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