Posted by: Jessica Wilson | June 24, 2009

June 2008 Newsletter

June 2008 Newsletter

Friends and Family;

I just wanted to start off by thanking you so much for your prayers and support for my ministry this summer! Out of the $2100, God has provided a little over $1000 so far which is incredible (and I sincerely thank everyone who is or has helped out)! If you know of anyone else who would be willing to support my ministry this summer in either donation or prayer that would also be awesome! Donations, and having a home base for spiritual encouragement, are so important to each of us here. Every little bit helps and works towards making our ministry at Jefferson Street and in our neighborhoods so much more effective!

I have been in Louisville (Loo-ah-ville to the true natives) almost a week now and find myself falling in love with this city more each day! I was so excited to finally arrive here and start my ministry off for the summer, but I was also a little apprehensive prior to moving in. I’ve learned that sometimes, or most of the times, when God asks us to do things… they aren’t guaranteed to be easy (or in that matter, even agreed upon by us)! It’s the places where I know that I need him that I discover myself, my faith, and best of all-who God really is. It’s in my weakness, that He shows himself true, faithful, powerful, gracious, and loving. One of the things I feared most wasn’t charting the unfamiliar city nor striving to extend unconditional love to my neighbors and the homeless men and women I encountered daily; it was meeting our Hope team of 7 girls and 5 guys. I guess the idea of moving into a house of 7 girls, who were strangers, seemed a little overwhelming and scary. However, I’m glad to announce that I was mistaken!

All of the girls that I am living with on the Hope Team are amazing (and yeah, I guess the guys are pretty cool too) and are genuinely passionate about loving both God and His people. I have been so encouraged to just be able to hear each of their testimonies and to be able to see a glimmer of how big the Lord really is. To know that he has put a calling in each of our hearts and has worked to bring us all here from Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky for this specific purpose. We are living in a cute 2 story house near Shelby Park and so far are having no problems sharing one bathroom (yes, I said one!). The plan for the first few weeks is to just take time to get to know our neighbors and the community that surrounds us. We’re going to intentionally take steps to seek the needs and just build and grow relationships.

To give you an idea of a typical week for our Hope Team members, I thought I would share a little of what our schedule looks like. Tuesday through Friday (and a few hours on Sunday) we are working at Jefferson Street from 7a.m.-3p.m. Our basic duties are to organize and hand out mail (Jeff. Street provides a mailing address for over 1600 homeless people), work the bag room (the only place in Louisville where bags can be stored), serve in kitchen/toiletries, and basically get to know and love on our guest (36 residents who live in the center and over the 200 people served daily in the shelter). Other duties include; planning and leading Bible studies for our women, planning events, creating partnerships, fund-raising events, working with Dress for Success and Salvation Army, and whatever we can find to improve our guest quality of life. Friday nights at our house we host dinner for neighbors and Saturdays is our time to outreach and plan special things for our neighbors. As a team on Sundays, we attend a wonderful, urban-driven church called Sojourn Community Church. Doing these things in the city really just gives us a chance to not only go to church, but to actually be the church to the city and to help bridge that gap between church and community.

The people I have met and got to work with so far at Jefferson Street have been so warm, inviting, and receptive to our team! Immediately, they were straightforward with us and just basically wanted to know where we came from, why we were here, and what our intentions were! I am learning that as a Hope team member, and as a disciple of Jesus, my goal isn’t to run out and meet as many of these new people as I possibly can. My job is to initiate and build genuine, ongoing, and meaningful relationships with people all over so I can impact their lives in the context of love. I understand that no matter what, if I obey His commandments, I don’t have to be the type of person who shouts out the gospel all over the streets every chance I get. If I truly love Christ and I’m here to seek His heart and love people because he has commanded us to as Christians and because He has loved me first… the gospel is going to get preached, whether it be in my love or in my actions (and that type of love means more to people in need than the occasional dollar).

I am so passionate about this upcoming summer and our ministry here! I know there will be days when things get hard and even days where I probably won’t have the energy to get out of bed… but I’m excited to see how God is going to take that and use it to grow me to be a woman who has a heart purely after His own.

Life is hard, but God is Good!

Jessica Wilson

I would love for you to come and see for yourself what Hope is all about! July 11th we are hosting a day for all of our friends and family!

TO DONATE TO HOPE I Send your tax-deductible donation to Jefferson Street Baptist Center I Attn: HOPE 733 East Jefferson Street I Louisville, Ky 40202 I Jessica Wilson Fund ID # SO9-JW1 Make sure to include ID in the check’s memo line I Or you can make and online donation

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