Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Strongest men in the world....

Last Friday night I went with 3 of our teen boys from LifeBuilders to see a group called TEAM IMPACT. This group travels all over the world and are some of the strongest men in the world. BUT the cool part about them is that they are glorying Christ with their strength. These men break bricks, baseball bats, lift huge logs, and so much more, but they do nothing on their strength, they allow Jesus' strength to overcome them. During the performance the gospel was proclaimed clearly, and many people in the audience went forward to accept Christ as their Savior.

It was great to hang out with the boys because I usually don't get to see them very much, since i'm usually with the girls. I see them for a short time of Thursday nights during their bible study, but then they 'kick me out' because it is 'boys time'. It was great to see their reactions to these crazy stunts, and just being a part of their lives. After the event we went and grabbed something to eat. We had a lot of fun joking around and having fun together. I was blessed that night to be with them. I always learn from them and appreciate them allowing me into their lives.

Monday, May 2, 2011

How to give

If the Lord puts it on your heart to give to my support, this is how you can do so.....

Send donations to this address:

P.O. Box 806438
St. Claire Shores, MI 48080

Check can be made out to LifeBuilders and then indicate in the memo
"Powell support"

If you are unable to give financially, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be in prayer for me and for the ministry of LifeBuilders in our community. God is at work, but prayers are always needed!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Financial Support

Hello friends, this is the part of my job that I find very difficult and very humbling... raising financial support. So many have been so gracious in giving monthly, and so many were gracious at the beginning of my time here at LifeBuilders. I currently do not have enough monthly support to keep going throughout the summer. The support that was given by individuals in the beginning is quickly running out. Currently less than $400 is coming in new each month. I originally was hoping to raise enough each month for $700 a month, but have seen that this amount is not quite enough. But at this point I am unable to raise the amount since the lower amount isn't coming in. I am asking you to please consider becoming a monthly supporter of this mission work that God has called me to for this season. The ministry is unable to provide any additional funding for me, so without supporters I will not be able to continue in this capacity past the summer. If you would pray and ask the Lord if He would have you give I would greatly appreciate it. Even just $10 a month, or a one time gift will be helpful. I have always believed God will provide, and I still am believing that He will provide. This process is definitely stretching me in my faith as I realize I have no control over any of this. I hope that all of you know how much you mean to me, and how each of you have played a part in my journey of faith. I would not be where I am if it were not for all of you in my life. I love you all.

Thank you,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


A few weeks ago we took a group of teens on an overnight retreat to a conference center called Maranatha. This place is state of the art, every building and all their equipment; it was wonderful. When we got there and the girls saw where we would be staying some girls were literally brought to tears because of how nice our lodge was. It was incredible to see them be so thankful. The weekend was designed to help them break down walls that stand between them and God. We had a speaker who did a fantastic job of reaching them right where they are at. Every single teen and leader were challenged to go deeper in their faith. We had a lot of fun too. We did 2 "team building"
games that I knew from working at Camp Kearney. At first these games were challenging for them, and not everyone would participate, but by the end everyone was taking part and they were beginning to gel together as a team; it was great to see! God definitely worked in each heart, and now that we've been home a few weeks everyone is challenged just simply by being back in their normal environment. So please pray for these teens, they need the strength to put God first in their lives.

Not just a new kidney... but a SUPER KIDNEY!

I apologize for the long delay between updates, I really have no excuse other than working long days/nights and coming home completely exhausted. Anyways.... as most of you know my Dad had a kidney transplant almost a month ago. Every single aspect of this story was weaved together by God all of HIS GLORY! From the beginning, back in July when Marian first offered to donate her kidney all the way to the surgery and recovery. The day before the surgery our church family gathered at Efree to pray over both my Dad and Marian... Wow, prayer were definitely answered. The surgeon had told us that most people won't "receive" the new kidney right away, and that it could take hours or sometimes even days for the new kidney to "wake up." Well, Marian's kidney began working in my Dad's body ON THE OPERATING TABLE! Now, I've been thinking about this and laughing because for some reason we were surprised that something this amazing could happen.... Of course it could happen, because God was involved! So, not only did the surgery go amazing, but both of their recoveries were quick and for Marian almost pain free. The surgeon told my Dad on the day after that he was about 2 days ahead of most patients when it came to his recovery. The surgery was on a Monday and by Noon on Wednesday Marian was heading home. My Dad followed the next day on Thursday. Things could not have gone any better, God knew what was happening, and i'm sure was smiling down on us all. Since the surgery my Dad has still continued to heal and recover quickly... his numbers are back to normal and people are still amazed at how well he is doing. I just keep reminding myself that it is ALL GOD... Praise HIM!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Always give back

A friend of mine is going to the Philippines soon to do mission work. He sent something out on Facebook asking for support and my first thought was, " I wish I could, but I can't afford it." Time passed and his trip remained on my mind for quite some time. I began praying about giving to his trip, and the Lord put it on my heart to give him a small donation. Yesterday I donated to his trip, and prayed that it would be a blessing to him. It is no secret that I am living on a tight budget, as most missionaries do. Today my boss, Marilyn, handed me a fifty dollar bill and said that a friend of hers came by her house the other day and told her to give this to the girl who has come to work for you, just because. Marilyn just remembered to give it to me today, if she had remembered to give it to me on Wednesday or even yesterday when she saw me, it might not have meant the same to me. But because she gave it to me today, I just felt an overwhelming feeling that this was straight from God. I was obedient in giving to my friend and God was showing me that even in times of small dollar amounts in my bank account, that he will turn around and bless me all the more.

I hope that you can sense God's blessing on you this week. There might be things that God decides to bless you with that you might not even realize. Take some time, right now, and consider all the many blessings that God has given to you. When I begin to think about all the great things he has done for me, my family and my friends and all the blessings he pours out on us, tears just fill my eyes. Let the Lord touch your heart and then thank HIM for the wonderful things and people HE has blessed you with.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Formal update

This is an update written by Marilyn, she and her husband Larry started LifeBuilders and work together to run this amazing ministry.

Greetings ~
I apologize for being so long overdue with this LifeBUILDERS update. We're grateful that so many of you are praying diligently for the ministry - we truly believe GOD is blessing in such amazing ways because of the prayers of HIS saints. Corrie Ten Boom asked the question "is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire...?" We are determined prayer always will be our steering wheel.
Colossians 4:2 "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving".

We have so many requests - here are a few:

Pray for us as we start our first after-school tutoring program in March. It will be 4 days a week for 2 hours each day. We need lots of volunteers for this undertaking. Pray also that GOD will direct the children HE wants to be with us. Those that have the greatest needs and those who have a desire to learn. We're excited to enlarge our borders by ministering to the kids and ultimately to the entire family.
Pray for 3 retreats that are coming up. Senior high teens in February. Middle schoolers in April and women in April. Lots of details to accomplish. Pray for hearts to be deeply and radically touched by the power of the Spirit and God's Word.

Pray for new residents. We have 2 houses under construction and 2 apartments available.We've turned folks down - we're looking for those who are serious about their walk with the Lord and getting/keeping their lives on track.

Pray for our children/teen programs. We have just 12 more weeks until we finish up. It's a long stretch (a GREAT one) for all of us who have been there since Sept. We need strength to finish strong.
Pray for our workforce group. We now have 7 of us plus a couple of our teens. Pray we continue to grow together in our love for God and each other.

Please pray for our Board of Directors. We have an incredible board - all active participants in the ministry. We're in the process of adding 2 new board members who we believe GOD has specifically brought to us for such a time as this. Please pray for this dedicated group of folks and their families who give so freely of their time, talent and treasure.
Pray we will find more space - we're out!
Os Guinness has said "if faith is a radical reliance on God, it is undaunted by circumstances, unaltered by the odds".
Psalm 57:7 "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast, I will sing and give praise".
PRAISE HIM FOR KEEPING US STEADFAST! There are some days when we throw our hands up and come VERY close to saying "I can't do this anymore...." we don't quite get the words out when miraculously we are overcome by gratitude to GOD for the great privilege we have of serving HIS people. Those HE has created in HIS image. PRAISE HIM PRAISE HIM!!!
Praise Him for bringing Elizabeth Powell to us upon graduation from Moody Bible Institute. She is here in a full time capacity with the ministry and a resident in the community. We can't begin to tell you what a tremendous praise and blessing Elizabeth is to all of us!
Praise Him for our KidBUILDERS program. Every week I love the little girls just a bit more - just when I think I can't love them anymore, my heart expands.
Praise Him for our teens. Growing in faith - learning what it means to "please God" - learning what true love is about - just learning and being so open and transparent.

Praise Him for our residents. What an amazing group God has brought together. My heart overflows with thanksgiving when I see them with burning desires to serve others. To care for each other, to laugh together and weep together - in real and honest community.

Praise Him for our volunteers. Groups coming along and preparing meals each week for our children and teens (GREAT MEALS). Groups working on their day off to fix up horrible houses. Groups and individuals coming to paint, lay flooring, clean, work with kids and teens. They are all a joy and blessing!

Praise Him for our Resale Shop. It enables the ministry to employ one of our residents (who does an amazing job). It has become a neighborhood "hang out" for women. A true place of ministry. Any morning I drop in there are women sitting around a table drinking coffee and chatting. That chatting is leading to some great questions of faith and lives are being radically changed. PRAISE GOD!

Praise Him for the many opportunities being presented to us to bring the Gospel. That is what we're really all about.....our mission and vision is JESUS FIRST - ALWAYS!

We appreciate your prayers more than you'll ever know. May your year ahead be one that is greatly blessed. You pray for us - and we'll pray for you.
Thanks and Love,

Marilyn R. Johnson