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  • Baptist Beacon

News from the Wild West

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Occasionally the WestSide of Grand Rapids is referred to as the "Wild West." Things happen in this neighborhood as a matter of commonplace that would be very unusual in other neighborhoods. For example, when was the last time someone showed up to your church in a hearse. Mind you, no funeral. It's just what they drive. That's my neighborhood.

Merri and I were having coffee on our back deck on a Saturday afternoon, and Merri said to me in a calm voice, "A man in full swat gear, just trotted by the front of the house." "Let's head inside," I said. A standoff ensued 100 yards south of my house, with a full armored vehicle and a large police presence. After multiple hours a person suspected of a triple homicide was apprehended. Just another day in the Wild West.

Youth ministry news

After my Tuesday Bible lab that I do with our ministry partners Bridge Street Ministries, one young man asked about what happens at the very end of the world. With another leader we turned to Revelation 21 and had him read it out loud. It's one of the best way to answer questions about the Bible. When they read the answer for themselves, it brings a moment of discovery that they own. After reading for a few minutes, he just stopped, and looked intently at me. Then He asked, "Can I have this?" I went and got a pen, and put his name in a Bible. I handed it to him and he was so happy and proud. He comes to Bible lab every week.

Some of the other pictures below are from a movie night in our backyard.

Loving our city

Recently at a community meeting at Grand Rapids Police Department, I met some police chaplains from the adjacent cities, who expressed the desire to meet and chat. Many of them are new, and as I have been doing chaplain work for over 20 years the newer chaplains asked me for help.

We are now planning to meet monthly, and they are asking for me to train them in various aspects of this difficult job. It is our goal that if our community is confronted with a crisis, we can pull together a diverse team of leaders to help bring the presence of Jesus to a the situation.

A tank on a trailer, in the street

Linda, who lives a short walk from where we meet on Sundays, made a decision to follow Jesus, and wanted to be baptized. We put a tank on a trailer and parked it right on Bridge Street. It was a great celebration. A couple of her homeless friends also attended.

Thanks for taking a minute

Because of the financial limitations of the communities that CrossWinds serves, we very much appreciate those who are able to participate in our kingdom work. For you giving partners, Thank You again for your faithful donations and prayers. If you'd like to give online, a link follows that you can copy & paste into your browser. After you click on "Give," you're taken to a page where you can click on a down arrow to find my name.


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