“Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.”
— Isaiah 58:7
It is so good to be doing the work of Jesus, showing His love to the poor and proclaiming His Good News to the lost! We are grateful for the ministry to which He has called us, and for the people with whom He has allowed us to work.
Daily Life at the Merchant
One thing is for sure at the Merchant, and that is you never know what may happen, or what kind of conversation you may be involved in. Just over the past few days, we have:
A few weeks ago, we (Paul and Tim) sat with three people and shared the Gospel with them. All three were genuinely touched and expressed a desire to follow Jesus and give Him their lives. They prayed beautiful, simple prayers of repentance from the heart, and we prayed over them. There were plenty of tears and smiles as we felt the presence of the Father receiving His own. That’s the amazing news. The hard part is that we’ve had little opportunity to spend time with them since, and we’ve encountered one on the streets, drunk and ashamed. We prayed with him again and encouraged him in the grace of our God. And so goes this relational, Gospel ministry to the poor and the marginalized.
The Merchant is receiving donations of clothing and blankets, especially cold-weather clothing. We are in need of coats, sleeping bags, blankets, socks, sweatshirts, pants, shoes, etc. It is always such a blessing to be able to pass these along to our friends who are in need.
Paul continues to be an advocate for the homeless, helping them to navigate the various agencies and service providers. This includes everything from getting ids to finding housing.
The Merchant is slowly expanding as a prayer room for the city. If you would like to make use of this in any way, individually or with a group, please contact us. Currently, we host the following:
We are currently planning a week of nonstop, 24-7 prayer. The dates will be November 5-11. If you are interested in participating in this, please let us know.
We are in need of monthly sponsors to help pay rent and expenses to keep this ministry going. We’d so appreciate it if you’d consider helping us. We would truly love to sit down with you over a cup of coffee and share more. Please contact us if you’d like that.
If you are interested in giving financially, click the button below.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” -- Matthew 13:45-46 NIV
Do I get it? Do you get it? This Jesus-life, this Kingdom, this family of the Spirit -- it's worth so much more than anything else. My dreams, in comparison, are pasty and weak. My greatest ambitions are blah. But this. This!
Today is a gray day, and all the people passing by are wrapped up in sundry issues of life -- some momentous, others minuscule. Watching the scene from where I sit, it's hard to believe that we are celebrating an event of great significance and wonder. It's a bit surreal. A couple of weeks ago, Paul and Debbie Schmidt signed a contract to lease the Merchant Building on 605 S Peoria, and will take possession of it on February 1. That's tomorrow! What an answer to prayer! We have uttered countless prayers over the years for just such a thing as this. An accessible prayer room in the heart of the city. A place of hospitality for the poor and the homeless. A place to invite others into. A place of worship and healing and friendship and safety and prayer and discipleship and unity. The Father is faithful. Some of you have been praying for this too -- and more. And here it is. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude. What a good Father!
There's some work to be done on the building, but it should be ready and open soon. We'll keep you posted.
This Friday at 6:30 pm, we're going to gather to pray over the space. If you're interested in being part of this, let us know.
If you are interested in being part of this ministry in any way, we'd love to hear from you.
God bless you!