Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reflection: Last 2 Years


2008 was a year of excitement and uncertainty. A vision and passion was on the heart of my then, fiancee David, and his friends to go and live missionally in the heart of Rockwood. I was wrestling with the need and calling to be missional at the time so this idea was very intriguing to me. Our imaginations spun as we tried to picture what this would look like in a tangible way - but we didn't know until we started.
It was very humbling and inspiring to see the support that immediately surrounded us when we began. From the support of the apartment management to the local churches who were interested in coming out and serving meals and doing children's activities, it was extremely encouraging to be surrounded by such strong support. The momentum of the first year, doing meals every week definitely provided a strong adrenaline rush. Half the time, I was not sure exactly what was happening - we didn't have specific methods or approaches - we simply ate meals with people and listened. This led to many hearts opening up and relationships formed at increasingly deep levels.
At times information people were sharing was so deep, I did not know what to do with it. My own mind could not possibly wrap around the experiences that people had, and at my naive age of 20, I definitely did not have any wise answers that would solve any significant problems.
This was when I realized the beauty and power of God's grace and His spirit that leads us in times when we feel completely inept. Many a times, when sitting with a new friend, talking about life, I found myself completely in awe of the pain that a person could go through and still be alive. Growing up in a safe Christian family, I could not possibly relate or understand the suffering, yet Jesus understood. He could relate. And through His spirit that is in me, I could listen. The spirit gave words to say and when it was time for someone else to speak into someones life, the spirit led that too.
It was incredible seeing how the spirit worked to touch hearts. No amount of explaining or persuading could lead to the change from within that I have seen the spirit do at Barberry. The most beautiful thing of it all is that in the moments where I felt like I had nothing to offer- no strength to listen or patience to answer, when I felt like running away and hiding-that was when God did the most significant work. It was significant not only for the person who I would be with at the time, but especially signficant for me. I was pushed and stretched way beyond the limits that I thought I had. My limits of patience, self-control, love, and grace. In those moments, it was definitely not I, but Christ who lives in me.

And now, even though David and I have moved, our lives will continue to be shaped and impacted by our two years at Barberry. Having seen what could happen when we let God direct our lives, we are forever impacted. Although we may be in completely different contexts from here on out, the values of community and power of surrendering to Christ and trusting that the spirit will lead us on - give us the strength, patience, and love, have become a core part of our understanding. Although at times it is hard to see, we will trust and be open to whatever God has for us next.
-Elena

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kid's Ministry

All summer a small group of us have been holding a kids ministry on Saturdays at Barberry. For an hour before it starts we jog up and down the apartment steps letting the residence know what we're doing. This is the kid round up time. We then set up a few things on the grassy area by the mail boxes; a card table, bubbles, coloring books, beach balls, etc. We also have a huge parachute which has become the icon of the kids ministry. Everyone loves the parachute and begs to open it.
The most loved game is called shark. The kids taught me this. We all sit down in a circle with our legs under the parachute and shake it as hard as we can. Under the parachute several kids, "sharks," crawl around looking for legs to pull under. This is one of my favorite aspects of being a leader. You're the one they always attack. You never stay dry in any water fight and you definitely never wonder if a shark will take you under. I feel some little hands grab my ankles and I yell for the life guards. They love this. I love this.
After we exhaust them in play we sit down on a blanket or on top the parachute. This is the reason we are here. We pull out pictures and Bibles and begin telling them stories about God. We tell them about creation; who made the clouds in the sky, the grass we sit on, and the neighbors cat. We talk to them about sin, forgiveness, and a man up on a cross. We emphasize this great love of God. I have stopped feeling so shocked at their questions. We ask them, "Who wants to pray?" There hands shoot up. When I call on one he looks away shyly saying he never has before and doesn't know how.
Back when I started this ministry I did it because God laid it on my heart. It was not because I especially liked kids. Actually, I regularly told people I was "not a kids person." How do you interact with a kid? I hated baby talk. Plus I reasoned, you cannot have an intellectual conversation about politics with a five year old. But I have learned, when God tells you to do something, you just do it. The day after our first event someone at church asked me how it went. I started crying. I was the leader and I felt so...inadequate.
These days I hear squeals when I come, doors burst open, and joy explodes across faces. They run to me jumping up and down and hugging my legs. They sit on my lap and trace my face. The quieter ones look up at me and slide their tiny hands into mine. It took time, and a persistent willingness to obey the Lord, for my heart to catch up with my actions. But it did. All over my thoughts, all over my life, I find their footprints.
Last Saturday a mother came up to me asking questions. When I told her it was over in two weeks she looked so disappointed. I explained I was taking 6 weeks off then was hoping to start it again as an after school event. She looked around Barberry. "We're moving in a week. I don't want my boys to grow up here." She explained why; the fights, the drugs, etc. Then she looked at me, "Can I bring them back? I'd do that. I take them to church you know. I want my boys here."
Lately after the story time the older kids have been staying. While the others jump up and play they stay asking questions about God, leaning in, listening, drinking in the Words of God. Cylent is around 11 or 12. He stayed for a long time last week wanting to understand about forgiveness. He was ready, wanting, hungry. We prayed with him. He asked God to forgive him for all the things he'd done that he knew were wrong. He asked God to come into his life and make him new. He asked God to help him walk down the right path. The path of life.
It was amazing.
This is why God called me to stay. I'll continue school here while dwelling in the place he's set on my heart. This broken loved place.
Andrea

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Trust

In early May as I began to mentally compose the summer kids ministry God gave me a picture for the summer. It was the scene in which Jesus took a midnight stroll across a lake. As the apostles where in the boat fighting the waves "Jesus was about to pass by" but their fear of him stopped Jesus. Jesus turned and looked at them. It startles me, scares me, awes me, settles my anxious heart to see him there, standing in the wind and waves....looking at me.
Rockwood is full, bursting, ripe, white for the harvest. In January of this year God asked me to face my fears. So I began the street ministry. Now I fall all over myself in love with these people. Last week while I stood on the corner with one of my favorite ladies she pointed out a group of guys walking past and related the story of the man they beat up the night before. At the same time a stream of sirens blared past on their way to the store behind us. Another robbing, another beating, another proof of brokenness.
God gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have ever lasting life. Christ died for them. So we live, and walk, and breath, and love our neighbors.
The first time I met Elena she said, "There's something special about Rockwood." I agree. That's why we're all here. His blood pumps through these streets.
This past Saturday marked the halfway point of the summer kids ministry. Kristine couldn't sleep Friday night thinking about Barberry, worrying over "our" kids. I took my turn Saturday night. Early in the morning I gave up. At the top of a cliff above the Columbia River I watched the sun rise over the eastern mountains. I thought about Rockwood, Barberry, Colorado. Face after face came through my mind. People that I've grown to love here. One's that don't know Christ, yet are so close. If only I could stay in their lives a little longer. My move to Colorado takes place in five weeks. Two days after the last kids event. How do I leave the people of Rockwood? How do I leave the kids of Barberry? I desperately want to bring them Christ. I long for them to have what I have. I want to stay in their lives; a protective mentoring shield. The little ones look up at me with big hopeful eyes and slide their tiny hands into mine. I think my chest aches 90% of the time now.
To trust God means to trust Him in the details of life. Right now, for me, it is with my move and new place in life. Mostly, it is to trust Him with the lives I am leaving behind.
Last week the Samoan family lost their little eighteen month old Vie. She drowned in the pool on Thursday. In the months and years to come whoever read this please pause and pray for them. Pray they will be drawn to God through this and that they will recognize the difference between the lies of the enemy and His true voice. Pray they will know the depths of God's love for them.

Andrea (Summer Kid's Zone)

Monday, July 12, 2010

1 Peter 2:12

My favorite class I had ever taken as I went through public school and finished with a mix of community college and bible college was a philosophy or religions class at the community college. It provided a couple of my favorites together: unbelievers and open discussions on theology and philosophy. At then end of the course I found myself sitting across a very astute new age agnostic over drinks. His family was heavily religious of some Christian flavor, and his father was a pastor. He rejected his upbringing and put me in corner with this question: "Have you ever seen the waiting lines for the uninsured trying to get on state health insurance?" "How could a whole cross section of the US be so opposed to helping people with such basic needs as health care?" Sadly, I did not really have anything to say to him.

5 years later I live with a group of believers reaching out to the poor through the apartment complex initiative. Compassion connect also puts on free health care clinics to serve some of the most broken. If the question ever comes again I am ready to boast about: Milan, Jennifer, David & Elena, Josh, Tyrone...
 
"Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us."

-1 peter 2:12

-Dan Johnson

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fruit of Divine Love and Patience

After I posted Dan's perspective on doing ministry at Barberry with children, I recieved a text message from a friend who was going to return a scarf we left at his house. He said he would swing by the apartments this week. My first thought was "How will we ever coordinate being home when he can stop by?"

Then I realized, it doesn't even matter! Without a second thought I told him he could leave the scarf with neighbors anywhere around us. Yes, in Rockwood. At Barberry Village.

As I clicked send, it sunk in how radical this is. How many people can even say that in their comfortable safe suburban neighborhoods?

We love our neighbors.

And what a difference a healthy amount of Divine love and patience through sacrifice can make - in any community.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ministry at Barberry While Raising Children

This week Dan Johnson is sharing his unique perspective as a member of the ministry team here at Barberry Village while also being the father of a young family:

"I grew up in the suburbs and became accustomed to an isolated life with almost no contact with my neighbors growing up. I am now married and have a 2 year old son, and a newborn baby girl. We live in a poor part of town with crime rates that make most people from the suburbs a bit uncomfortable. For God so loved the world that he sent his only son... to a world that rejected him.

My wife and I are are constantly reminded of the dangers surrounding our children. We also know that the work of the Kingdom of God is far above our preferences. We are thankful that we have a team of believers here working together for the Kingdom. This team makes up our extended family, and our son knows each of these members by name and loves them.

Our son (and daughter) are growing up in an area with poor schools, high crime neighborhoods, and no enclosed backyard to play in. We are careful to exercise caution to keep our children safe from sexual predators, bullies, and more. However, our children will have the advantage of seeing parents that are reaching out to the poor, widows, and the orphans outside of their home. To us it is no surprise that the happiest of children are among the poor."

- Daniel, Jennifer, James, & baby Hannah Johnson

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Lesson in Community

This week Kurt, a fellow laborer in the Kingdom, shared some reflections on how he had been impacted through involvement at Barberry Village. He helps lead a small group at Clear Creek Community Church, which is one of the handful of churches in the area that has been seeking to embrace our apartment complex with loving arms.

I'll let him tell you the rest:

"I have had the privilege of serving along side the team at Barberry Village for a couple of years now and the impact to my soul has been huge. Until just a couple of years ago, when I first heard of the "mission to the village", I had never given much thought to the community beyond the Compassion Rockwood event held annually at PLS and that was just one day a year. The only thoughts if any that would come to my mind, was “it’s not my backyard” or “this” is a rough community. I would continue to drive through the area, sometimes daily, without much thought about the individual lives that reside there. My world was 4 miles away in a “different” community.

My first opportunity to visit Barberry came at a community meal that my small group offered to provide and serve. I had apprehensions about what to expect while there. To my soul’s relief (first to discover that my fears were silly), I met wonderful people who really just wanted to reach out and find other souls to relate to. To me, that’s what serving at Barberry is, reaching out to meet other’s where they are. Since that first meal, I have really enjoyed the sense that showing up at the community is about meeting other people, getting to know them and finding out that they are my neighbors in this world we’re all trying to survive in. Many of us are experiencing the same hurts, frustrations and challenges in life, some of us just have a prettier picture to hang on the wall for others to see.

Since serving at Barberry, my “community” has grown. I recognize that I need to reach out to neighbors closer to home, I need to be open to meeting new people and reaching out to souls wherever I am and not to “drive” through life with such a narrow focus on myself. Barberry has taught me to open my eyes to those that Jesus died to save. ALL! I with to thank the team at Barberry Village and those in the community that taught me what God’s community is all about! People loving people no matter where they are."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Prayer for a Barberrian Summer

A passionate women from one of the local churches has committed to investing in youth outreach weekly throughout the summer. We are all excited by the energy, creative, and dedication that she brings to bless the Barberry Village community. We'll be posting more about this, including stories and pictures, but for now I wanted to share her prayer for the summer

----

Father for my children I pray that you guide me every day. Every step of the way. I have no hidden agenda except that they see you face to face. That their little hearts will know this great love. Let your words come out of my mouth. Show me your love for them. Rest your spirit on me. Flow it consistently out of me. Let me see them through your eyes. Open up this place. Rest your spirit in their heart. Give me your heart. But only enough that I do not break apart. Show me your love for them. Teach me how to teach them. Give me your thoughts. Let my life reflect you so much that they find you in me. God this is my prayer, that I walk every single step WITH you. You hem me in, behind and before. Go before me Lord. Let your love, your spirit, break their chains, break the bondages. Break them Lord. Bring your little ones to me. Call them by name. For you are Great. Mighty is the Lord. There is no one like you God. How precious to me are your thoughts Oh God, how vast is the sum of them. If I were to count them they would outnumber the grains of the sands.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” “I tell you, do not worry about your life…Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?…See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field.. will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry…(about the details) for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”
And he sent them out in two’s. “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” “And even the hairs of your head are all numbered…So do not be afraid” “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a little child and had him stand among them.. “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone cause one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and drowned in the depths of the sea.” “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my father in heaven.” “For where two or more come together in my name, there I am with them.” “It is written, my house will be called a house of prayer.” “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.” “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all you mind.”
“If I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak anymore in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire. A fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in. Indeed I cannot.”
I cannot.
Ephesians 6

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms..” Father continue revealing to us how you want us to pray for Barberry. Teach us how to pray against the spiritual forces of evil. God make light what is hidden and give me perfect wisdom. Protect my team, protect my kids, protect the Barberry team. Give us a warrior’s heart. Break the chains! Destroy the lies! “..Therefore put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…” Give me your truth God. Show me your truths. When I read your word open it to me so that it pierces my mind and heart. Show me what you long to reveal. Show me your ways Oh Lord, teach me your decrees. Give me understanding according to your word. Direct my footsteps. Let no sin rule over me. You are the one I seek. Expose the lies I’m not even aware I’m believing. “..with the breastplate of righteousness in place..” Help me live a life of purity. Purity of my hands, purity of my thoughts. Give me strength and steadfast persistence to live a life of righteousness, of purity. Careful little mouth what you say. “..and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace..” I choose to live for the gospel at any given moment. Yes Lord, speak to me and I will listen. Where you go..I will go, what you say..I will say, what you do..I will do. “..In addition to all this take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one…” I hold out my faith as a shield against the lies, the condemnation, the guilt, of the enemy. I hold out my faith against any lie that you are not good. Oh Lord I know that you are good. “Take the helmet of salvation..” Thank you for the cross. Thank you that I no longer have to live under the old covenant. Thank you for what has been given because of your life and death. Thank you Father. Thank you. God, how do I reveal this to your little ones? How Father? How do I show them…you? Open up their hearts Father. Let your spirit wash over them. Come to them as they dream, as they wake, and drift asleep. You are the only one that can truly speak to their hearts. God I ask that they will understand you in ways I have never known. “..and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God..” Father your words are a sword. Engrave them on my mind and heart that I may use them daily to destroy the enemy and encourage your people. “..And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel…Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Father do not let me teach any word that is not of you. If I am not sure of a teaching or not sure that I accurately understand your word, I ask Father that you will point this out to me and that I will not teach it. Give me wisdom Father. Discernment. Whether I turn to the right or the left let me hear your voice behind me saying, “This is the way. Walk in it.“ A student is not above his teacher and a servant is not above his master. You are my teacher and I am your servant. Let me only go where you lead. Let me only teach what you have already taught.
Then with your truth, with your words, with your leading, with your spirit, with your love, make me/us BOLD and COURAGEOUS, stouthearted and persistent.
God all of us working at Barberry need to bathe ourselves in prayer. Put your spirit on us. Give us WISDOM. Protect us. Let your Holy Spirit FLOW out of us. I ask that multitudes will come to know you because of us. Cause this summer to be what it was always meant to be. What do you want out of this summer Father? God I ask that this summer will be the boiling over point of all the prayers that have been offered up in this place. That is what I ask Father! God, how big do you want us to pray? Pray for the impossible. Nothing is impossible for him who believes. I pray that every single person who wants you, longs for you, searches for you…finds you. Holy Spirit, this summer,
FALL on this place…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Story of God" at Barberry Village

We as a community at Barberry Village have been doing a study called "Story of God". As you might guess, it is an overview of Genesis to Revelations. We just hit the beginning of the new Testament; the virgin birth of Jesus.

One of our neighbors we have been building a relationship with is a middle aged devout Roman Catholic women. One of the other neighbors is a recovering drug and alcohol addict who has been totally burned by Christianity and the "church", is skeptical at every turn, and has more questions then answers.

Those two lightening rods were almost enough to bring the building down within the first 10 minutes. I thought for sure one, or both, were never going to come back again.

But the Spirit pulled the group together and the last hour and a half was so full of joy, love, laughter and grace. By the end of it the women was laughing at the guys jokes and he was taken aback by a humble apology on her part.

By the time I prayed at the end I was on the verge of tears over how much joy and love was in the room. Such beauty.

Never a stodgy boring Bible Study here at the Barberry Village.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Re-connections

When we first moved into Barberry in 2008, we naturally made a connection with our neighbors who lived right underneath us. An inter-generational family of grandma, mom, and young daughter who were very open and excited to meet friendly neighbors who they could trust and spend time with. The young daughter would come to the children's events, participate in many crafts and activities with much eagerness to learn. She was nearing 5 years old when the family ended up moving. We were sad to see them move, especially since the relationship was leading towards more discussions of faith, life, and purpose, but unfortunately moving is in deed a fact of life. We said our goodbyes, not expecting to ever see each other again.

Come February 2010, on a typical Monday, Josh finds a note on his door as he returns from work. This note wasn't one we ever expected. It was a note from the family. Written on pink paper, the note said the family remembers and misses us, and would like to reconnect. They left their phone number and request to re-unite contact.

I called and was blessed to hear how the family is doing. Mom was very proud of her daughter, who is attending school and is one of the top readers in her first grade class. The family is closely connected and feels very fondly about the school. Mom said her daughter thinks about us and would like to visit us soon.

We were absolutely thrilled to hear that this family has kept us in their hearts, even as we were apart for over a year. We invited them to come to the next community meal and will be connected regarding upcoming children's events.

It is just amazing seeing how God reunites people according to His will. No doubt that God has a reason for them contacting us - so far its been a clear blessing and encouragement to us, but I have a feeling there is more to it than just that. Please pray that God will continue leading this relationship in His purposeful direction.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gresham Redevelopment Commission Advisory Committee Presentation

We recently presented to the Gresham Redevelopment Commission Advisory Committee (that's a mouth full) concerning the work God has been doing through our lives at Barberry Village.

I will be posting one slide at a time with a short description and comments as they relate.

My hope is to clearly communicate a more coherent and full story of the work happening at Barberry Village, in contrast to the snapshots that you normally see on the blog.

I look forward to your thoughts, comments, and questions along the way!

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Barberrian Birthday Cause

I have given countless hours to the cause and I would be honored if you would join me in celebrating my birthday by giving to the cause. Just click:

Apartment Complex Initiative at Barberry Village.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Barberrian Villagers Anthem

This is a great song to go with my post "You live there!? Why?"

You lived among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away.

All my needs you have supplied.
When I was dead you gave me life.
How could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.

Use my hands, use my feet
To make your kingdom come
Through the corners of the earth
Until your work is done
'Cause Faith without works is dead
And on the cross your blood was she'd
So how could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken.
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.
(X2)

I give all myself.
I give all myself
I give all myself... to you.

And I give all myself.
Yes, I give all myself.
And I give all myself... to you.

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken
Follow you into the world.
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God.
Follow you into the World.

(X2)
By Leeland.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010 Already?!

It's been awhile since our last post, and as you can imagine a lot has happened - and changed.

The past two seasons have proved to show how many people there are in the Rockwood community who care about it and are doing great works on behalf of their love for this area. We have had the opportunity to attend a Rockwood Neighborhood Association meeting in November and meet many people who have roots here and are engaging in making a positive difference.

The meeting was held at Rockwood's new Salvation Army Youth Center, home of this winter's Good Shepherd Christmas party, which many families from Barberry attended. It is so great to partner with passionate believers to serve God's kingdom! The event was filled with much joy and laughter. It was especially encouraging seeing youth (and we're talking young kids in elementary and middle school) participate in leading activities!

Barberry has naturally seen a lot of changes with several residents moving out and new ones moving in. Thanks to the community meals and several intentional moves, we were able to connect with a few women who have moved in within the past month. One of them will be attending our first Bible study meeting of 2010!

Speaking of the Bible study, this will also be a new blessing to our team. Josh will be leading the Story of God study with the team and residents who we've built relationships with. We will be having this Bible study every other week and ask for your prayers. There has been some time since the last Bible study sessions (several months) and this is a clear need and desire of many. Please pray for wisdom, strength and guidance for Josh as he leads this even as he is working full-time and going to school. We are also still brainstorming ways to accomodate childcare during this time. Please pray that God will send the right people to help with that. If you or someone you know is interested in supporting us in this way, please get in touch with us.

As the year continues, we are always looking for groups who would like to come and share in this ministry by sponsoring a meal. Meals are an incredible opportunity to build relationships with residents and are an important part of the Barberry community. If you would like to join and support the ministry by hosting a meal, please contact Josh.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has been supporting us in 2009. Through your prayers, donations, and time many lives were impacted for God's kingdom. We have been greatly encouraged in the love of Christ that dwells in His believers - a love that compels to move and share, a love that multiplies. Through your prayers and presence, in unity, God's work is being done. It has been especially exciting to see the unity of the body of Christ in action. Thank you for being a living example of this beauty! Our prayer is that the unity of believers will continue to grow in 2010 so that many more will be won for the kingdom. Thank you for being a part of that!