First, I must thank those of you have financially given to my calling as a missionary chaplain among the poor, the brokenhearted, and the captive in downtown Idaho Falls. I am humbled by your consideration and support. The need is great. And yet the magnitude of the calling is even greater.
The Idaho Falls Rescue Mission has set up a chaplain fund on my behalf to which you may contribute. Thus far since starting this faith adventure, I have received $735 towards my personal financial support in April and May from this fund. So in turn throughout the month of May, though I am working full time for IFRM, I have only been on the mission payroll for 32 hours a week ($10 an hour). As more missionary support comes into the chaplain fund, I am tapering down the hours that I am on the regular mission payroll. We shall see what the summer brings. I will keep you posted. Thank you for your gifts, prayers, and accountability for me in this ministry.
Second, on June 1 the ARK and the Ruth House changed ownership hands from IFRM to BSD Property Management. The mission has sold both properties for two primary reasons: (1) the facilities which provided accountability and subsidized housing have been financially operating in the red, and (2) the mission is shifting philosophically away from transitional housing to focus more on our current rescue ministry through emergency shelter and recovery ministry through focused discipleship in group, community, and work responsibility. We will no longer be actively participating in the federal government’s HUD program. It reminds me of an ancient biblical statement that some will trust in horses and some in chariots, but we will trust in the LORD. We seek and pray that each of our steps for the future will be guided and ordered by our good God.
Third, let me share some of my current activity over this past month:
- May 4 – Led the National Day of Prayer event at the First Presbyterian Church
- May 7 – Enjoyed time with the Red Cliff Bible Camp staff and Pastor Joe Lacy at Grace Baptist Church in Rexburg, Idaho
- May 20 – Participated in a day seminar on addictions with Cornerstone Church staff in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and then stayed overnight at the City of Refuge in downtown Idaho Falls
- May 22 – Implemented daily discipleship groups, 8:00-9:00 am, Monday through Friday at the City of Refuge
- May 22 – Concluded a weekly teen Bible studies after school at our home as we take a break for the summer
- May 28 – Ministered to 40+ men in the Bonneville County Jail
- May 31 – Closed out my case management with the guys at the ARK. I had 63 men pass through my case load over the past twenty-one months.
Fourth, here are some prayer requests. My Christian discipleship with the men downtown in the mornings is as follows: (1) Monday – discipleship through church community, (2) Tuesday – discipleship through Scripture in a 30-day Bible reading challenge, (3) Wednesday – discipleship through “Roots by the River” group study, (4) Thursday – discipleship with Pastor Warren Cuppy, and (5) Friday – discipleship through Real Life training. This week, Mark Matthews (director of the IFRM works/recovery program) and I are adding a new class with the Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood video curriculum. Pray for life-changing, gospel-empowered transformation in men’s hearts. Also, pray that IFRM would be led to suitable space for assisting women and children in need of short term emergency shelter.
We covet your prayers. May Jesus reign as King in our city.
Roots by the river,
P.S. – On the home front, we are doing well. May 30 marked the day that Kristie and I have been married for 25 years. Our oldest boy, Elon, is living for the summer in the financial district of Hong Kong. Our daughter, Hannah is working full-time as a resident assistant at Fairwinds. Mariah will now anticipate her senior year, and Micaiah was voted upon and honored by his teachers as “Freshman of the Year” at Skyline High School.