Christmas is coming and we greet you from East Colfax. It has been just over a year since we moved into the Ranger and we are now ending our first full year of Jesus on Colfax Ministries. I have enjoyed being able to tell you stories of life here.Our life here is odd and beautiful, filled with endless opportunities to love people in the name of Jesus. Our friends are beautiful, broken people who face the unique challenges of extreme poverty. We are grateful to be here, grateful too for your support which allows us to show up and love our flock. Your prayers sustain us daily.After 30 years of doing “church on a corner” in middle-class settings, we are learning that ministering here requires a different definition of success. We embrace small changes as big things and see hundreds of signs of Jesus at work. Here are a few things we see and hear (all names are changed to protect identity):
- Will, who gave his life to Jesus while talking with a team member one Tuesday night: “You’re supportive towards me through thick and thin.” His neighbor, a devoted Christian stated, “Will is saved because of your presence! You have been a blessing of fellowship.”
- Randy and Joan: “We used every penny we had to move into this motel and shortly after moving here we heard a knock on our door and there stood two angels. That particular night we had fed our children, but my wife and I couldn’t eat because there simply wasn’t enough. We love the entire team of Jesus on Colfax as family…Shawn and Diane are truly a gift from God…The most important thing is the prayer that is shared at the end of each visit. From our family to yours, thanks.”
- Isaac, who we helped get into rehab: “You were there for me when everyone else had given up on me.”
- Minnie, who has stopped turning tricks because of our help and is working hard on breaking a crack addiction. She knows Jesus and always wants prayer: “I’m trying to be good!”
- Melissa, a motel manager whose husband was killed on Colfax, raising three kids and a grandson: “You are family to us.”
- Jim and Mary: “You guys are a spark! Before you entered our life, God was never talked about and now, I even go to church!”
Here are some other things of note:
- We are grateful that our JOC team has nearly doubled, allowing us to get into more motels.
- We enjoyed a meal gathering for our friends at the Ranger last Sunday. We created a bit of a New Testament house church feel and hope to do more of these gatherings in the new year.
- Our BBQ get-togethers this summer were some of our favorite memories shared here. We hope to have more of those in the coming year.
- We continue to pray about a way to create a “home” environment for some of our flock, either through purchasing some houses or maybe even a motel.
- I also continue to be involved in pursuing holistic, Christ-centered transformation in the broader community as part of the leadership of Flourish East Colfax.
We do this work here as missionaries, sent by your prayers and financial support. As we approach the end of 2017, would you prayerfully consider a year-end, tax-deductible gift that will allow us to continue our work of loving the poorest of the poor? Please click the link below to donate.Thanks again for your support.Blessings,Shawn and Diane