Posted by: Jessica Wilson | July 4, 2009

July newsletter

July Newsletter

 

 Friends and Family;                            

 It’s hard to believe that I have already been in Louisville over a month! This has been such a growing season in my life where I am just reminded daily of my dependence on the Lord. To be honest, I don’t have what it takes to love myself on my own strength…much less 12 Hope team members and over 200 homeless guests a day! God has continued to humble me and constantly break my pride, and I am thankful for that. I am learning about His wonderful grace, His mercy, and His plans (that will always prevail). So, thank you for this summer. For making this experience possible, and for being a part in the work of the living God!!!   

Working at the homeless shelter had defiantly proven to be very exciting. I never know what situation or conversation I am going to find myself in…and I love that!  What I have found to be so encouraging is that when I first started working here I was a little scared, I didn’t know any names, and people seemed skeptical of us and why we were there. Now, when we walk in people are waving at us, calling our names, coming up to tell us how their children are, how work is going, playing jokes on us, and just sharing their lives. These are no longer just ‘homeless people’ to me…they have names, they have stories, and I call them friends.

At Jefferson Street we serve no less than 60 people a day in toiletries, so supplies run out quickly! We do the best to meet the needs of our guest around the things that we lack so if your church/business/youth group would be interested in working together to provide things that would be such a blessing to us and our guest! Specifically needed are; razors, deodorant, toothbrushes, sugar, and cereal/breakfast foods. Or, if you would be interested in coming to serve at the shelter or prepare a meal that would be great!   

Outside of the shelter, doing ministry and becoming a part of our neighborhood has been going so well! It is encouraging to be walking down the streets and have people calling out to say hey, or running out their front door as we pass by to ask us to pray for them…God is defiantly working here! Living in the area we are ministering to and intentionally living out our lives to reflect the love of Christ and take on the burdens of our neighbors has been such a great opportunity for us to learn how to really love and welcome others, open our home, and be the awkward girls in the neighborhood that knock on peoples doors!

Throughout the week we take time to sit down to come up with creative ministry ideas for our neighbors. In this past month we were able to organize and work in a nearby clothes closet, hand out brownies in appreciation for father’s day, pass out Popsicles to the children in Shelby park, cook dinner for a family, drive a woman and wait for her at the emergency room, have a Fourth of July cookout, and just offer prayer, availability, our time and friendships to our community. Honestly, it almost feels like home here. Even though it is not technically my house or my hometown there is love here, friendships made, and sharing offered… and that’s what family is all about!    

 The blessings don’t just come from the shelter or our neighborhood…living with 6 other girls who love the Lord and who have similar passions has also been both amazing and challenging! To know that I have 6 other people who truly love and encourage me, who are interested in how the Lord is working in my life, and who keep me accountable daily has impacted and changed my life. Of course, there are times when all of our convictions don’t line with each others and we have disagreements; but through that God is teaching me how to become self-sacrificing, honest, and how we, as Christians, are called to communicate with each other with unconditional love, encouragement, and unlimited grace.  

As I was sitting down to write this newsletter it was so hard for me to do because I didn’t know how to convey all the emotions and things that have happened over the course of a month into one letter! There are days that I am in awe of how God works and how He is in every step that I take. I’m in awe when I can look into the lives of 6 other girls and see how God is using them all individually to impact lives, and I am in awe when God allows me to do one small act of kindness to bless someone and they look at me and tell me how much it means to them that someone cares. There are days when I see the needs in this area and I see how God is working and I feel like I could stay here and serve in this community forever… And then there are the days when I want nothing more than to go home. When getting out of bed is hard, when everyone is stressed and overwhelmed… and when my heart breaks for a lost man who walks up to me and tells me that he hates me because I’m white, and that I may call myself a Christian but I don’t show my love to him and that the only reason I am here is to make myself look good. But God is good and He always provides, and we love people because He first loved us!!

Thank you again for being my support system both spiritually and financially! Just Pray that our team will have boldness in sharing the gospel. Not that we just act out our love and serve, but that our guest know why we are here. Pray that God will continue to shape me and draw me into a closer image of Him. Pray that Jefferson Street will continue to be a place rooted in Christ, love, selflessness and compassion. Pray for that our HOPE team and staff have Godly wisdom and discernment. Pray for our residents and guest. and pray for revival in Louisville! I hope that your summer is going well, thinking of you, and I miss you guys!

 

In Him, 

Jessica Wilson

 

 

 

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. Risen: $1300       Need: $800

Visit HOPE website at www.hopeforlouisville.com

Visit our online journal at http://www.hopeblog.wordpress.com

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