Friday, January 28, 2011

Staying Focused...

Thomas: Do you have any updates on Library space?

Anthi: Following up on tutoring space.

Anthi & Christine: No need to worry about curriculum research. We will cross that bridge with grant applications of we need to.

Christine & Tracey: Tell us about the grant writing process. What do you need? What is our time frame? Chelsea has already gotten a heads up that we might need her help to get you some of the information you may require.

Adam & Sarah: Medical / Toiletry supplies for March 26th. Let's start brainstorming what we are going to need and how we can get it. The group can organize it for the supplies once we have them, we just need to get them. Work your connections and lets see what we can come up with.

Everyone: I still need a leader to rise up to spearhead ESL from the Renovatus end. I also need someone to share leadership with me for the March 26th event. Someone who loves event planning. Pray and be bold. Jump on it.

We approach the church next Sunday. Start praying for our church to respond now.

I love our small group.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Where We Are Going

Renovatus Justice Small Group has 3 items on the docket for the review of our Pastor as of this morning:
1) ESL is underway, and we are currently working through legistics:  Classes meet every Monday from 4-6pm in Apt. F.  We need 6 Renovatians willing to help teach.  We need school supplies for both the classrooms and the students.  We are working out more space at the Library off Central.  We need to purchase additional 8 curriculum books (My First Message: A devotional Bible for Kids by: Eugene H. Peterson). 

ESL will be Renovatus first (of many) weekly steps into the neighborhood.  Once that is up and running, we will start something new, while maintaining and facilitating ESL.  Make sense?

2) March 26th; First community event.  We will be partnering with Mosaic Church to up-fit the kids soccer fields with new equipment, cookout and invite folks out of their homes, and provide them with a variety of toiletries / home medical supplies.
Quick Note: It turns out the grand U.S. of A. only provides immigrants around 6 months of health care, and then they are left to fend for themselves.  We thought this could also be an opportunity for our nurses to meet folks and help them with their medical needs.

3) April 30th; Second community event.  Spring cleaning event for general landscaping, taking flowers to folks in their homes, and cleaning communal spaces.  We are hoping by this point we will have had the opportunity to build relationships with neighbors, and thusly be allowed to enter their homes and clean for them.

Group Discussions:
I have requested two leaders to step forward to lead ESL from our end under the leadership of Chelsea.  Pray about it and get back to me.  We have to move quickly.  I will be facilitating the role in the meantime. 

For Accountability's Sake:
Each of us in our small group will be (eventually) required to pick up leadership of ONE service project in Birchcroft, and one project only.  Your other responsibility is to meet up with us in group so we can protect / refresh / pray / encourage / provide for you / and hold you accountable.  According to the Spirits leading, we each have to find time to regularly (however that looks) meet with folks in the neighborhood.  This makes your weekly commitments to the church manageable.  From my end, I will protect you from burn out at all costs.  We love you too much to burn you out.

Our small group makes my heart smile.



Monday, January 17, 2011

Thoughts from tonight.

Tonight, Katie, Elliot and I snuck a peek at what's going on in the "ESL" department at Birchcroft, and despite a little chaos, we were completely overwhelmed with what God was up to.

The space was broken down into 4 areas; there where kids that were too young that were being entertained in the kitchen, elementary school aged kids in the living room, a group of middle/high school kids upstairs in a bedroom, and a group of girls in a separate apartment.

I was upstairs with the middle school/ high school boys.  They were writing summaries from Biblical stories they talked about in previous weeks.  I met Husain and Z.  They were both pretty cool boys.

There were 7 volunteers to my best count, but Chelsea (the leader) claims that there needs to be at least 4 more consistent volunteers that meet and teach curricula every week.  That shouldn't be a problem.

Needs I will be petitioning our congregation for:
1) 4-6 volunteers to meet at Birchcroft to teach ESL on Monday nights, 4-6.
2) "My First Message" by Eugeen Petterson, one for each teacher, so about 8 copies I would say.  They run about $20.00 a copy.
3) Dry erase boards & Markers w/ easels.
4) Notebooks
5) School Supplies

To my best of knowledge, I know they will need something more challenging for their older kids.  Let's see what we can do to help them out there.

What I need from you:
1) I need one of you (not Erica or Saucey) to work under me and help organize ESL from our end, eventually taking the reigns from me once the ball starts rolling.  Pray, and move as you feel led.

I'll see you all this Sunday night, 7:00pm.

I love our Small Group,

Ps.  If you have thought to prepare a letter for Jessica, we will be sending her our first care package next week.  I know she could use our encouragement and prayers.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wistle While You Work

Where's the bottle of champagne for the christening?  This ship is sailing.

Our first prerogative is to assist and streamline ESL and tutoring that is already taking place in Birchcroft.  The meetings thus far are on Monday nights from 4-6.  Below is an email I've received from Stephen you should take a look at.

I am forwarding you an email from our ESL leader.  The Lord is blessing our ESL class on Mondays and we now have 4 ESL teachers coming on a consistent basis (I believe Cori and maybe Amanda attend Renovatus).  At the beginning of this year we started a girls ESL class separate from the boys and we had 8 girls show up!!! It was incredible and 4 of them come from Muslim families.  Please pray for continual blessings on this new girls class!!!
As you will see in the email our ESL leader requested that she could use some help and it would really benefit our classes if we could get our hands on a few more of the Bible story books that she uses and some journals.  Is this something that you and Renovatus could help us with?  Just let me know...
Thanks brother! Sometime in the next few weeks you and I and Steve need to meet so we can fill you in on what has been happening in Birchcroft! Amazing movements of the Lord bro, healings, passion for Jesus spreading, it is incredible!!!
In Christ,
Stephen Jackson

I just got this this morning.  Again, I think it's amazing how God knits things together without us trying.  Lets promise to never fabricate this process and let the Spirit pilot.

I am working on tracking down 4 teachers and 2 additional stand by volunteers for Monday nights.

Possibilities of public space in the local library for overflow population.

Christine & Anthi: 

Tracking down working curriculum for Monday nights.    I need you ladies to use Stephen's contact info and touch base, making sure curricula mesh.

Additional Needs:
Discussion with Jonathan about possabilities of renting space in Birchcroft to pull off multiple events on site, and tentatively using Anthi and Adams place in the meantime.

We are making a commitment to take things slow and facilitate needs one at a time.  This is a long term relationship, and there's no need to rush it.  Lets do all things like we are doing it for Him, and we'll do just fine.  If you are getting antsy for some action, I understand.  Im the same way.  Take it upon yourself to meet some families, facilitate some small needs, drive some folks to church, etc.  Apart from that, coorperatly we will start with Tutoring and ESL.

Also, we are discussing next weekend when exactly we can move small group so we don't loose Katie H. or Erica.  I threw Sunday afternoon out there.  Two birds with one stone is how I see it :)

I love our small group.