Church building update
In my last newsletter I mentioned that our building has been flooded and pretty much torn apart because of water damage. It's been over two months since that has happened and in that time we had been meeting at various places such as the Porter County Fairgrounds and the American Legion. In the meantime we were looking for other avenues, especially aboveground since it limits handicap access, to hold a church service. We found a place and have been meeting there for 2 weeks now. It came together pretty smoothly and it's not in bad shape. It's located right across the street from Valparaiso University and still centrally focused in the downtown Valparaiso area.
9 APEST test takers
Recently I had asked 9 people who are along in their walk with God to take the APEST test. The test asks 50 questions about yourself and you have 10 seconds to answer so you'll pick the one that comes to your mind first and not dwell on the question. The results were pretty accurate but for some it made them think about themselves in light of their role in the body. Next week we're all going to get together and talk about the results. It's not a final say in who you are but it's a tool that will help us along in our journey and the benefits it will be to the whole community. This will also help them look to others in their community that they can in turn build into and disciple.
Intentional discipleship & leadership
For the past couple of months I have been meeting with 3 other guys that are doing house church planting in the Valparaiso area. Our conversations have led us to share a common mission of discipleship in our churches and communities. We are brainstorming future plans of what this looks like and how it can be applied universally to those we're building into. Because of this mutual mission and growing friendships among us we're questioning what this will look like as we grow from our own communities and outward to other cities and states. As we continue the conversation with others were seeing a great desire among those who desire this discipleship journey. There are currently people from Las Vegas and England in on the conversation as well who are looking to partner with us on this mission. These relationships that I'm building here makes me even more joyful with the patience and waiting of what God is doing in Valparaiso. Right now my roommates are still planning to move out West to Idaho to start a house church and this would be a great opportunity to apply this intentional leadership with them and others such as Kris who's in Houston and Brian who's in South Bend. I know there are a few more months left in the year and a whole lot of potential growth in us and what's to come but I'm still prayerfully considering where God is leading me geographically. Please continue to pray for direction and the opportunities that arise. The four of us will be meeting together soon for a day retreat to look and pray for the possibilities that may come from this.
Spring Valley shelter
The Spring Valley Shelter has officially closed it's doors but there are still families residing there. NIPSCO (electric and gas) will be turned off at the end of the month. As of right now every family unit has been placed into new residences but have not moved out of the shelter. Me and several others have been in touch with Housing Opportunities, the organization that acquired the shelter, to make sure the families are still being cared for. The shelter will soon be opened when the grant from the government goes through. We are also trying to raise funds so when new families that come in will have a fresh start with a refurbished living arrangement. The units have been vandalized and could use a fresh coat of paint and furnishings.
Last week I reached my highest amount of mileage with 22 miles! It wasn't as tough as i thought it would be and it also helped that I had someone to run with at my pace. Later in the week my foot started aching so I've been staying off it and was only able to put in 6 miles this week and I missed my long run. I think I also may have strep throat, but that seems to be going away.
Every Tuesday the staff at Life Bridge come together and pray for the connect cards that the attendees fill out during the service. We've been able to do this since we've started and it's been a great encouragement to us and the whole body. This weekend we are changing it up so that all the leaders of Life Bridge can be apart of the prayer. The focus is to start helping them to spend their time and energy on the individual as a shepherd more and not as much on the tasks.
Landscaping season coming to an end
The past couple of weeks the work with the landscaping company has been coming to a slow crawl with work. I've stuck with it but I am looking for work during the winter to get me through. I've applied for a job with In Touch Pharmaceuticals and have an interview next Monday. My job would be to deliver medicine to individuals and other pharmacies. So I would be kind of a drug dealer but the good kind. I am still keeping my job with AEC to work at the power plants because that's more worth my time but my overall goal is to make enough to support my living expenses to continue develop into others and Life Bridge. It's been interesting going down this road to do this but it has allowed for some good relationships to be built and priorities to be examined along the way. I appreciate the relationships I do have a lot more and the ones not yet made. This process also makes me question and wonder what's in store for this coming year. If there is more to what the intentional leadership network brings I will focus my time building into others. Within the next few months, if something more comes into fruition I will look to find support individually and locally to cover my financial provisions.
Community Group Block Party
This afternoon the two community groups that I've been apart of hosted a block party at the Elmhurst house. There were a number of things that went right today. Our goal with the block party was to meet some of our neighbors that we wouldn't normally have met typically any given day. Even many of our neighbors met each other for the first time or actually got to sit down and have an actual conversation not in passing. With our fenced in lots and garages that we can pull into without even seeing our neighbors this was a great opportunity to break down those walls and meet the people we live next to. Over 40 plus people came over to have some lunch and play yard games together. Below are some pictures from the party and the link here.