Archive for June 2015

Trinity Lutheran Visit

No Comments »

     I haven't had a chance yet to write about the awesome group we hosted from Trinity Lutheran (Madison, OH) yet.
     They were amazing! They came in with this incredible attitude of humbleness and willingness to serve the LORD, and we were blessed by them.
     We made life long friends, and I mean that. We were able to acomplish things that would have taken me days worth of time to get done, and the church has never looked or smelled better than it did when they were done with it.
    To give you an idea of the amazing work done I am going to share a multitude of photos. That is by far the best way to illustrate how much was accomplished. We truly had a great time with this group, and are so blessed by their support and love.

First night s'mores! Who says an urban church can't have a fire pit??

On Tuesday afternoon, we went to serve at Free the Girls, a great non-profit that fights against human trafficking with used bras!! We also became an official drop-off location, so Chicago people, you can bring your bras as far as us, and we'll make sure to bring them to the shipping center in Chesterton! for more info. check out 

One of the big projects of the week, was creating some large maps for our conference room. We wanted a space to envision the Kingdom of God in big ways. We now have an amazing USA map, where we can place pins for the various churches and individuals who support us, and that we support. We also have a City of Hammond map to help us to envision and record the Holy Spirit's work here in our City.  

The group was able to completely clean out a classroom (where things got put while removing the ceiling last summer) so we'll be able to use it for VBS. Speaking of VBS, on the right is an example of one of our VBS crafts, that were put together by this amazing group! They made samples, wrote instructions, and put together all the supplies for 25 sets of crafts EACH night of VBS. What a time saver!

Baking cookies to pass out to neighbors with invites to our block party!

The cleaned up our ceiling, so now it's almost ready to be painted, but in the meantime, it's clean enough for us to be able to use this space this summer, while we wait for a good time to paint the ceiling! 

We had plenty of time for lots of laughs as well!

We didn't have many days without rain, so on Tuesday morning, while it was sunny, we accomplished A LOT of outdoor tasks. The lawn was mowed, hedges trimmed, and weeds removed. 

Our walkway ceiling paint has been flaking, and it looked horrible. Not anymore! It was scrapped, and looks so much better!

Mac worked from home on the last full day they were here to work on some projects. They made 2 more garden beds, including one for a potato bed. Then he taught some of the teens some photography tips as we toured downtown Hammond. 

Thanks for a great week, and for your servant hearts. We are so grateful for your willingness to serve. We saw Jesus in you all week! 

Happy Summer

No Comments »

    One of the tasks we have been burdened  blessed with, is the task of redefining Church to culture. The culture does not have a great view of the Church, and much of that is our own fault. We were the ones who moved out of the city, instead of getting to know our neighbors and staying for the long haul. Despite the fact that we don't want to be associated with certain "brands" of Christianity, we often get lumped in with them, which makes the task even more difficult. There are lots of studies on the topic, so I won't bore you with the details, but what I can say is, that task is even bigger when you are in a building that has been at least 4 different things in the last 80 years.

       Trust takes time. A long time. We've been here for 1 year, and though that trust is starting to build we have a long way to go. In the meantime, we are busy trying to creatively think of ways for our neighbors to see us, and to know that we are here to benefit the neighborhood. That we want to be a source of love, of support, of service, and a place where people can come and seek the face of God regardless of where they are coming from.
       One of those creative things, we tried today. I had this idea a few weeks ago, to pass out popsicles on the last day of school, along with some VBS fliers. Just letting people know we are here and have a happy summer.
      As you can tell from the picture... those aren't popsicles. They are cookies. You see, all of my plans don't work out awesomely. I bought popsicles after subbing yesterday, and put them in the freezer. They had a nice 24 hour window to freeze. Only, the didn't. They were just barely cold. Which left me scrambling. Solution, there were cookies in the same freezer (they actually were cold... amazingly). I also found some boxes of bubbles downstairs at the church. Instead of popsicles, I handed out cookies and bubbles. I drew some happy phrases in side walk chalk outside of the church, and put up a bright pink sign that said "Happy Summer from The Mission Church". 

      The kids loved it! Even the few high school students who came by were excited. I have subbed for most of the elementary kids, so I got to see them with their awards from school. 
      One little boy I sub for walked by with a very sad face and I  asked him how his last day was. He said "not good. No one signed my t-shirt. My sister was rushing me." I gave him some bubbles and said, "Well, I'm sorry you had a bad last day of school, I hope this helps a little bit, and I hope your summer is better than today was." 
        His face broke into a smile, and he ran off. 
        I know it's not much, but that felt a little bit like a victory to me. The church suddenly became what that boy needed in that moment, something to make his last day of school a happy occasion vs. a sad one. 
      This little attempt at being a bright spot on the last day of school was a great success for some people, but I also got a lot of weird looks from people slowing down their cars as they pass by. I'm not so naive as to think that we have won the battle, and this entire community trusts us, we've only been here 1 year. That journey is just beginning. However, I am hoping that for the few kids and families whose day was made a little brighter, that today was a day they saw the church as a place of love, and a people who care for their neighbors.