MAY 2020 Newsletter
Pastor Jim Chapman
GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS TO ME
I love this song, anchored out of Lamentations 3:22-23. It’s a poignant reminder that God is always faithful to me no matter where I am or whatever I am doing. Amid this current pandemic, I can rely and depend upon the Lord and his enduring faithfulness.
Charles Spurgeon wrote that “the glory of God’s faithfulness is that no sin of ours has ever made him unfaithful.” Many of us would disown or end a relationship if someone sinned against us or did us wrong. Fortunately, God does not work that way. At the end of his life, the Apostle Paul reminded his young protégé, Timothy, that God would be faithful to him too. No matter his circumstances or challenges, Timothy could depend on God to be faithful during his journey in life.
However, the rubber will always meet the road of life. For many, life’s road is uphill and deadly. Several months ago, our staff at Christ’s Body waved goodbye to one of our graduated residents, Jason Peace. Jason headed off into a new life chapter. His current story in college, a girlfriend, sobriety, and his renewed relationship with God. But Jason’s old life was not placid. A thief, carjacker, and drug addict, Jason had not only shattered his life but the lives of many around him. But God caught him!
God’s great faithfulness is never earned, stolen, or bought. Spurgeon stated that no sin of mine would ever diminish God’s faithfulness. God gives it freely to those he loves. That’s why it is so great- because we don’t deserve it and it never fades away. Grab hold of it now! Let it be your rock.
Indeed, great is God’s faithfulness to me.
ARAUJOS: A GREAT NEW PARTNERSHIP
Our recent graduate, Mike Stevens, has been frequenting Araujos Mexican restaurant for the past few years while living at Christ’s Body Ministries. He has even generously bought many breakfast burritos from there to share with the entire staff. We ALL enjoy Araujos breakfast burritos!
ARUAJOS BURRITOS AT CAMP
So, when we needed to go mobile and decided to give out burritos to feed the homeless, it was a natural fit to see if Araujos wanted to partner with us to supply some burritos. The owner Eva wanted to help the homeless even though the restaurant was struggling as all restaurants have during the COVID-19 crisis. She offered to donate 50 burritos when we bought 50 burritos to start our Burrito Bible Brigade.
We have encouraged anyone who has called to help feed the homeless during this time to buy burritos from Araujos on our behalf and many have taken us up on that request. It is an encouragement to everyone when we pull together in the community to help the homeless and help restaurants during this unprecedented time. We are grateful to Araujos for their generosity and willingness to help the poor and hungry in our city. We are grateful to those of you who have blessed Araujos in return. We cannot outgive God and it appears He is blessing us all.
A note from our Executive Director, Pastor Jim Chapman
It is a new world. Few of us would have imagined the changes that are occurring across our culture just a few months ago. These changes continue to impact our daily work at Christ’s Body Ministries.
Every day, we work to balance the tension between the completion of our mission and the health and well-being of our staff and volunteer team. It's not an easy one to do! On the one hand, our hearts go out to our homeless friends, many who are lonely, scared, and desperate. We still see them and profoundly feel their despair. On the other hand, we must carefully deploy our valued and talented team as well. Their health and well being is equally important to us. Currently, we have residents and several staff members living at our facility at 850 Lincoln Street, in downtown Denver.
I have attempted to come up with a balanced ministry plan, keeping in mind our mission serving the homeless and the needs of our staff and volunteers. During this time, we have kept open our respite ministry, led by Pastor Sterling Copeland. This program offers homeless men a 30-day shelter for those who need recuperative medical attention. We serve daily meals, offer a safe, clean, drug-free environment while they recover from their medical issues. Three of our staff members are devoted to their care daily. We have also continued our residential program during this time, where men can engage in a year-long process of personal life recovery.
At the same time, we have paused our on-site day shelter services. We are re-evaluating how we can restart these services in a safer way for our guests and staff. In the meantime, we have engaged in a new and dynamic outreach effort, titled the Denver Burrito and Bible Brigade! It has been fun to launch this new initiative over the last two weeks. You can read the details of this exciting venture in this newsletter. Our outreach teams are all over the city of Denver.
This may be a new way for us in the virus culture, to do our work and reach our friends with food, hope, and the Gospel. As this develops, we will keep you informed. Please pray for us now, for the homeless guests we serve, for new innovative care programs, and for our ongoing health. We grab onto Psalm 117:1-2 as a great and powerful reminder that God has steadfast love towards us and that his faithfulness endures forever!
Ministry Update: Burritos hit the streets!
In this time of growth, we’ve taken a new approach to provide our services. As we consider social distancing guidelines and the need to protect our volunteers, residents, staff, and guests we’ve launched a new street ministry - “The Burrito Bible Brigade!” This is a street outreach where we go to our homeless friends in their camps and share burritos, water, conversation, Bibles, and prayer.
Pastor KIP and JERRY at camp
Like many of our outreaches, the “BBB” is a collaboration of pastors, staff, volunteers, and new partnerships (featured below) all coming together to help the homeless rise in Christ.
We have been able to minimize the number of people who are in our facility at any given time by having many sources for our burritos. Volunteers and partners make breakfast or lunch burritos a week ahead of time then we freeze these tasty delights for use the following week. Each day that we’re scheduled to hit the streets, we reheat some burritos, put them into thermal bags, and take them to the homeless camps. In the last three weeks, we have ramped up to supplying hot, tasty burritos in several different camp locations 4 days per week! While we are serving about 400 burritos per week presently, we are seeing opportunities to serve 600 burritos weekly in the future! Pastor Bruce Carter and Pastor Denis Flierl are leading this ministry and we are excited to see how it transforms in the coming months!
To get involved in this ministry please contact us at (303) 860-1272.
PASTOR DENIS, LARRY, ebron, AND DEAR FRIENDS
FULL BATTLE RATTLE DELI PARTNERS WITH CHRIST'S BODY MINISTRIES
Meet Mike Groppa, founder, and owner of the Full Battle Rattle Deli business here in Denver, CO. He operates a New York Deli-style food truck that is, to say the least, a smooth operation. It only takes a quick tour of his operation to see that Mike is serious about providing delicious, quality food on the go. Better yet, as a Veteran himself, Mike’s business is not the only veteran-owned but it is veteran operated as well.
MIKE GROPPA, INSIDE FOOD TRUCK
His mission is “Supporting Veterans one challenge at a time.” In this time of transition and growth, Mike has recently partnered with Christ Body Ministries to help us get more food to the homeless! His presence enables us to meet with more homeless individuals and adds a vibrant life to our outreach.
Mike brings many years of culinary experience to the table, or shall we say, to the streets. A member of the 101st Airborne, Mike served as a cook and fed up to 3,000 people per day! He later came stateside to serve in the 69th Infantry and then after served with the National Guard. After serving, Mike continued in culinary arts and managed to win several awards in cooking competitions. Flash forward 15 years to the present and now Mike has beautifully combined his passion for supporting veterans with a strong background in foodservice. Mike's food truck is not just your average operation. His years in foodservice combined with his vision for helping veterans has enabled him to start a culinary school, hands-on, right in his food truck. Homeless Veterans or Veterans in transition can apprentice with Mike in the food truck and complete an 11-week certification in culinary arts. Upon graduating from his program not only do Veterans have much needed occupational experience, but they also have references, support, and some new tools for a fresh start.
It doesn’t take much time with Mike to appreciate his zeal for cooking or his heart for supporting veterans. We are grateful to partner with Mike as we take food to our homeless friends.
THE FULL BATTLE RATTLE DELI TRUCK rolls into camp
verse OF THE MONTH - FAITHFULNESS
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”