Posted by: Matt Norton | June 1, 2009

June Newsletter

June Newsletter

Dear friends and family,

The Hope summer team made it in to Louisville on Tuesday afternoon, all nine of them.  I, along with all the other staff, have been excited, somewhat nervous, and absolutely prepared for the new crew.  We have been excited because we knew that the new friends would bring fresh energy and enthusiasm.  Our nervousness came from the thought of having the biggest Hope team ever (five more folks then the second largest) and not knowing what everyone will do.  However, regardless, of anything else, we have all been prepared for fresh workers, because as it says in Luke 10:2, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field.”  We’ve experienced first hand the need for workers in a plentiful harvest because God is moving in many guests’ and residents’ hearts at Jeff Street and they are responding to God’s call for their lives.  As they respond they need other Christ followers to come along side them and help them grow and mature in their faith.  The staff has sought to meet the need but has been stretched thin. For years all those involved with Jeff Street have been asking God, the Lord of the harvest, for workers to go into the harvest field.  We see the blessing of the summer Hope team as a sign of God’s faithful and loving response to innumerable prayers.  We know that they will be able to help us to come along side our friends in need who desire God’s truth and they will minister to and grow with the Jeff Street community.  We praise God for his gracious gift of servants and their supporters.

The other day Jesse, the Hope director, was describing Jeff Street and the Hope program to the new team.  He was saying that for many years the staff has felt like they have been fighting for Christ on the front lines, praying for reinforcements.  He then said in his goofy humor, that with the Hope team this year it seems like God has answered that prayer and now they can drop back from the front lines and eat a sandwich.  After having been here for nine months I can begin to understand what he means.  The work is very fulfilling and amazing to see God work in so many lives, but it is also very exhausting. I praise God for these new people who are here to labor for Christ and allow some of the other staff to step back and reflect back on all that Christ has done and see a vision for what he can do in the future.  At this point I would like to let you know of a few staff members who have been laboring steadfastly for God at Jeff Street.  Rob Toney our Permanent Supportive Housing Director has been here between 10 and 20 years.  Dale, our second shift worker is in his 15th year.  Joanie, the Day Shelter Supervisor (aka, the Queen of the Dayshelter), will be here 10 years in August.  Keith, our transitional housing director is in his sixth year.  Jesse has been faithfully leading the Hopies for four years.  Finally, Ben, our man of many hats, is in his second year as a obedient servant of Christ here at Jeff Street.  The staff at Jeff Street is stellar and focused on living a life that declares the love and truth of Christ to all those they encounter.  I praise God once again for the new team and pray that with the 12 Hopies it allows the other staff time to reflect and marvel at God’s glorious work done through their hands and mouths at Jeff Street.

Be encouraged that God is affecting lives and changing hearts here at Jeff Street.  Please be praying for the new Hopies as they are transitioning in and learning the ropes.  They are a fabulous group and I am already encouraged by their love and excitement for Christ and his redeeming power.  The summer is upon us and that means that my time here at Jeff Street is winding down.  I have two and a half more months, so please continue to pray for me that God would give me wisdom, love and perseverance.

With love and grace in Christ Jesus,
Matt

P.S. The recession that our country is in has finally hit Jeff Street as we have seen a drop in financial support.  If you feel led to give to Jeff Street in this time it would be greatly appreciated.  You can do that online at jeffersonstreet.org under the Donate Now tab, or you can send a check made out to Jefferson Street Baptist Center sent to our address:
733 East Jefferson St
Louisville, KY 40202
I really appreciate all your love and support.

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