by Terry King
Undeniably, 2020 has been challenging beyond words. As an essential service provider, we knew that closing or limiting our ability to serve the vulnerable, homeless, and clients with special needs was not an option, but remained our biblical mandate to serve. As I have often reported through the years, Saving Grace Ministries (SGM) was built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. We have weathered many challenges over 20 years, but nothing has compared with the last several months.
We have observed the response of the church, the community support, our staff, and clients. It has been overwhelming and is a good reminder of the fellowship and support we have with one another. During these uncertain times God spoke to us. In the midst of the storm, facing obstacles and barriers, Jesus responded. “. . . Break down these walls.” And we listened. Walls of behavior, walls of learned cultural norms, and the way we minister, or have always done “church.” For some, these can be times of uncertainty. It can be confusing, polarizing, struggling to get back to the older way of behaving. But God is challenging us: life is right before you! Now go and serve your neighbors and community and make disciples. Second Corinthians 5: 14-21 (NIV) declares,
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
Challenged to be light, while national storms raged, we responded through prayer and in July held a night of prayer and study. Firehouse Church (ex-offenders) joined OpOverwatch (law enforcement) under one roof to share, to learn, to listen, and to love. It was truly a night of miracles as we witnessed forgiveness, repentance, and the moving of the Spirit of God as heaven met earth. Those who were in the room experienced a godly moment. Although many had arrived believing in God with differing viewpoints, we left as one at the foot of the cross, believers in Christ and in love one to another.
As a Kingdom Come partner, we remain humbled by your support and encouraged to rise and serve as we are called.
Saving Grace Ministries is expressing the love of Christ by offering life transformation opportunities to thousands of people recently released from prison, providing safe, affordable housing and support services along with supporting community housing centers for children and families.