Posted by: Darrell Johnson | October 31, 2009

November Newsletter

November Newsletter

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
-Jeremiah 29:11
Dear Friends & Family,

Autumn is here and the days are getting shorter and the evenings are getting colder; at the same time the morning line outside the entrance of Jefferson Street Baptist Center is getting longer and the coffee’s seeming warmer everyday. The change in the weather has never really ever had effect on me, in terms of low morale and high anxiety; but to say that such effects are foreign to our day shelter guests would be inaccurate at best. Indeed, the colder temperatures can lead some folks to wonder where it is they will be living as well as where the best place to get a heavier coat in this town would be. And although we serve our community as a day shelter, every now and then we get to hand our guests and friends a warmer garment for the cold months ahead.

One thing that hasn’t changed with the new season is the amount of interesting dialog I’ve been able to share, with some of my friends in the day shelter. Earlier this week I found myself in a rather lengthy conversation with a man from Atlanta named Willie. You can tell he’s from the South, by his accent, his interest in SEC college football, and his manners. When thanking him for his courtesy and patience with me as I check his mail every weekend, he replies with, “You can’t take the hospitality from me. That stays wherever I go.” When I talk to Willie, I think about my own family coming from the South and my relatives who are still there. I may not get to see them very often, but it’s nice to speak with someone who reminds me of trips down South, that I took as a kid. One day Willie and I got past the topic of college football and began to speak about church life. I asked him if he attended a church in Louisville and he told me that he does every now and then, I then invited him to church with me and my fellow HOPE team members and he seemed hesitant at first but politely said he would consider it. And it seems that ever since our discussion about church and his growing up in the South, Willie has seemed to go past the typical “surface-scratching” conversations with me. Our interactions are a bit more sincere and it seems as if a mutual respect for one another will eventually progress to a more genuine friendship and I look forward to that type of change.

Yes, even here amongst the day shelter guests at Jeff St. a season of change seems to be taking place. Recently we’ve been having chapel services every Tuesday and Thursday followed by a community lunch for all of our guests and it’s been great to have folks come to be fed in more ways than one. One of our residents recently got baptized and is now serving at a local church as an usher, he’s a good friend of mine and it’s been great to see how the Lord has been working on his heart. Yes, there’s been a lot going on to be thankful about.

The HOPE team has been finding its own niche within the day shelter and it’s been encouraging to see my fellow teammates continue to pursue or develop relationships with those who we have been called to serve. In the same respect, both our residents and our day shelter guests are becoming more and more accustomed to these great friends of mine who have been brought here for a reason. A reason that, at times, is beyond us; but we know that this is where the good Lord has put us and where He want us to be and for that I’m also thankful.

This year has brought forth so many changes in my life, I’ve become more aware of just how “good” of a life that the Lord has provided for me and at the same just how necessary it is for all of us to recognize that we are people desperately in need of a Savior. That’s what we should truly be thankful for, as we approach this next Thanksgiving. Salvation was and is made possible through Jesus Christ and we’ve been given the privilege to enter into a personal relationship with Him. And that changes everything, It’s more significant than all the different color changes of the leaves this time of year and all the plans that we may have, as we prepare for another season with family and friends. Yes, the life changing love of the Lord has made it possible for us to truly be free and I pray that we all acknowledge that and revere in the holiness of our sovereign God.

Please continue to keep Jefferson Street Baptist Center in your prayers, so that we may continue to serve our Lord and those He has called us to serve in both word and deed. Pray that the Lord will continue to provide for the ministry here. We are currently operating on an emergency budget due to severing ties with government funding so that we may be able to preach the Gospel with no strings attached. Please pray for our staff, our residents, our day shelter guests, and my fellow HOPE team members. Pray that God would be glorified in this place and that we would continue to follow His ways. Also keep the city of Louisville in your prayers as well as the communities in which you live. Thanks so much for all your love and support, words cannot express how your kindness and concern has touched my heart. This year would not be possible without you all and I thank God for you all.

Take care and God Bless.
In Christ,

-Darrell

 

TO DONATE TO HOPE:

Send a check to JSBC, Attn: HOPE, 733 East Jefferson Street, Louisville, KY 40202.
Please write my personal account ID (HOPE-0910-DJ1) on the memo line, but do not write my name anywhere on the check as this may negate
the tax-deductability.
You can stay up-to-date with the ministry here by visiting www.hopeblog.wordpress.com.

 

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