The heart of our work is simple. We show up and love some of the most broken people in our city, all in the name of Jesus, all in the hope of bringing them to a more sustainable life.
Year end 2021 means that we have been at this for over five years. Reflecting on that, two thoughts stand out. First, our work is indescribably hard. We hear, see, and experience an endless torrent of pain, brokenness, and dysfunction. Life for our friends is hard, often with limited options for finding a path out. We listen, love, pray, and do what we can. But, hard stuff.
Second, our work is indescribably beautiful. We meet incredible people, created in the image of God, and loved by Him. They are funny, charming, gifted, and a delight to know. Here along Colfax are many—overlooked and marginalized by the world—who are truly treasures. We get to do life with them, get to stand with them in their pain and be the presence of Jesus to them. Not only that, they become the presence of Jesus to us.
As we head to the end of 2021, we want you to hear about Colfax and our work from some of our beautiful friends through this video. You will hear their own words, out of their own hearts. They will tell you how hard Colfax is (Abby said it is worse than Bourbon Street!) and how important our friendship and love is (notice how often they talk about friendship). We hope their words will give you a sense of our work. And, that it will help you fall in love with our friends. This is our world, these are our friends. I could tell you long stories about each of them—Leonard, Abby, Brandi and Willie.
We are deeply grateful for your support—prayers, words of encouragement, and finances. Hard to see how we could do this work without it.
We continue to need that support. Keep praying and encouraging. And, we would love it if you would consider a year-end gift that will allow us to continue the work Jesus has called us to. Or, consider being a monthly donor.
Most of you are aware that we are also in a campaign for the rehab of our buildings. Thanks to many of you have already given generously to that project. We continue to work at it, connecting now with potentially larger donors and foundations to keep moving forward.
But, our real work is not the building. It is showing up and loving people. The building will help greatly with that but the core of what we do doesn’t require a building. It simply requires us to go where people are—in the motels and on the streets—to build long-term, loving relationships centered around the presence of Jesus. While we are happy to receive support for the building, this letter is asking for your support for the ongoing work of our ministry.
Thanks again. We send this with our prayers for you and ask you to pray for our team and our friends. Our work is important. Brandi said well at the end of the video. Our friends need our help. Your support makes that a reality.
Shawn and Diane and the JOC Team
PS: Special thanks to Philip Jongejan and Kelsey Medina, members of our leadership team, for creating the video.