Monday, September 12, 2011
I have been praying for patience. I need it still, but God has certainly been working on me and giving me opportunities to be patient and to wait on Him. I am a product of our culture: not only are we naturally impatient... but as American's we are all about instant gratification and "I want it now!" mentality. Maybe through no longer eating fast food, and having to walk or ride my bike everywhere (or even hope for a ride) God has sped the patience process up through allowing me to live a slower life. (Those of you who know me well might get a kick out of that! But seriously guys!) I know I am still no where near the patience level that I still pray for, but I am a work in progress.
In addition to patience, I have been praying that God continues to show me what it is He wants from me. I am not going to lie, I had been feeling some discouragement, still trying to figure out my role in God's work and waiting on Him to show me.
So, some guy walks into Fresh Grounds, first time in. He gets to know whats going on with Downtown Ministries through Fresh Grounds Coffeehouse. Then he leaves. But before he leaves, God did something, I believe, miraculous.
Our elevator campaign was started in February. I had this campaign idea of 500 $100 dollar donations which would equal the $50,000 needed. We have been writing down on a chalkboard, near where the elevator doors will be on the first floor, the progression of the campaign. It has been showing the number 214 (214 $100 donations left) albeit with fun chalk explosion marks surrounding the numbers. Just sitting for months.
This elevator is what was keeping ministry at Fresh Grounds on the ground level. I do not mean that any other way than on the actual ground level of the building. The ministry at Fresh Grounds is so not ground level... it seeks to be a place where God's presence is tangibly felt... and it is! So what a compliment to the ministry to be utilizing all four levels of the building for just that!
For me in particular, the second level has been on my mind constantly. We have planned for it a gallery for local and non-local artists to display there art and a studio where the Fresh Grounds Art Program can hold classes and do ministry through Art! This is my passion, this is what God has equipped me with and blessed me with and I have been itching at the moment when the space can be utilized.
And that elevator is needed for just that. Not only has the Art Program already had handicap students participate, but it is also needed according to local building codes.
Again, I have been praying for patience. Fresh Grounds is a huge testimony to patience. It took 3 1/2 years of waiting on God to provide again and again (when He provides like He has here, it makes it even easier to wait, because He is good... and provides even better than what we can imagine!)
When this man left Fresh Grounds, there was no longer a need for any numbers on our elevator campaign chalkboard. He left and has promised to help with the rest of the funds for the elevator through donation. Praise God from whom all blessing flow.
This man doesn't even know me, I wasn't there when this happened. But God used him in my life, at a time when I needed encouragement, when I needed to know that God has me where He wants me, and when I needed reminding that He will provide.
Not two days before I got an encouraging and up-lifting letter from someone who I don't know that well, but knew exactly how I was feeling. In this letter this person reminded me to, "Delight yourself in Him and don't be discouraged. He is sufficient and will satisfy all your needs". Wow!
I love seeing God move, sometimes I get distracted, but He knows how to shake me to keep me focused. I ask that you pray for Fresh Grounds as we take a big step with getting these other areas of ministry ready. And may all the Praise and Glory be to God!
Update: The Joe to Show: A New Brew was very successful and my buddy Kyle was able to sell 5 of his pieces, which will be a huge help for us on our trip to DC at the beginning of October!
I am still currently at least $500 short on my monthly goal for support. I have had to let a few debts go unpaid.
I start teaching a new batch of classes a week from today!