Last Wednesday, Julie, Jalisa, me and Derek were singing during the lunch hour at the Downtown Soup Kitchen. Derek gave a short devotional from the story of the leprous man in Matthew 8. While he was speaking about the willingness of Christ to take your case, no matter the severity, Nick* spoke up and said, “If God really loves us, why are there so many suffering people?” Derek wanted to address his question, but was encouraged to finish his devotional first. After Derek concluded, he found Nick* and went over to talk with him. He addressed his question specifically of how suffering was not God’s original design, but a product of sin. Through his admission of his own sin and hearing of Christ’s Sacrifice, Nick* couldn’t help but cry under conviction and his girlfriend, Jane*, did as well. They, along with a friend, allowed Derek and I to pray for them. We were thrilled to see them on several occasions including Sunday morning, where they listened intently as the message went forth. We are believing God to bring this young couple to a true born again experience.
We had a record attendance of around 200 homeless people at Hope Church this past Sunday. It was a great privilege for Derek and I to minister in song and then Derek shared a powerful message on “My Name is NOT Legion”. It was a powerful truth of God’s intended identity for mankind. Derek made reference to specific names the devil desires people to be identified by – shame, guilt, outcast, abuse, addict, sinner, etc. But through Jesus, anyone can be made a new creature with a new name and identity. At the altar service, Freda* came to the front with her boyfriend, Mark*. They explained the anxiety from which she had been suffering especially since the murders of two of her children and other family members. She was broken. At the prayer time, she found the God of peace for herself and shared of how much better she felt.
A lady of Asian descent, also responded to the altar call that morning. She shared after dismissal what God had done in her life. From a child, her father had called her, “bad.” Due to her appearance, a Catholic priest told her that she looked like a criminal. She carried those names throughout her life. But that morning, the truth of God’s Word became real to her and she accepted God’s grace to have a name change. Through tears, she told Derek afterward, “You came all this way to tell me this.”
It was a joy to see many that I had met when I was there in the winter months of 2016. One such lady is Mikayla*. When I saw her, she began to share how God had helped her. She has been sober for a year and a half and free from smoking as well. She now has a place to live; attending college in order to help others become free from addictions; and is the mother of 2 beautiful children. God is still in the business of transforming lives!!
Oh, I could share so much more and I possibly will in upcoming updates. God is truly working in Anchorage, Alaska! Thank you for being a integral part!
God bless you!
*Names changed in order to protect privacy