Sunday, September 11, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
(Source Golf Tournament...Mandy is working with us at Source this summer)
Okay, enough about the weather, here are some updates on what has been happening!
We had our annual Disgrace: Good Friday art exhibit/interactive service April 22...We had over 100 people show up to view individuals' artistic representations of the stations of the cross before Jesus' death. People scattered the building throughout the night to watch, listen, and participate in visual art, spoken word, poetry, and music centered on the stations of the cross leading up to Jesus' death and resurrection. You can see more pictures on facebook!
Traveling Art Exhibit: Human Trafficking Awareness
MayDay & Demand Change
May Day was a great success this year! Check out our facebook pictures from the event...We recruited/created art to be part of a traveling art exhibit to raise awareness and benefit sex-trafficking victims in the midwest. We had several pieces created based around the fact that these women have to “take a number” to wait in line to get help to transition out of abusive situations. The focus is to spotlight statistics based on the domestic issue of sex trafficking, prostitution, and the lack of opportunities for these women to get out. This show made its initial appearances at the Minneapolis May Day festival and the Demand Change events in May 2011. (View the event that we joined as a creative awareness project from the awareness art pieces from Breaking Free's Demand Change awareness weekend!-Raising awareness of the many victims in the midwest of commercial sexual exploitation).
Annex Construction & Women's Creativity Night
We've had lots of volunteer groups coming through and helping out with the renovation of the annex, the home we are preparing for women transitioning out of sex trafficking. While we are providing more housing as well as Christian community to surround these women, we are still partnering with Breaking Free, an organization providing education and services to women who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation (prostitution/sex-trafficking) and need assistance escaping the violence in their lives. We will be opening up the home in the fall! I'm also excited to say that I will be leading a creativity night with some of the women that will be moving into our transitional housing through this project. The evenings will consist of a meal, creativity, and prayer time for one another. We had our first gathering, getting to know one another, creating self-portrait collages, and sharing them with one another at the end of the night...I will share more in my next blog!
So the house that I'm living in has been located next to an ugly, empty lot that mostly just collected trash from passers-by, but this summer it has been transformed into a community garden! We're really excited about it because it's going to be another great way for us to be involved in the neighborhood...the Fallout has a garden plot that we are going to keep up and involve our kids club with as well.
*Please continue to pray for me as I prepare for the summer and as I continue to build relationships within the community, from the people in my church, the homeless in my neighborhood, the artists that we host, the Somali/hispanic families that I see everyday, and the gardeners that I meet next door...and the Women's Creativity Night :)
Monday, March 21, 2011
It has been a tough season readjusting to the winter weather of Minnesota after spending Christmas in the southernmost part of the U.S...But the last couple of months at Source we have been hosting our annual spring break groups to immerse college students in the realities of urban outreach (what it looks like to serve in the homeless/artist community of the diverse neighborhood of South Minneapolis). This is one of the times each year that we focus on training other individuals for serving in the city. As part of the urban immersion, we also held an awareness seminar on homeless youth and sex-trafficking in the city of Minneapolis, as we have been renovating our Source Annex building (building that will be set up for women getting out of sex-trafficking-we will be working together with Breaking Free, an organization dedicated to educating and providing services to women and girls who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation (prostitution/sex-trafficking) and need assistance escaping the violence in their lives). The students expressed how the spring break trip altered the way they viewed reaching out to the homeless and marginalized and how they want to continue to share the love of Jesus with the marginalized in their city.
I am also helping organize a traveling art installation that will raise awareness and benefit Sex Trafficking Victims in the Midwest. We hope to have a variety of visual and multimedia art work. The focus is to spotlight the domestic issue of Sex Trafficking, domestic Prostitution, and lack of opportunities for women to get out of this cycle of violence. This show will have initial appearances at the Minneapolis Mayday festival and the Demand Change Events in May 2011. The hope is that it will also travel to galleries, community centers, colleges, & churches over the next year and will accompany awareness presentations and prayer vigils.
Thank you for all of you who have been praying for us. God is continuing to bring those that are searching for you...we visited a shelter again last night where we were able to invite several to come to our church on Saturday night...They were so excited after coming, expressing that they could really sense the Holy Spirit within our church and how they were so encouraged by that!
Please continue to pray for me as I work with artists that are hanging shows in our Fallout Urban Art Center art gallery. Many of them are art students from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design across the street. Another staff and I have also begun a women's small group on the MCAD campus for a few believers that live on the art campus...we're excited to see God encourage these women as they are wanting to pursue God more:)
Monday, January 31, 2011
There were a lot of kids who had a church/Biblical background and knew scripture really well—several of them were even pastor’s kids…so many of them had been hurt by the church or by “religion” in some way and were very skeptical of being of followers of Jesus. Some of them agreed with Jesus but couldn’t get past some of the other things in the Bible---some just had bad experiences in the church. We came into the woods to show Jesus’ love. Not just love for love’s sake, but to love as Jesus loved. We set up a KITCHEN where we could serve meals to large groups of people…the JESUS KITCHEn that we went in with has been doing this for many years. It’s a great way to connect with people—and we were highly respected as well. We also set up a PRAYER TENT—equipped with Bibles, hanging candles in the trees, papers to write prayers on and clip in the trees, sheets, to create a little privacy, and prayer times with others and for others. As we stayed in the woods we prayed together as a group 3 times daily, morning, midday, and evening. It was a chance for our group to pray together, but also to invite others in to pray with us, and also to pray for others that wanted prayer. We also read scripture aloud together. It also brought up opportunities to share more about Jesus with others as well as creating a safe place for others to ask questions about Jesus and what we believe. We also made a large puzzle mural-a community mural that everyone could contribute to. We also brought extra socks, toiletries, hats, gloves, scarves, and Bibles to give away. People kept showing up and we had lots of conversations about Jesus through the week, prayed for so many as well as having a BAPTISM at the end of the week! We ran into a girl that we had prayed for 2 years ago in the woods—no one had seen her since then, but it just so happened that our campsite was set up right next to hers! After she had received prayer last year, she explained that she kept running into other “Jesus People” and accepted Christ into her life a few months after that….she had still been living the same lifestyle, but kept coming around to help out around our campsite. We were able to pray with her some more throughout the week and asked if she would like to be baptized now that she had a new life in Christ!...She said yes, so we dug a hole in the ground, placed a tarp in it, filled it with water, and !voila! we had a baptismal! It was one of the most beautiful nights I had ever been part of. She was sharing her testimony around an orange-glowing campfire as many sets eyes and ears were intently listening to her story. It was so incredible because she had such an amazing story to tell and there were so many there listening that either didn’t know God or were at least trying to run away from God in the middle of the woods…but God found them in the woods—so many of them needed to hear her story-so many needed to hear that God is real and that He longs for a personal relationship with them. It was also the most celebrated baptism I’ve been to—there were so many people there—some watching from afar, others gathered as close as they could to the baptismal pit. There were probably around 100 people there that night. She was then able to return home with a group to be part of discipleship training in Chicago.
God also taught me through some of the people in the woods—through the many conversations and just watching some of the lifestyles of the people out there, I realized how important it is that I share with people the love of Jesus. It is not enough to just do good and nice things for people…If it were so, there would be no difference between followers of Christ and people like we met in the woods, people just wanting to form a peaceful environment, but lacking reason for doing what they do. I am learning that I can’t hold back the reason why I like to serve people—I need to speak up more and not be afraid to say why I do what I do. I was also very humbled because some of the people we met had nothing and yet they were so willing to give away what little they had. It challenged me so much because so many of them didn’t even know God…
See more PICTURES on my facebook: Click Link at TOp of this Page
See how much more should I be willing to serve others in the name of Christ?
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
For those of you who would like to know what to pray for...We are leaving to go on an outreach trip to Ocala, FL tomorrow.
We will camp in the woods for a week, host a prayer tent, kitchen (make 100's of meals), Interactive Art, Daily Prayer, & Worship Times.
Every year during the winter, thousands of homeless youth, travelers and marginalized migrate south and gather in the Ocala National Forest in Florida.
Our team will be entering into a sub-culture that is extremely skeptical of the Christian faith and anything that looks mainstream or religious. When you spend a week living with people in the woods offering friendship, food & prayer you are able to see incredible obstacles overcome. We are able to make contact and gain trust in a short amount of time.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Stacey’s adventures *in* Minnesota…
AWARENESS OUTREACH: 48 DAYS of Awareness…
It’s about time that I catch up and let you know w hat has been happening up here…We have been keeping busy here sponsoring a 48 Days of Awareness Campaign to benefit a new transitional home for women wanting to change their lives around out of the sex-trafficking/prostitution industry. We have been connecting with several organizations to be able partner together to provide housing/programs for women wanting to make a break from the past. We have been having awareness outreaches locally around the city of Minneapolis at the local colleges, Vikings football games. Many are unaware of what is happening locally involving homeless youth, teen prostitution, and sex-trafficking(especially in the city of Minneapolis). During the campaign we set up a website: www.sourceannex.org posting various live interviews with survivors, outreach workers, church leaders…hearing stories of lives being changed, etc….and there is exciting news—We have successfully raised the $42,000 goal that we have been praying for/working towards to be able to partner in starting a women’s transitional home!!!
Art Auctions/Creative Fundraising Benefits…
I have been excited to be part of this adventure and walking alongside Him as he has called us….and He has provided in so many ways. My role has been helping with coordinating creative music/art Benefits to raise money for this campaign, joining in creative outreach/awareness opportunities around the city of Minneapolis as we have been working with various college ministry groups/volunteer groups in raising awareness/answering God’s call to being a friend and a voice to the marginalized.
*Minnesota is #1 per capita of homeless youth in the USA
*10% of teens arrested for prostitution in Las Vegas are from Minnesota
* Approximately 30,000 USA children involved in prostitution
*Average age of entry into prostitution: 13
*Currently 83 victims of sex-trafficking on a local waiting list
for a recovery program that have no place
*Safety in Travel as I am visiting South Carolina & Florida in December/Early January
*Ocala, Florida Outreach trip in January-We set up a prayer tent/feed the homeless (Travelers and Homeless gather in Florida to escape the Northern, Cold winter months.) God will prepare my heart and the hearts of those that we will be meeting…
*Rest & Rejuvenation during the Holidays…
*I have now been working with Source for 1 ½ years! Continued encouragement/financial support as I continue working here
**My ministry with Source is funded entirely with gifts from supporters like you!
Will you consider financially partnering with me by making a tax-deductible, year-end gift? Or by joining my monthly support team? I still need to raise about $250 a month.
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Thank you so much for your continued Prayers & Support!