As we move forward into harder times, I think it's important to keep the practice of altar building. We have to remember what God has done for us while we attempt to build His Kingdom in obedience. I'd like for us to record these here on our blog as we go, as a place of reference and celebration. You cool with that?
Having disclaimed, Altar #1 (Providence):
Providence, n. a manifestation of divine care or direction.
Two stories have been Written simultaneously, and to understand this altar, you have to see them happen separately before you can understand their Providence.
Justice Small Group's story; We have come from all over the place...literally. We've been drawn together from different states and churches and backgrounds. As we have strived to serve God in obedience, fasting, and prayer, we have watched as God has drawn up our blueprint.
1) Events of service to the Birchcroft Community; outdoor movies, community potlucks, coats & shoes, clothing drives, home restoration, etc. At least 6-8 events held this year that will invite the public out, and allow for our Renovatus Community to engage the Birchcroft, and visa versa.
2) Weekly gatherings; small group Bible studies, ESL classes, Tech. classes, community farming, transportation, child care, dinners, etc. The regular ways that a more select few of our Renovatus Community engage Birchcroft.
3) Fund raising; Grant applications, Art sales, Garage sales, etc. How can we become self reliant to support the needs of Birchcroft without depending too heavily on Renovatus, for the use of things such as turning on power for homeowners, supporting live in missionaries, providing our our events, etc.
This was the general plan brought to us through our time of prayer and fasting.
All the while...
Steve Shak's story; The Charlotte Eagles have already begun partnering with the four Refugee Communities in Charlotte, long before we arrived on the scene. They have live in missionaries, and seek to partner with local churches to get these people plugged into the Gospel and the Narrative of Jesus Christ, recognizing that they themselves are not the church.
While many churches have engaged this particular community in a very fleeting way; dropping things off, preparing food, giving shoes and coats, etc., none have stuck around for the hard work of relationship building and all the good and the bad that comes with it.
The requisites for partnership with the Charlotte Eagles are as follows;
Your church is commited to:
* Establishing a prayer team - This ministry was birthed through prayer and will be sustained through prayer. We ask that you would put together a small group that meets regularly to pray for your church, the Urban Eagles staff, and the children in the specific community you will be working in.
"Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart." (Colossians 4:2)
* Serving the people in this particular community by:
1. Casting a vision within your church hat this is your outreach.
2. Promoting and enlisting volunteers to help with food/ snacks, tutoring, leading devotions/prayer/bible study, help with transportation and special events.
3. Being a resource to help the community's practical needs: employment, food, clothing, and furnityre.
4. Organizing 305 outreach events per year (food, foot washing, movie night, etc.)
5. As the Lord leads, increasing your commitment and support by giving financially to the needs of the full-time missionaries planted in the community.
God's story; Apart from each other's even knowing, The Lord clearly gave us the same plan, of no invention of our own. I don't know what else to say, but AMEN!
Praise the Maker who ties all things together and does all things well. We remember your faithfulness Father and will worship you when times are as good as they are right now, and when we surround ourselves into the darkness while we try to bring your Light. We well remain humble and dependent on your movement and guidance, as you have always been good to give us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.
Today, Oh Lord, we give you this Altar. We will not forget.