Posted by: Kerry Spencer | August 2, 2009

Kerry’s August Newsletter

Greetings friends and family!

August? Already? Sure enough. That means the end of my HOPE term here at Jefferson Street Baptist Center. So, of course, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past months of work, service, and life in a homeless shelter. Unfortunately, summing up the past 11 months in a short newsletter is nearly impossible (but I’ll do what I can). There have been some great times and some tough times, but through it all, God has been awesome.

The Lord has done a great work in my heart. He has taught me many valuable lessons about homelessness, addictions, mental illness, relationships, servanthood, and myself. I’ve also been used by God, despite my inadequacies. There were times when the Lord orchestrated amazingly perfect opportunities to minister his truth. Other times He allowed me to minister profoundly through a simple word or gesture. Besides, working in and through me, I’ve also seen the Lord move in the lives of some of the folks we are ministering to. I’ve been blessed to see great change in some of our residents. I’ve even seen a few of them move out and move on to successful lives.

These are the parts of life we enjoy thinking about and sharing with others in conversations and blogs. But there is another side of life which is not always sunshine and rainbows. This darker side of life is just as real and often just as common, whether we like to admit it or not. Yet I’ve found that even in this more grueling side of life, God is still awesome. In fact, some of the most amazing aspects of God’s “Godness” are only seen when He is helping us through adversity and trials.

For example, in our anxiety, we find that God is faithful. In our uncertainty, we find that God is wise. In our fear, we find that God is a refuge. In our despair, we find that God is a comforter. In our disappointment, we find that God is sovereign. In our weakness, we find that God is strong. In our failures, we find that God is merciful.

Over the past months, I’ve experienced all these realities. I’ve been a mess and a failure in many ways. Yet at all times, God has been lovingly heroic. When it’s all said and done, my experience here at Jeff. Street will not be about me and what I’ve done, but about what the Lord has done. He has done great things, in both good times and bad.

I will truly be sad to move out of Jeff. Street on August 14th. I will miss many things about this place. First and foremost, I’ll miss a lot of wonderful people: my teammates, the staff, our neighbors – the residents, and the Day Shelter guests. I’ll also miss the morning commute: down two flights of stairs. I’ll miss sharing meals with the residents and my teammates. I’ll miss being forced, daily, to minister to “the least of these.” I’ll miss starting work at 6:30 AM (well . . . maybe not). I’ll miss the HOPE team’s weekly “Prayer and Share.” I’ll miss going with our residents to museums, baseball games, and the bowling alley. I’ll miss all this and much more.

Fortunately, I won’t miss Louisville because I’m sticking around for a while. (Stay tuned for the upcoming “what’s next” blog.) As a result, I look forward to visiting and volunteering at Jeff. Street as long as I’m still in town. I truly love this place and all the folks involved.

I hope that you will not forget about Jeff. Street after my departure. I mentioned it briefly in my last newsletter, but I want to encourage you again to continue being a blessing to the homeless by donating to Jefferson Street Baptist Center. Currently, Jeff. Street is experiencing some financial strain because we recently decided to stop accepting government funding because it would not allow us to minister in the most faithful way. We fully expect the Lord to provide for this ministry through His church. To learn more about donating (goods, food, or money) to Jeff. Street, you can visit http://www.jeffersonstreet.org and click on the “Donate Now” tab. To begin receiving the insightful and informational Jeff. Street newsletter, just send an email to info@jeffersonstreet.org or go to our website.

One last time, thank you so much for your prayer support and/or financial support throughout my days here at Jeff. Street. It’s been a great blessing to have never been concerned about money while serving here. I’ve also felt truly loved by the assurance of your prayers. Thank you and may the Lord bless you for the role you’ve played in our serving “the least of these.”

Sincerely,

kerry spencer

To Donate to JSBC | Send your tax-deductible donation to
Jefferson Street Baptist Center | 733 East Jefferson St | Louisville, KY 40202
Visit the HOPE website at http://www.hopeforlouisville.com
Visit Jeff. Street’s site at http://www.jeffersonsonstreet.org

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