Saturday, March 27, 2010

6:8 Update - The Refuge Feeding Center

We wanted to send you a quick update on how God is using the "Refuge - Feeding Center". As many of you know last November we felt led to start a feeding center ministry here in Alajuelita. The purpose of this ministry is to reach the homeless population with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have called this ministry "The Refuge" feeding center.

Feeding Center

The feeding center currently feeds three days a week. However, we are hoping that God allows us to expand to five days a week. This ministry is about much more than feeding the homeless. It's about loving the unloved, and bringing hope to the hopeless. Before every meal the Gospel of Christ is preached. There is also time for individuals to share their struggles and receive prayer. The 6:8 staff and local volunteers try to love and encourage these "least of these". Each of these men and women are warmly greeted with a hug and kiss; and because the center operates out of the new Celebration Church plant, we are getting many of these men and women plugged into a local church body where they can grow in their new found faith.

So far the ministry has been funded primarily by Mason Community Church, along with some start-up funds given by Cross Creek Church. It's only because of the generous support of these churches that were able to start and maintain this ministry. However, now we are calling out to the 6:8 body of Christ to help us grow and expand this ministry. One way we want to expand is by partnering with another local church to operate a children's feeding program. Please prayerfully consider if God is calling you to join with us in this exciting ministry.

In closing, here are a couple links where you can download a few photos of some of the people who come to the center (Page 1, Page 2). We ask that you would try to pray for each of them. Pray that they will come to have a deep faith in Jesus Christ, and that through this relationship they will be able to overcome their life stealing addictions.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Come As You Are

Crack kids, track kids, hookers and robbers
The naked and hungry, mothers and fathers
Abuses, excuses, and guns in your hands
And I even welcome the arrogant man
I welcome you all to the biggest of feasts
A night of no shame
To pause and to breathe
This is a night of love’s renovation
A feast I am sure that could change a whole nation


Odds are, these people will never beat the crack and alcohol. But their lives can still be changed. The meal is open to anyone, but it isn’t technically free. Price of admission is hearing from God’s word first. But I step back and wonder, which act is more beneficial. For some reason, I’m leaning towards the food.

Feeding Center

This post was written by Cody. You can see Cody's original post here and see his blog here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ramblings - The Invitation


His name is Emanuel. He is eight years old, and he is my new friend. I met him just a little over a month ago. I was in the park with the mission team doing outreach ministries. One of the team members, named Derek, had brought an old baseball and glove. He started to play catch with this little boy who was hanging out in the park. After a short time, I had the opportunity to take over for him, as he went to join the group to pray for different people in the park.

It was soon time for the team to head back to the team house for dinner. As we prepared to leave the boy ran up to me with the glove and ball in hand. He asked me to please give the ball and glove back to the nice gringo man. I found Derek and helped him explain to the boy that is was a gift. The boys eyes grew wide with excitement as he hugged and thanked Derek. We handed Emanuel an invitation to come to church the next day. We walked off feeling good about the joy God allowed us to bring to this little boy.

The next morning Emanuel and his mother came to church. Emanuel was still carrying his glove, and we played catch a little bit before church started. During the church service an invitation was given for those who would like to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. Guess who made a public profession...Emanuel and his mother!

Since then our relationship has grown. We found out that Emanuel and his mother are practically homeless. They have been eating in the feeding center and we were able to help with all of Emanuel's school uniforms and supplies. Emanuel only comes to the feeding center on days that don't conflict with his school schedule... but when he comes, he brings his ball and glove and we play catch.

It's amazing that something as simple as playing catch and handing someone an invitation can lead to two people giving their lives to Christ. God can use anything and everything to call His people to Himself. However, He wants to use us. He has commissioned us to preach the gospel, teaching them everything He has taught us and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Imagine if we would have left without giving the invitation. While he would have been happy about his new ball and glove and may have been content with one memorable day...but he would still be empty. They probably would not have come to church. They probably would not have heard the gospel preached. They probably would not have been given the chance accept and profess faith in Christ. They would still be empty and dead in sin.

I don't want to get into a big theological debate about predestination or election. I'm just saying that without the invitation it wouldn't of happened the way it did. We (Derek and I) would have missed an opportunity and would not have been able to celebrate and experience the joy we have found in being used by God with the situation.

So I guess I've been reminded that we are called to unashamedly preach the gospel at all times in everything we do. While we shouldn't beat people over the head with the Bible, or guilt them into a relationship with Christ. We should do everything we can to teach them the gospel and help them get plugged into a local body of Christ. So let's be bold and tell the world about Jesus.