Missions were a major focus over the past summer, and we began to experience increased discernment and vision for what God desires as our role. Below are updates for each of our mission emphases:
- Haiti Ministry
Ever since we went on our last mission trip to Haiti in November of 2013, God has put the city of Petit Goave on our hearts. We learned that 600 children at a local school are without sponsors, teachers were not getting paid, and a church needs to be rebuilt. As we began praying and seeking the Lord, it became very clear this city is where we need to be.
Since then, we have begun work in Haiti to start meeting many of these needs. In June, we held a benefit concert with Jason Gray to raise funds to begin making a difference in Petit Goave. Because of the generosity of our event attendees, we raised over $7,000, part of which has already been used to fund the teacher’s back pay. The remaining money will be utilized for future projects.
In July, our team met with our friend and Haitian pastor, Yves Regaillard, to discuss next steps. Talking with Pastor Yves, he felt the best place to start is to develop the property of where the church is going to be located. The vision of this property is to have a multi-purpose building for a church and trade school, as well as a separate house for missionaries and pastors to stay in while ministering in Petit Goave. Therefore, we sent funds down to begin working on the property and building the missionary house.
We realize a lot of work needs to be done and it will take time to complete these projects. We understand the real need is for us to be there long-term and create stability where the school, church, and mission house can be sustainable. Our goal is not to build a few buildings and call it good, rather to build relationships and invest long-term in the people of Petit Goave.
- Mission Bible Training Center (MBTC)
For the last two years, we have done a MBTC tour where we visit several centers throughout the country. In July, we visited the MBTCs in Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. Our friends Tru-Serva and Dj Kirk joined us as we performed music, gave testimonies, worshipped, and presented the Gospel in all the centers.
Although we go down ministering to the residents, we often leave feeling encouraged and blessed ourselves. There is something about meeting desperate people at their wit’s end and encouraging them to find Jesus. Often, we experience the most intense worship in these rehab centers, seeing God at work in their lives. God is transforming lives through the power of Jesus in these centers, and people are being set free of their addictions and turning to Christ.
We look forward to continue building relationships with MBTCs and making visits to their centers a priority. Our next MBTC event is in September at the Michigan center, and we are excited to see how God has been moving there!
- Prison Ministry
This was a big year for our prison ministry. We finalized our relationship with Prison Fellowship, and 513FREE now is a collaborator in the ministry Operation Starting Line. This allows us to visit more prisons, expanding our ability to spread the gospel in facilities across the U.S.
Last Easter Sunday, we ministered alongside of Jim Liske, CEO of PF, and other staff at Stateville Correctional Center, a maximum security prison in Illinois. Additionally, we visited Cook County Jail in Chicago and Sheridan Correctional Center. At Cook County Jail, PF CEO Jim Liske gave an altar call where almost every inmate in the room raised their hands to receive Jesus!
Aside from PF events, over the summer we ministered with Brian Cole, our friend and pastor who has an incredible testimony (click here to watch), at Chippewa Valley Correctional Facility. We worshipped with the inmates, and Pastor Brian gave his testimony. Earlier in the year, we visited Stanley Correctional, Prairie Du Chien Correctional, Mineral Point Prison, Lincoln Hills & Copper Lake Schools, and Black River Correctional Boot Camp.
Moving forward, we continue to work with PF and our established connections within the Midwest to visit correctional facilities and minster the Gospel. Currently, we are planning a prison tour with PF, and later this month and in early October we will be visiting Ojibway Correctional Facility, Lincoln Hills & Copper Lake Schools, Jackson Correctional Institution, and Black River Correctional.
- B-Side (Eau Claire)
Right before summer started, we moved our offices into B-Side’s building in downtown Eau Claire. The church blessed us with opportunity to share a space with them, and we are excited to continue to develop our relationship.
Later this month, we will be helping B-Side with a few renovations to make the space more functional to carry out ministry. Additionally, we are leading a night of worship in November at B-Side and joining them for their Christmas Concerts tentatively planned for December 5 & 6. Agape also will be joining B-Side for their Christmas party which includes a meal and gifts on December 21.
As we continue to develop our relationship with B-Side, we are pursuing additional opportunities in our community. This past summer, we learned about a ministry, the Lighthouse, located near B-Side which provides a safe place for kids to hang out. We see a lot of potential in partnering with The Lighthouse, as they fit very close to our missions. In August, we brought Agape in to perform a concert for the kids at the Lighthouse, and we are now working on ways we can get more involved with that ministry.
We are on the road a lot this summer and continue to experience God in amazing ways. Over the last year, we continue to see our ministry expand; God is moving on our hearts, opening doors to new and exciting opportunities.
This year, will be one of our biggest years with events, around 110. About half of our events are happening this summer. Many have taken place and more are yet to come. Already, we have visited youth camps, churches, fairs, rehab centers, and more.
Below is an overview of some great events we have already done:
- Benefit concert for Haiti with Jason Gray.
- Held a meeting with Pastor Yves Regaillard.
- Led worship at both Rock River Christian Camp and Lake James Christian Assembly.
- After LJCA, we held another benefit concert for Haiti.
- Worship with St. Germain Evangelical Free Church.
- Played music at Rochesterfest and Northern Wisconsin State Fair.
Currently, we are in the middle of our Mission Bible Training Center Tour. During this tour, we will visit five MBTCs as well as lead worship for a National Student Conference for Southern Indiana University. So far, we have visited the MBTCs in Iowa, Indiana, and Tennessee. Later this week we will visit the centers in Alabama and Kentucky as well as end our tour with the National Student Conference.
God is moving this summer and we are so blessed to minister in all these different places. We are excited to share with you our experiences from tour when we get back. Continue to pray that God will move and work through us as we are on the road. We appreciate your prayers!
We want to fill you in on Haiti and let you know where we are going. A couple of weeks ago, we held our first benefit concert with Jason Gray to raise funds to start our new project in Haiti. Because of the generosity of our listeners and supporters, we raised over $7,000.
On our last mission trip to Haiti, in November of 2013, God opened our eyes and hearts to a huge need and opportunity as we visited Petit Goave, a large city in Haiti. Pastor Yves Regaillard, the Haitian pastor we support and partner with, walked us through a school and church of 600 kids without sponsors. (To read a full recap of the trip click here.)
Since our mission trip and benefit concert, we completed our first task in this new project. Because the school was without support, teachers did not get paid for over a year. We realize there are many needs to be met, however, a school cannot exist without teachers. Therefore, we paid over $4000 in back-pay to the teachers to keep them at the school.
We still have $3000 towards our next project. This coming July, we are meeting with Pastor Yves Regaillard to discuss what our next steps should be. We realize there is a lot to do, and trusting that God will help guide and direct us on how we should move.
If you would like to give and were not able to at the concert, you can do it here.
Join Jason Gray (CCM artist) and 513FREE for a night of music and worship this Sunday, June 8, at 6 p.m. in the CLC at Peace Church. Special guests, the TAG Skit Group, are performing too. Admission is free, but make sure to come early because seating is limited. All donations will benefit 513FREE's work in Haiti.
On our last mission trip to Haiti in November of 2013, God opened our eyes and hearts to help with a huge need. We learned a school of 600 kids are without sponsors and a church is in need of a building both located in Petit Goave, a large city in Haiti. We are working with Yves Regala, the Haitian pastor we partner with, on how we can get involved.
We will update you on where we are headed and announce our first steps with this new project. This will be great event for individuals interested in wanting to help.
Join our Facebook event: click here.