Posted by: Jonathan Koloff | August 2, 2009

August Newsletter

Last summer I had the great opportunity to do an internship at my home church, Discover Christian. During my internship, I traveled with junior high and high school students to Louisville to work with Crossroads Missions. For a week, we worked along side Crossroads at Jefferson Street Baptist Center. During my time at Jeff Street last summer, I gained a great appreciation for the ministry that they were doing. At the same time, God had been convicting me of the injustice that goes on in our own country and around the world. God was changing me from an apathetic, materialistic teenager, to a man striving to seek justice and compassion in a world that desperately needs it. So God was changing my heart and he had also laid out this great, practical opportunity for me to put my faith into action. I had no choice but to sign up for HOPE and start seeking justice in a tangible way.

As this summer comes to an end, I am incredibly glad that I decided to serve here at Jeff Street. It has continued to shape me into the man God would have me to be. I am so thankful for the great opportunity that was laid before me, and it certainly has been a beneficial one. I have no doubt that this is where God wanted me to be for the summer. Over that past 12 weeks I have had wonderful opportunities to build relationships, witness to others, and grow in my own faith. It has been such an amazing blessing.

Building relationships is really what HOPE is all about. We are strongly encouraged to be relational in everything we do, and use relationships to reach people for Christ. Being the task-oriented person that I am, this is sometimes very hard for me. So often I find my success and identity in accomplishments. This summer God has shown me that though getting things done is great, ultimately pouring into peoples lives and building relationships is so much more important. As a result, I have developed great relationships with the residents here, day shelter guests, Sojourn Church goers, the Jeff Street staff, and my team. I am so glad that I was able to form these relationships this summer.

Witnessing to others is such a huge part of our Christian walk. We have been commanded to do it, and honestly we are extremely selfish if we don’t. Being here at Jeff Street has allowed me to share my faith over and over again with people. I am so thankful for this place that has decided to place the gospel of Jesus Christ as their first priority. It has been so great to be here this summer and be able to share with others what Christ has done in my life. From simple conversations to teaching bible studies, God has laid so many opportunities at my feet to share that gospel, and for that I am so thankful.

I have also grown in my own faith this summer. God is continuing to change my heart, to soften it and make it more like his own. Really, if I’m honest, I think I have gained more from this summer than anyone I talked to or shared with. God is just doing so much in my life. I am excited to see where God leads me, and how he continues to use me to reach lost people for him. Thanks to God for using us, especially when he doesn’t need us at all.

Thanks to you all for supporting me. I am eternally grateful for my support network that encourages me so well. God has placed some incredible, gracious, and loving people in my life. Thanks for giving. You honestly have been changing people’s lives this summer because of your generosity. Thanks for praying and encouraging me; I don’t know what I would do without all of you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I mentioned above that JSBC is a gospel-centered place. Because of their commitment to the gospel, Jeff Street has made the decision to step out in faith and sever ties with a government organization that had been supporting us with $40,000 a year. As you can imagine, we are now extremely below budget. I know that many of you have already given so much. But if you feel that this is a place that you want to continue to support, I humbly ask that you would continue to give to this great place. We believe that because we have stepped out in faith and cut this funding, solely for the freedom to share to gospel, that God will bring about the necessary funds for us to continue to serve the urban poor and homeless. I encourage you to pray and consider being a part of keeping this great ministry alive.

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