"I'm ministering in the book of Acts," by John Ames
I'm glad we're not the only ones who see wide open doors for ministry in Providence. John Ames just wrote this report from the West End Community Church.
"Recently, I felt convicted about the need to bring the church not simply to the youth and families in our community but also to the widows and the elderly. God is very clear throughout scripture that true religion means to look after those who are in this season and circumstance of life. It was always part of our plan, but just one aspect of the ministry that we hadn't acted upon yet. Therefore, last week I went to a local elderly assisted living facility (pictured above with orange paneling) that houses 150+ in the West End guided by a conviction, a call and the Holy Spirit.
I got to the front door and realized that the door was locked, I looked up and saw a Dominican woman standing there staring out into the parking lot. I smiled at her and she smiled back and buzzed me in. I thanked her with my ever-growing Spanish vocabulary and asked where the office was? She pointed me to it and I walked over. Seeing a middle aged man seated at his desk, I leaned in and knocked on the open door. He let me in and invited me to sit.
His name was Joel and he was surprisingly kind and helpful. When I told him that I was hoping to come weekly and offer a service/Bible study to the residents, he shocked me by saying, "Honestly, that would be great! I've been trying to get pastors in here for a long time." (WHAT?!! I'm telling you I'm ministering in the book of Acts) Joel told me that he had even tried contacting a few pastors who said that they would show up, but no one ever came. When he told me this, I felt the need to apologize on behalf of my peers, but I just nodded and non-verbally shared in his disappointment.
We talked practicals and Joel told me that I was welcome to come whatever night that I wanted and he told me that I could use the community room and even offered to distribute flyers to everyone's room for me. He said that we could sing, pray, preach, whatever we wanted--Joel said the only request that he had was that we didn't go past 9pm. Amazing...
So I'm going to start bringing the church to this community one night a week starting in January. I will be inviting a young man from our church to come with me and help as I do this. Would you pray for us as we proceed. Pray for God to give us wisdom and pray for God to move powerfully in this community within the West End. And would you praise God with us for this unbelievable open door?