Posted by: Jonathan Koloff | June 24, 2009

June Newsletter

I am finally here in Louisville at Jeff Street Baptist Center. I am so excited about the upcoming summer, and a lot less nervous! This summer, I have no doubt in my mind that God is going to continue to do the great things he is already doing here at Jeff Street.

There are now 12 HOPE Team Members! Three that are doing a yearlong internship and are already here, and nine new people, a total of 5 men and 7 women. The team seems to be really great so far, and I look forward to getting to know all of them better. I am so grateful for the HOPE program bringing us to this awesome place where we can serve.

I really like the city of Louisville. It is a great place. On Friday of the first week, we had a scavenger hunt and got to see a lot of the city. I am excited about living here in Louisville for the summer.

Jeff Street consists of a day shelter, transitional housing (the Fresh Start Program), and permanent supportive housing (PSH). In the day shelter, we provide a mailing address for over 1800 homeless folks. We have a storage room for their belongings, bathrooms for showers and cleaning up, coffee and breakfast in the mornings, and toiletries. Around 200 people usually visit the day shelter every day. We also have PSH, which is provided in conjunction with HUD (Housing and Urban Development) for 11 men at a time.

On a typical day, we begin work in the day shelter at 6:30 (A little earlier than I’m used to getting up). We get off at either noon or three, depending on the day. On Wednesdays we have community outreach day; a chance for us to devote time specifically to the residents of Jeff Street. There are currently around 30 men living at the shelter. Spending time with them is a large part of our work at Jeff Street. And on Mondays we have our Sabbath, a day for us to rest and get rejuvenated for the coming week.

Something really cool happened when I first got here. Last summer, I was here at Jeff Street for a week. During that week, I talked a lot with one guy in particular. Let’s call him… Fred. When I came back this summer, he recognized me, knew my name, and even remembered where I was from! That meant so much to me. I know that if I could be that memorable in his life because of only one week, I will be able to do so much more in building a relationship with him this summer.

I am excited about the role I get to play in the lives of the residents and the men and women that come into the day shelter. I look forward to sharing my faith and getting the opportunity to be an example to them. We may start, or really continue, a Bible study every morning for the residents and day shelter guests. The residents of the transitional housing program are already in several weekly classes.

Thanks to all of you for your support! Because of your faithfulness, I have already raised $3300. And even though I have raised my personal support, there is still much of the HOPE team that has not. So if you feel so led, or just have some extra money, I know that my teammates would love your donations. I ask also that you would all continue to pray for me and for the Jeff Street community.

– Pray that God will give me boldness to share the gospel.
– Pray that God will continue to shape my heart and draw me closer to Him.
– Pray that Jefferson Street Baptist Center would continue to be a place of love, compassion, and selflessness.
– Pray for the rest of my HOPE team and the staff of JSBC.
– Pray for the residents of JSBC.
– Pray that God would bring revival to Louisville.

Thanks again for the incredible impact you all have had in my life. I am so thankful.

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