Jesus' primary call to us in the coming year is to "joyfully join Him in loving those in and around East Colfax". While we have a heart for many needs that exist in the area, our first call is to the people living in the twenty-five or so motels strung between Chambers on the east and Monaco on the west.
On September 9, 2016, Diane and I moved into a motel room to practice a "ministry of presence" in the motels that are around our new residence, many within walking distance. We may “move” a few times during the year but currently love living among the people we are serving. Our days are beginning to fill up with relationships with the people we are meeting. We are trusting Jesus to guide us in what the next steps look like. The needs are enormous and we know there will be many practical ways to serve.
Two nights a week we “walk the streets.” We partner with Mean Street Ministries on Monday and go to a half-dozen motels on the strip to hand out food and pray with people. Some of those relationships extend into the remainder of week. On Tuesday nights, we are in a couple of motels with a Jesus on Colfax group. We also hand out food and pray, but are finding that with a smaller, more consistent team we are making good progress in getting to know people and their needs, sharing Jesus and steering them to resources.
Our primary goal is pretty simple: We want to get close enough to those in the motels to be able to practice a "ministry of presence" with them. That means loving them up close and where they are at. We are able to individually minister to people and lead them to give their lives to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It also allows us to provide practical help that leads to life change at many levels.
We’re currently brainstorming what church looks like in this environment. Many who live here struggle to come to church on Sunday morning. We are trying to figure out what it might mean to bring church to them. It may mean small house churches in some of the motels rather than a more typical model of church.
Every week I will be writing about this journey in my "Jesus on Colfax Journal" here on the website as a way of capturing the story of how Jesus is at work on Colfax and what that might mean for all of us. How can you be a part of this? We would love to have you join us on this journey. While our ministry is to the materially poor in the motels, we believe the ministry will impact those who are more materially rich. Consider joining us by either "sitting in the balcony” or "walking the streets" with us.