February 25, 2011: Good news brightens a cloudy day in Chicago:
1. Last night the purchase of 6414 S Cottage Grove was successful, and it all cost just under $100,000. On top of it all, we now have conclusive evidence that the basement of the building functioned as a speak-easy during prohibition days, and that the building also is one of the pool halls in the movie "The Color of Money." I'm not sure that ten years ago anyone in our neighborhood would've imagined that this place as one day a house of Christ-centered worship and service in the community. Visit our Facebook page "Vision 2020" for more information.
2. We also received news that a sister church, Naperville Presbyterian, has raised $18,000 for us to purchase the new roof which is the repair most needed right now, to begin to protect the building, which is now God's gift to us to steward well. Thanks to Naperville for their generosity and God for his grace. Please continue to pray for large and small acts of generosity to continue as we stand humbled and thankful at the Body of Christ helping to make Vision 2020 a reality.
3. Please enjoy the 5 minute video that gives a glimpse of what the building looks like, a bit of the demo work, and a few brief interviews with some of our younger members of Living Hope. Feel free to share the link with others who may want to partner with us and pray for us. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf3RcELCyS4
4. Please pray for the hope of neighborhood to be renewed by the hope of the gospel of Jesus. In the past week alone, three young men have been shot within 3 blocks of our home. Cornell is a 19 year old who played on a summer league basketball ministry team that I helped to coach. Last week he was shot in the knee one block from our home and is recovering in the hospital (in January, another young man who played on our same team was shot and killed). In the exact same location, a block from our home, another 19 year old was shot and killed just Wednesday. And three blocks away, another young man shot and killed while sitting in his car. I've noticed that the news doesn't jolt me like it used to, but we continue to be burdened by the broken lives around us, and as God instructed the prophet Jeremiah to do for God's city of old, we continue to pray for the shalom of this city, for in its peace will be our peace.
Thanks for all your support and prayers, and may you find great joy in our living hope in the living Christ and set your hope fully on the grace of God yet to be revealed in Him,