I thank you for your partnership with me in ministry to the Maryvale community from the first day of pastoring in Maryvale (Easter of 2004) until now. I thank you for your love and support and prayer. This past fall during our sabbatical time, I believe that through your prayer for us, I felt a new urgency to increase our outreach into the community. I have waited till holiday and end of year issues were over before I released this letter. I now want to update you on some of the development to the prayers you prayed. I want to ask for your increased participation – especially in prayer for new outreach.
I also thank you for helping us to persevere this year and remain open for ministering to the community. During this past year there have been several individuals who have come to church and received Christ as Savior – one who was contemplating suicide and another fresh out of prison. However, the work to establish a new believer requires much support – at times housing, job and life skills training, and patiently walking alongside as they work through their dysfunctional patterns of behavior. Through the years I have often seen people fall back to the old entanglements.
So, to address the desperate needs of individuals more effectively, we have developed a not-for-profit (501c3) ministry called The Caleb Center – an outreach effort of the Maryvale Church. Just as the biblical Caleb urged others to not run when facing odds that seemed insurmountable, the Caleb Center is calling urban missionaries to live work and worship in the community to advance the Kingdom of God.
Two houses were donated to The Caleb Center. This has enabled us to presently serve the community by providing one house for veterans who need housing and the other house for an urban missionary running a basketball program for youth.
While these are going well – there is more that needs to be done. On sabbatical, I read about planning with “God Room” – making plans to address urgent needs that allow God plenty of room to act – so no one can take credit except God.
There are 6 neighborhoods surrounding the Maryvale Church that desperately need an urban missionary to move in and minister. Our two homes are in one of the neighborhoods and are impacting the community. This year I believe we need to expand the outreach to the other 5 areas – a house and an urban missionary Care Team who will provide care to serve that neighborhood.
Some of the people I am concerned about, who will benefit from an expanded outreach, do not have a safe home with good care. There are over 100 felons released each month who return to Maryvale – many become believers while in prison but return to the streets and fall away without a safe home that nurtures their faith. There are also many Maryvale kids in Arizona’s juvenile justice program as well as kids in the foster care program who are “graduated” to the streets at age 18 who need to be welcomed into a safe home. There are neighborhoods where Christ needs to enter and transform through the presence of urban missionaries.
Our first step is to build our prayer team. Will you be part of our team of intercessors? God cares about lost people and I know you also care about lost people. In any expansion of the outreach of Caleb Center, we desire that it be bathed in prayer and that God is the one that leads. Therefore, I invite your increased partnership in the gospel.
- Pray for the Caleb Center and its outreach into the community, for God’s will and wisdom.
- Pray for us to acquire five more houses to provide safe shelter.
- Pray for God to raise up urban missionaries who will live, work, and worship in this community.
Send me names of any you may know who are called to minister to hurting people.
- Pray for our board of directors and for God to lead us to new board members.
- Pray for volunteers to do neighborhood clean ups, Bible Study, website and Facebook development, community networking, grant writing, etc.
- Pray for God to bring to your mind any of your contacts who might be interested becoming a prayer partner with Caleb Center.
I will be sharing updates about the progress your support enables us to do. As a result of our combined efforts, lost people will be saved and will discover new hope. Thank you for your prayerful consideration. As you increase your personal influence for the Lord through partnering with The Caleb Center, we can make a difference in many lives now and for eternity. I appreciate you and your partnership.
Expanding the influence, Pastor Dan Flemming, Caleb Center Director