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Prov Blog

A TESTIMONY FROM SENEGAL
Apr 28, 2017
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It was the first day we visited the village. Dust, trees, bushes- there wasn’t much to help guide one to where we were going and I was impressed by our bus driver’s navigation. I sat on the bus looking outside at the landscape, but all I could think about at the time was that I was hot and sweaty and wondering what the next few days would be like trying to photograph and film in the blazing sun. I was a bit discouraged as we got off a two-hour bus ride to what seemed like the middle of nowhere. This day is what marked this trip for me.

I stepped through the church doors and it was as if the Lord completely lifted every negative thought and showed me that He was very present in this remote village of Ngonine. I just needed to open my eyes. Church began and worship filled the building and then something happened that I will never forget. Three Muslim elders of the village walked into the church and sat down. Where I have been serving in the Middle East, this sight would have caused grave concern. I looked to Mike, he smiled and said they were the elders and I kept my eyes on them wondering what was going to happen. Then they smiled, waved and began to enter into worship with us. I was both in awe and in complete shock at the sight of this. After the service we interviewed each of these elders about how God has been moving in the village. They first started to thank us for coming, but then my jaw dropped when I heard the next few words. “This is only possible through Jesus Christ.” I couldn’t believe my ears and tears began to fill my eyes. These Muslim elders are claiming Jesus is their Lord! Not only that but during the other interviews they kept point their fingers up saying it was all because of Jesus Christ. This is exactly what I yearn to see in the 10/40 window. We have stayed faithful to the vision and to this village. We came alongside and saw God’s vision for His people here. We have been faithful in holding up Pastor Timothy’s hands in support as He is pastoring in a majority Muslim village. It’s been twelve years sowing into this specific village and we are seeing fruit, but the key thing here is this fruit was made possible only because of faithful ones remaining in that place of prayer. This is what my highlight was in Senegal- to see God moving in a Muslim nation. To see Him captivating hearts, growing His church and revealing himself in the beautiful ways He always does. I’m so grateful to have been able to see with my own eyes what God is doing in Ngonine. I’m honored to have seen the fruit of prayer in Senegal.

Prov Blog

PHILLY RESTART
Apr 28, 2017
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Why don’t you just get a job?
That’s the question that trailed through my mind as I walked by homeless men when I was in college. One day in Chicago, I didn’t walk by. I stopped and asked. Instead of dropping a dollar in a hat, I traded a man lunch for some answers, and I was fascinated. I asked the same question in Portland, Kansas City, Phoenix, and Baltimore. I was stunned to hear a very similar answer. Men across the country couldn’t get jobs because they couldn’t get ID’s.

When I moved to Philly in 2001, I kept asking questions, and tried to find a way to help. Philly Restart is a program that helps men and women get back on their feet by providing a simple but critical stepping stone. We help the homeless get ID’s so that they can get jobs, cash checks, get into rehab, obtain housing, and take important early steps towards a better life.

The Philly Restart check book is on #62,575. The numbers can blur together, but it is critically important to remember the power of every one. Calvin has been off the streets for 10 years. George has been sober 8 years and is now a Deacon at a local church. Betty has a job, an apartment, and her family together. DeAndre is in college.

Regularly in the City, a waitress or familiar stranger will stop by to thank us for helping them get back on their feet; remembering to treat others as we would want to be treated helps us to remove judgment, and to share what we have with open and responsible hands.

In 2002, I met Fila sleeping along Vine Street near the Free Library. He was 1 of 3 men lined like sardines on the sidewalk. My immediate thought after speaking with him was that he was meant for more in life. After about a year when our meal started to be served weekly, Fila was a regular guest and then volunteer. Security. Soon we challenged and supported Fila to take a step towards a new life. An apartment. He had a small income from delivering circulars, and he was responsible enough to wake up at 4am (he would drink a lot of water before sleeping, and his bladder was his alarm). He simply needed a strong boost.
Fila is a rent paying, tax paying, church attending Philadelphian. He is on the Parkway with us 52 weeks of the year. Now, he is on the other side of the line – a volunteer.

We are grateful for the wonderful team of supporters that have built us up over the years. We hope to keep our donors and prayers engaged by sharing some of the stories and challenges on Facebook @ “Philly Restart” and on our website www.phillyrestart.com .

We serve our meal on Mondays at 4pm at 19th and the Ben Franklin ParkwayWe are open for visiting volunteers, deeply appreciative of our donors, and dependent on the community of prayers.

Our very specific prayer request for 2017 is that we would be able to get a state waiver for ID’s in Pennsylvania. Free ID’s for the homeless. We are hoping to identify advocates and legislative connections in all 67 counties in PA. If you are aware of anyone outside of Philadelphia, please email Adam @ “

 

Prov Blog

International Justice Mission
Mar 13, 2017
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“How do they do this day after day? How do they handle seeing this evil all the time and keep going?” These were my questions as I headed to the International Justice Mission Global Prayer Gathering last weekend. Just home from Haiti, I knew I was exhausted and really didn’t have much emotional endurance left. As I settled into my seat for the opening session, I knew these people were going to carry me through. Gary Haugen, IJM founder, took the stage and opened with a declaration. “In order to stay to prepare the soul to go to war, we must ground ourselves in the truth of God and Scripture. We need solid hand-holds in Scripture to make this climb”, Gary says in his reassuring tone. And for the next 24 hours that’s exactly what they did. They taught me to prepare my soul, find the hand-holds and exactly what that involves.

I will confess I didn’t make it through all the sessions last weekend. I fled when the details of the abuse of children started being discussed. I even retreated for a 2 hour nap at one point knowing I had reached my healthy limit. I continue to be astounded by the ways humans can destroy other humans. But that’s nothing new, right? Maybe it’s my mother’s heart. Just as I felt like I was plummeting into despair and feeling yet another punch to the gut as they described the crimes they are fighting all over the world, I would feel myself buoy up with the hope and inspiration that overflows from the caseworkers and employees. There is a tenacity and a passion in this organization that can only be explained by the power of the Holy Spirit. It sends chills up our spines when they say to sex traffickers, “We are coming for you and we will not give up until we find you.” Praise God. It is my fervent prayer that they won’t quit, that human slavery WILL end. But their work and that victory is totally reliant on a faithful God and the power of the prayers of the saints. Thank you IJM for defending and freeing children and victims all over the world. Our prayers go with you.

Prov Blog

A TESTIMONY FROM SENEGAL
Mar 10, 2017
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Day one: A moment that struck me just moments into our arrival in Dakar was when Mike was praying for the team before we loaded the bus to Thies. At exactly the same time that Mike started praying, the call to prayer could be heard in the background. Some might see this as an opposing part of spiritual warfare. I chose to be encouraged in knowing that we are entering a country with people of faith. I trust that God will continue to move here and pray that these brothers and sisters in prayer will someday know the love of Jesus Christ.

3/11/17  (Sunday @ Church)

Coming back to N’Gonine is always an exciting time, but this year was very special. It was my first time back in 2 years and the last time I was here was when the church was dedicated. Since that time Pastor Timothy Ousman N’Dor has completed his training and is now the official Pastor of the church. This service was special because, although the church planters including Antoine Dion and Antoine Diouf stood beside him and helped him relay the word, Timothy delivered the final sermon. This once shy, young-looking man, stood humble, yet proud and confident in the Word. It was one of the first times I ever heard so much praise not only for God, but Jesus Christ! I cannot tell you what a blessing it has been to see how God has moved since my first trip to Senegal 5 years ago. All the praise to our Lord, Jesus Christ!

  • Look for more posts from Senegal team members each day this week.
  • The Senegal team will give an update on April 9th @ Providence! 
  • For more photos and 31 days of prayer, go to Providence Senegal FB 

Prov Blog

Senegal 2016
Mar 06, 2017
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The table is set with a collection of perfectly curated dishes and glasses, the lavender candles are lit under the bounty of flower arrangements around the room and the cheese plate sits on the bar anxiously awaiting the arrival of my close friends. According to my latest Martha Stewart Living magazine, I had nailed hospitality. Or so I thought…

Stepping into the Senegalese village of Ngonine, I can’t say I knew what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t a gracious lesson on true hospitality. The first time we walked into one of the compounds, we were greeted with hugs, smiles and the seat of honor. These people have never met me before. I was completely overwhelmed. Despite my clumsy attempts to communicate, we shared our lives through sincere and focused conversation until one of the women said, “We are so overjoyed that you are here, we would like to dance for you!” With a granola bar in my pocket, I looked around the dusty compound at the hard-working women cooking our food for the evening over a hot open flame, who were assumingly hungry themselves, so overjoyed by our presence that it prompted a physical demonstration of their joy. An image of the glossy magazine spread demonstrating how to be the “hostess with the mostess” flashed through my head. As a host back home, I had lost focus on my guests. These women are Marys who invited in a Martha like me, a complete stranger, and bathed me in true, unconditional and grace-filled hospitality.  

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

 

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