Christmas at Building Hope

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Christmas is a wonderful time of year where we get to spend time with family and friends, giving thanks for the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, and the wonderful events that proceeded. These days are filled with praise, great food, and amazing conversations. However, for many less fortunate individuals, this is not a reality. They do not have a loving family to spend Christmas with, no turkey dinner to sit down to and they do not have the right winter clothing to survive the cold. These are the people Building Hope is helping! We share Jesus’s story of love, compassion and hope to people who need to hear and witness these stories the most.

We understand that this is a difficult time of year with Christmas fast approaching and many charities asking for financial support. We are also asking and praying for any support that you and your church family can provide. We need financial support to continue to provide, meals, clothing, and a space filled with love for those vulnerable Edmontonians who have nowhere else to go.

Please visit www.building-hope.ca to donate today.

Thank you for your continued support and God Bless you and your families!

The Building Hope Board

The Hope and Reality of Building Hope’s Community

Jesus prays, “I pray also for those who will believe in Me through [the disciples’] message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so the world may believe that You have sent Me.” John 17:20,21)

This incredible prayer by Jesus shows His heart’s desire for community. True Christian community is unified and walks together. That is why the early Christian church sold their possessions and gave to those in need (Acts 4:32-37). They also believed that a community built in the LORD was powerful for the LORD. Signs, wonders, and miracles (2 Corinthians 12:12) accompanied such communities and the Word of the LORD spread rapidly. People transformed from within by the Spirit of the LORD, lived in community, and as the world witnessed this community they came to know Jesus.

I often wonder what the power of community means to Building Hope. What does it mean to open our doors in the community of Beverly and invite people in? Many that come to Building Hope are not practicing Christians, but the effects of Christian community are still powerful.

This past week we had a barbeque at Building Hope. Over 200 burgers were served and it was an extremely busy day, but as the day winded down 2 people came in and sat down. I felt Jesus lead me to the table and we talked. I had many “Martha” duties to perform, but I felt the LORD holding me to this table for discussion. After an hour of discussion, Scripture, and prayer we parted ways. I am unsure how the LORD used that event, but the community created at Building Hope really impacted someone that day.

I dream of a Christian community that lives together and shares what resources the LORD has given them. A community that does life together, a community that encourages one another to take larger steps of faith in the LORD, a community that prays together, a community that believes in miracles, a community that shows the world the love of Jesus in action. Building Hope is closer to this vision than many communities in North America I believe. At Building Hope, people lack the material possessions that often distinguish us, we share what we have and we pray for provision, many are hurting so we pray for healing, and Building Hope shows the community that the church cares for the needy.

Building Hope is a community with a foundational Mission Statement: “In the Name of Jesus, we will love.” Our teachings come from Jesus, our strength comes from Jesus, we pray in the Name of Jesus, and we are hoping more will come to know the love of Jesus. Please consider supporting our vision for a deeper level of community at Building Hope.

“In the Name of Jesus, we will love.”

“In the Name of Jesus, we will love.”

The simple Mission Statement of Building Hope often has me focused on what I must try to do, but when I really consider the statement, it is the power of Jesus that really empowers my action. As a frontline worker for Building Hope I must solely rely on Jesus and His provision for the ministry, not my ability to love. This Christmas season Jesus has reminded me of where the power of Building Hope comes from.

Let us start with the 2015 Christmas Party held at Beverly Alliance Church. Building Hope, A Nazarene Compassionate Ministry, together with Beverly Alliance hosted a remarkable event. Two different denominations, came together around the name of Jesus and blessed over 200 people. People who may have little family, or few friends came together to eat, fellowship, celebrate, and build hope. The details have been written in the December 2015 Newsletter but I must add.

Over 450 gifts were handed out during the Christmas season. So 200 people got personal gifts, but above that, 250 gifts were given so that some may have something to give on Christmas Day. This year I got involved with the Christmas gifts a little (thank goodness for gift bags J) and I started to imagine the joy of having something to give and the sorrow of not having anything to give. You have to think about it, imagine the difference of having one gift to give your loved one verses having no gift to give your loved one. Jesus thought of each person of this world when HE came from HIS throne in heaven to earth and HE sacrificed for each person to have eternal life (1 Timothy 2:4). I believe it was this personal sacrifice that inspired Darlene and her team of volunteers to bless so many individuals with the ability to give to others.

The second miracle I witnessed was Jesus providing through much needed funding. At a small compassionate ministry centre there are times when your faith is tested with financial support. You believe in what you are doing through the Word of GOD (Isaiah 58), but we often wonder where the funds will come from. This Christmas season Jesus was faithful. At Building Hope we are trying to build up our monthly donors so that we can more effectively plan our budget. By having a base each month to work from we can more effectively plan our fundraising schedule. As a fundraiser all you can do is place the need and the vision in front of people and the response is up to the LORD. The goal to 100 monthly donors is still distant, but there was a good response and we are more than able to continue the mission of GOD in Beverly. The Word of GOD tells us about GOD’s faithfulness when we are doing GOD’s work, but when the reality comes, it really grows our faith in HIS Word.

As Christians, Jesus lives in us (Ephesians 3:17) and the power of the resurrection is available to us (Ephesians 1:19). So when I consider the Mission Statement of Building Hope my greatest strength would not be my ability to love, but actually my ability to have faith in the power of Christ. Jesus loves each person more than I can and HE can provide better than I can. HE will stretch our faith, but that is what continues to keep us dependant on HIM and that’s what keeps us searching for HIS leading hand. It is here that we must all live so that our lives reflect Christ not only in love, but also the power of Christ.

Focus

Thursday, May 20, 2015 @ 5:07pm @Schmidts’

Focus

 

Individual killed in Abbottsfield (Beverly) by policeman

Low-Income individuals in Alberta being housed in rancid conditions in city motels

  • Metro Tuesday, May 19, 2015 – “Albertans in financial distress are being housed in substandard conditions at discount motels on the province’s dime with the government unaware of the squalor, a year-long police investigation revealed.”
  • This Blog cannot cover my thoughts, but I think you know how I feel

NDP being sworn in Sunday. Budget in the fall.

  • Rachel, not on Sunday please. You are excluding us Christians who like to rest on Sundays. Maybe avoid Fridays (Muslims) and Saturdays (Jewish) as well, as they like to rest too.

Letterman after 33 years says, “Good-bye.”

  • Long-time Dave, but we are going to focus now (Jesus, Love, and Serving the poor)

My anxiety continues to linger

  • We all have things that trump the on-goings of our environment; this is my pain, but Jesus trumps.

5-27-2015 11-53-16 AM

So, what am I saying? I am saying this, people are getting shot at and killed because we are not taking care of our poor. Jesus will protect us if we take care of the poor; focus.

“Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 58:6-8 – all of 58 is AWESOME)

I am saying, we want to talk and work with our new government. We have over 10,000 visits a year at Building Hope Compassionate Association on a budget of less than $100,000; that seems pretty reasonable, but I am worn out and I do not meet on Sundays. Time to slow down everyone; focus.

I am praying this is a new era for us all. In the Name of Jesus, I love you all. jay