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

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Prayer Requests

1) February 25-26 we are taking a group of teenagers on an over night retreat. We are going to a retreat place called Maranatha. The retreat is the first of many we will do throughout the year, and will begin to lay the foundation for a growing year in the lives of the teens. Please pray for open hearts in the teens and for all details to fall into place.

2) Safety- last week the house across the street from mine (which is also owned by LifeBuilders) was broken in to. This house is empty right now, so that is why someone tried to get in. I am not scared that my house will be broken in to, but it is always a possibility.

3) Finances- I am learning how to live a strict budget and it is new for me. I am trying to save so I can buy a car, but it is hard because I don't have much to begin with. I need to discipline myself better.

4) Financial Support.... Currently I am at about 4 months of support; which is great. But I am still in need of more.

5) My Grandma- it is hard being so far away and knowing that she is failing. She is requiring almost 24/7 care now. This is difficult on my Mom, Dad and Aunt Susie. Please pray for their strength and ability to get my Grandma through this. Also please encourage them any way you can.

6) My dad's kidney transplant (Feb. 28th)- Pray that ALL will go well for both he and Marian. This is an amazing sacrifice she making, and I pray that she will recover quickly.
Hello friends and family :)
I have been so busy here at Lifebuilders, and have not stopped to update this in awhile. I love that each of you can experience God's work in Detroit through what i'm doing here. Great things are happening here. I have been hosting an after "hang out" time every Monday and Thursday for teenage girls. It has been great having the girls come and just chill with me. We play games, have a snack and I give a short devotional from the Bible. Tuesday nights is when we have our programed night; it is called H2O. I have been put in charge of picking kids up in the van, and then teaching the memory verse for the week. It is fun teaching the verse because I am able to use some of the methods I learned at Camp Kearney. Something we are VERY excited about is coming up in March. We are launching an after school program for children. Kids 1st-5th grade will come to LifeBuilders Monday-Thursday for tutoring. We don't have all the logistics worked out yet, but it is going to be great, I already know! We are still looking for volunteers, and still have spots available for kids. So please pray that God will send people our way that can help out. I've been trying to get girls together to do "spontaneous" bible studies, but since they are in school it is a little more difficult that I expected.

The support I need to remain at LifeBuilders is coming in. I am so thankful for every person and family that has sacrificially given to support me. I have been overwhelmed with the response I have gotten from people. If you still want to give to support me you can do so at any time. Most importantly I need your prayers. So please, please, please pray for me and for what God is doing in and through LifeBuilders.