Posted by: Kiana Bullard | July 6, 2009

2nd Newsletter

     This past month has flown by.  So much has happened and I don’t feel like there is enough paper here to write everything that I want to tell you.  I have been frustrated, discouraged and upset but through these down times God is teaching me to run to Him.  These times are not constant. More often there are times of encouragement, learning, and growth.  God is faithful to provide for every need: physical, emotional and spiritual.  This past month has been such a blessing and has given me a new perspective on life.

    During our time at the Day Shelter we have all made many friends.  I have learned many people’s names and learn new things about them everyday as they are becoming more open with us.  One day at the shelter we had a really bad rainstorm and the bottom floor of the Day Shelter flooded.    Automatically we had men step up from the Day Shelter willing and ready to work.  They grabbed mops and towels and started cleaning up the water.  My perspective was changed about the stereotype of lazy homeless people.  These people were willing and ready to work.  They took ownership of the Day Shelter as if it were their home.  The Day Shelter guests have become more than just friends; they are family and Jeff Street is their home!  God has blessed me with so many opportunities to talk with guests and learn about their lives.  The guests are no different than you and me.  They have wants, needs, favorites, desires, likes, dislikes, good days and bad days.  Pray that God will give me His eyes to see people the way He does and love them the way He loves.
 
   Getting to know our community has opened my eyes.  It has opened my eyes to the pain, hurt and confusion, but it has also opened my eyes to the love, compassion and kindness that is here.  God has broken so many walls down and opened up opportunities to build relationships with people.  The 4th of July was extremely memorable.  For the 4th we started our day out with pray and continued by deciding to go to a local park for a prayer walk/run.  During the prayer walk one of my team mates saw a lady that she was praying for at that moment.  God provided in big ways.  On our way home from the park we encountered a lady that we had befriended with her mother and by the end of the conversation we had planned a cook-out.  The evening was full of food, stories, an adorable little boy, and lots of laughter.  As I listened to Miss. Susie tell story after story of her life I couldn’t help but smile.  She was willing to fully open herself up to a group of complete strangers and that to me is a huge encouragement, it was one less barrier to break down.  Friendship was born that evening.  Prior to this experience I believed that people in lower income urban neighborhoods were closed off but by this opportunity I gained new perspective on people in our community and their authenticity with neighbors.  Pray that we would not seek comfort over what God’s best is for us.  Pray that we would get out of our comfort zones and dive head first into the out of the ordinary.
    
        Our church community, Sojourn, has been refreshing and encouraging every week.  The sermons are relevant and push you to do something else and live outside what the world defines as normal.  We have been reading through the Old Testament and recently in I and II Kings.  God has been revealing Himself in new and exciting ways to me through the church community of Sojourn.  He has shown me different ways to worship.  God uses each and everyone of us exactly where we are.  He is the great Physician and asks us to come to Him sick and He will heal us.  The community of Sojourn has shown me a new perspective of how to be salt and light to our communities in both word and deed.  Pray that community would continue to grow and flourish in the neighborhoods that we are serving.  Pray also that we would be intentional in seeking community with our neighbors.
    
    Our team has grown together in unity.  Although we have faced some rough and trying times we have chosen to run to Christ as the answer and work through the difficult times.  And ya know what?  Through these times God has brought us closer together and deepened our relationships with one another.  It just proves to me that simply because times are tough doesn’t me we throw in the towel and give up, but if we push through, the unity that is gained is more than we could have ever imagined.  We have had some great times together this summer and grown very close.  I could not have imagined that true Christian family could have flourished so quickly but I genuinely believe that is what we have here.  God has given me a new perspective about what it means to live out Christian community in daily life.  Pray that we would continue to grow in unity with Christ as our center.
 
    We are still in need of funding for our summer.  If you want to donate or know of someone that would like to donate you can donate online, send checks to Attn: HOPE, 733 E. Jefferson St., Louisville, KY, 40202.  On the memo line of checks please put the fund ID: HOPE-S09-KB1.  Your donations are going to a great cause and make our ministry possible this summer.  We are also in need of razors, deodorant, toothbrushes, healthy cereal and socks.  If you can help or know of someone that can help you can send your donations to Jefferson Street, 733 E. Jefferson Street, Louisville, KY, 40202.  All donations are tax deductible.  We here at Jeff Street appreciate all that you do for us both financially and in your prayers!
 
Family in Christ,
 
Kiana Bullard
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