Outreach to the under-resourced is not just teaching, but being taught. It is listening and learning—discovering some of the flaws in my culture as well as the honorable things in theirs.

Outreach to the under-resource is not about the rich folks coming down to help the poor folks because they feel sorry for them. It is about building partnerships and cooperation. It is about working together for renewal—spiritual renewal, community renewal, family renewal, and personal renewal----not just for them but for us.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Last night was great. We had a big crowd about 65 were served a meal. We had the youth group from St. Andrews Episcopal Church with us. They are great. We had about 40 kids in Sidewalk Sunday school and the girls youth group had a wonderful time making valentines. There were many new families and kids. It is like starting over but it is good. We did have a group of kids come who moved to the other side of town. It was all good. This weekend we have a mission team coming from northern Indiana. We have a lot planned and are looking forward to being with them. Keep up the prayers. God is at work. Thanks Jeff

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


The neighborhood is changing everyday. Families are moving into houses which is good. When moms and/or dads get a job and keeps it for a certain period of time are eligible to move into a house with continued rent assistance. Others are being evicted, lots of them. So far not a lot of families moving in, it takes awhile to get an apartment ready for a new family. We in turn must be ready for new families. Many volunteers are sadden when a family moves. It is difficult to keep up with families that move away. However there is a new excitement of reaching new groups of people. It almost feels like we are starting over. New kids, new families, new stories and new opportunities. please keep us in prayer as new people are being reached. Please keep praying for us. Jeff