February 2020 Newsletter
Pastor Jim Chapman
The Greatest Relationship of All Time - John 17
“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.”- Winnie the Pooh
I love Winne the Pooh and Christopher Robin too. Perhaps you have a relationship like Winnie the Pooh, one that you couldn’t be without.
So then, what makes a great relationship?
Human pen and insight cannot begin to comprehend the eternal relationship between Jesus Christ and God the Father. The best peek at it comes from John 17 where Jesus is offering up a passionate prayer for his followers, shortly before his death. In it, he reveals his intimate relationship with his Heavenly Father. He asks Him for their protection, fellowship with one another, their sanctification, and all of it based on their eternal relationship of being with each other. Even though Jesus was God, he was His Heavenly Father’s Son.
Jesus loves His Heavenly Father. This has never changed.
Love then is the basis for human relationships. It is the cornerstone emotion designed to be completely self-sacrificing. The desire to be loved is still the greatest human emotional need. Without it, our souls succumb. With it, we flourish. Jesus and God the Father modeled it…and they still do!
Most of our homeless guests at Christ’s Body, desperately need a touch of authentic love. Unfortunately, most of them bear scars of betrayal, abuse, and human hatred. Our goal is to introduce to them the love of God, which is never-ending, freeing and transformational. This can be a very difficult and painful process. For many, God does not represent love or a relationship that they would want to pursue. Most of them will run from it, fearful that they would be seen and known by their Heavenly Father. Thus, the ongoing challenge, to show them the Father’s love for them by not only words but actions.
A great relationship is based on love. The kind of love given to us by God.
So Many Guests
We were absolutely amazed at how many new guests we have had starting in January 2020! As the weather gets cold, which wasn’t too cold in January but definitely is now, we generally will have some new faces and more people. This January though, was the largest increase in people we have seen in one month and February so far, is continuing that trend. We have gained a new neighbor at the end of our block that could be an attributing factor to us seeing more homeless individuals in our day shelter. A nonprofit needle exchange has moved in and we would expect now to see more individuals from that program to show up at CB to get some food.
In January we gave out 1,000 more plates of food than we normally give out in one month! Jerry, our operations director, had to get our month's food and supplies inventory early to keep up with the demand. Unfortunately, giving dollars for operations was down at the end of the year and we are in need of more and more supplies during the cold months. If you are able and God puts it on your heart, please donate a few extra dollars this month to get all the hungry, hurting souls fed. It appears we will not have fewer folks who need a helping hand around here any time soon. Please pray for God’s healing power on our guests and that we may be effective in sharing the gospel with them as well.
Ministry of Prayer
Please come and pray with us!
Tuesdays: We meet regularly every Tuesday from 12:00-12:30 and invite anyone who feels called to join us. We specifically pray for the church. We are a church to the homeless and we lead many of our guests to the Lord.
Help. Hope. Rise March luncheon
Join us for some fun, food and learn more about our "Help. Hope. Rise." Campaign to purchase the land next door and build a new campus.
To join the party Wednesday, March 19th at noon click on the link below and RSVP.
Want to do more to help Christ Body?
Consider sponsoring a table for one of our upcoming luncheons and invite your FRANs "friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors" to hear about the transforming work being done at Christ's Body Ministries.
Table Sponsors cost $250 and your table will seat 10, the food is amazing and catered by Biscuits and Berries. You can sign up to sponsor a table using the links below:
Meet Ebron Lewellen
Ebron has come to Christ’s Body from living on the streets and a lifetime of drug and alcohol use with prison time as well. He had a tenuous home life starting at age two when his parents divorced and decided neither of them was equipped to care for their five children. The family babysitter became their legal guardians, but never adopted the five children as their own. They were raised in church and Ebron has had a basic belief in God from a young age. He never had a close relationship with the parents that raised him as he was the youngest of six children. He was close with his sister that was two years older than him but lost touch with her when she moved out of the home.
Ebron moved out at 18 into a house with lots of other 18 year-olds and began a life of partying which lead to a life of bad choices and prison time. He has never been married and doesn’t have children. He says his life has been one of isolation. He gave his life to Jesus when he was going into prison the first time at age twenty-five. It was a decision out of fear, but he feels like he has always had a relationship with Jesus since that time. It’s been a roller-coaster relationship up until now.
He gave up alcohol and drugs before becoming a resident here at CB. Ebron has been coming to CB on and off for many years eating and attending Pastor Bruce’s Bible studies. He said he thought we had a program here and asked Jerry about it. Jerry had him talk with Pastor Sterling and after a month of volunteering here he was accepted into the program. He’s been here for about two months and says he likes living in a friendly community and the discipleship that he is receiving. Working in the kitchen isn’t new to Ebron, but he is learning new skills in the kitchen working with Jerry and is enjoying that as well.
Gaining a better understanding of the Bible and learning what God’s will for him are two things he would like to get out of living in our community. Please pray for our new resident and when you see him, please offer him words of encouragement. We are enjoying getting to know Ebron and love our brother in Christ.
Christ’s Body Graduate Update
One of my greatest enjoyments of serving at Christ’s Body Ministries is to be a small part of the work of God and the pastoral team which is transforming men in our residential community. The process is never easy. Sometimes there are as many backward steps as forwarding ones. But God is always faithful. He has a plan for each of these men, no matter their age or circumstances, to find their way into His will for them. So, here’s an update on four of our graduates.
Mike Stevens & Jason Peace
Mike Stevens “Big” Mike is a recent graduate of our residential program. Currently, he lives on-site, but he has big plans, a future engagement and independent living with his new wife. Mike serves full-time at Christ’s Body as the maintenance director and as a guest services caregiver. Mike has a big heart for Jesus. He loves a good movie, a good meal and early bedtimes (by 8 pm!). Pray for Mike’s new family, wisdom in his decisions and the next steps.
Jason Peace is in college full time, pursuing his computer information systems degree. He is also living independently, with several relationship decisions pending. Jason is a smart and godly man. He still is a big part of our community. Without a doubt, God has good plans for him, and we are excited to see the pathway that God has for him. Pray for him to maintain his balance and his passion for Jesus.
Larry Williams & Ed Tanner.
Larry Williams is a prayer warrior. After many years on the street, Larry decided to clean up his life and addictions. We first met him when he was a client in our respite care program. He renewed his faith in Christ, and he has never looked back! He works full-time at Christ’s Body as our respite program caregiver. He does exceptional work, cooking, cleaning, praying and encouraging these guests. He also lives independently, enjoying good food, drinking coffee on the 16th Street Mall while people watching! Pray for Larry and his great heart for God.
Ed Tanner serves full-time on Christ’s Body staff as the respite care manager. In this role, Ed manages our full time, 24 hour, 7 days per week in-house care program for homeless men, who have been discharged from the Denver Health and Hospital. He and his service dog, Arlo, live independently in SW Denver. Ed loves Jesus. Pray for Ed’s health and a vehicle that does not look like an old postal truck.
New part-time staff
Kristen Moody with her daughter
Kristen Moody started serving at Christ’s Body Ministries in the fall of 2018 and comes every Wednesday to serve wherever she is needed. She attends Red Rocks Church where she first heard about our ministry and when she looked at our website she saw we needed volunteers, so she came down to see how she could help.
Never having any experience with homeless people, she says she wasn’t intimidated when she arrived to work with the homeless, but her heart just grew. She thought this is someone’s child and brother or father and was filled with compassion. Misconceptions that she previously had on why homeless people are homeless were erased and realized it is more about trauma, mental issues, and substance abuse rather than a choice.
Looking into hurting people’s eyes and giving them food is rewarding for Kristen. She helped our resident, Donny, with buying things for his apartment when he moved out after graduation. She loved being able to do that and loves all the relationships she has built with all our residents, staff and volunteers that she serves with; that is what keeps her coming every week. Kristen has many talents that she shares with us at CB and we are grateful for this wonderful volunteer.