Renewing Hope on America's East Coast - Enjoying Everyday Life 19 Jan. 2018 - Joyce Meyer Ministries. Believers are called to shine our light and share God's love. Learn how you're helping bring hope and faith back to communities on America's East Coast.
full textual version - Renewing Hope on America's East Coast - Enjoying Everyday Life 19 Jan. 2018 - Joyce Meyer Ministries
Joyce Meyer: well, what does it take for someone to open their heart to Christ? You know, we come from many different backgrounds and philosophies, so what can we do as believers to draw people to Jesus Christ? Today, we're heading to america's east coast where we are seeing some very creative ideas that are bringing people hope and faith, and you are part of it. Check it out.
Female: I used to go to church probably maybe even once a week when I was with my mom but I just kind of, just like, got away from it. I am not religious.
Male: I would, like, say I still believe in, like, a God, like, something up there. Female: as I grew up, kinda grew away from, like, the religion aspect and don't go to church as often.
Female: I don't even know if I would say that I'm Christian. Yeah, i'd probably say that I'm, like, an agnostic.
Mykal: this northeast i-95 corridor is thought of as very intellectual. It's very highly educated and it's the area where people find alternatives to faith. When we moved here to plant true life, we did some demographic studies and we tried to find out what was going on here. We knew God had called us to this area and our best guess after doing that was that somewhere around about 8% of those are actively involved in a local church. And so we knew this was a field that was ripe for harvest.
Mykal: all right, everybody. How are we doing? Are we doing good?
Announcer: pastor mykal mobilized his congregation to meet the needs of his community in a very unique way, with a special needs easter egg hunt.
Mykal: we learned really quickly that there is actually a really large special needs community here and felt like it was somewhat underserved by churches and felt like there was just a great opportunity for us to do something unique and different and serve all of these incredible families. It's part of the culture of our church. We say at true life we wanna create spaces, create environments, where anybody can find a friend, meet Jesus, and then experience the best version of life there is, where you kind of connect those things together.
Wendy: I have a grandson, jeremiah, who's 4 years old and he's totally blind, no light awareness. And we try and do things with him to allow him to be typical, like other children. And I was really attracted to the fact that they actually had a different area for the visually impaired children so he wouldn't be run over by some of the kids that had vision that may be a little more aggressive than him.
Mikki: we have these really great eggs that were suggested to us by the newcastle county. They suggested that we use these battery-operated eggs that give off a special sound for the visual--the visually impaired so that they can also participate. [egg beeping] mikki: so this is inside each one of the eggs for them.
Wendy: I think it is an awesome event and I think it's a great thing that they're reaching out to do stuff like this. It's hard to find things to be able to help him do typical child things in a safe environment and the fact that they put this together and it was so extremely well organized and it was just a beautiful day, and the kids had a really good time.
Mikki: we have four different types. We have a visual aid egg hunt, a physically impaired egg hunt, an all special needs, and then we have another separate egg hunt set up for the siblings of the children that are coming today, so that everybody's included.
Karen: I have not seen a special needs easter egg hunt at all, ever. So as soon as I did see it on facebook, I registered the same day.
Nicolai: makes me feel special 'cause I'm not all alone. I have friends that are just like me. And that's why I like it.
Karen: nicolai was diagnosed with autism when he was about 5, from john hopkins. He is very high functioning but he has a lot of behavioral issues that stop us from doing a lot of things. We don't have an outlet. We don't have mom groups like other moms and dads. We don't have normal social clubs like other moms and dads do, so to be here amongst the other children that are just like your child, nobody's gonna look at you funny, nobody's gonna judge your child, judge you, for what your child may say or do, is amazing to have something like this. I wish we could have more things, not just for easter, but more things on a regular basis where special needs parents can come together and not feel like outcasts.
Nicolai: it's okay, mom.
Karen: I know. Sometimes it's hard for me to talk about, buddy.
Nicolai: it's okay, mom.
Announcer: karen says she and her son don't go to church but this event may change that.
Karen: I know where their church is located and it definitely makes me wanna show up, just because somebody in that church felt the need to do this and they had such a good volunteer--they show up to support this. It makes me wanna be a part of them, and I will go.
Kristin: I wanna thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts. This is the first time in 3 years, even with 9 children, that we've been out of the house for an egg hunt. We can't go to an egg hunt where there's normal children 'cause you get bombarded and it's just, you know, the ones with special needs can't keep up, so they'll leave with one egg. And here, all of the kids feel normal. They've all gotten easter eggs and even our blind child with special needs was able to experience our day. It's amazing and please continue this because it is--the special needs kids really do need to have this opportunity to feel like a normal child and enjoy these things in life that we took for granted as children growing up. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Announcer: misty mitchell and her 12-year-old son, morgan, are members of true life church. Misty sat down with us to share some of the challenges they face every day.
Misty: well, he was diagnosed with autism by the age of 3. His autism is--consists mainly of anxiety disorders and ocd, which he deals with that all day long. His intestinal issues is probably--has probably been the hardest. He's in pain a lot. He gets treatment, like a medical treatment so he doesn't end up in the hospital. I mean, he doesn't go to traditional school anymore. He's been homebound for 4 years so he doesn't even get to be in a classroom with children and do the typical things that 12-year-olds get to do. You know, having a special needs child of any caliber is just--it's a blessing and it's not, at the same time. I mean, it's how it affects me and changed my life has been amazing. I see things differently because of him. But you know, it's been--it's hard. It's hard. And not many people understand, you know. Like, I have a lot of friends who don't have children with special needs and they don't get it.
Morgan: first, when I came here, I did a easter egg hunt. Then I went on the moon bounce. So and then I got candy after the easter egg hunt. A lot of fun things, yeah.
Misty: I appreciate the church being a part of something like that. It makes us feel special. Again, it brings the community together and, more importantly, it gives these special families a place to go and feel accepted and loved. I know it made morgan feel very special. He felt this was for him and it was for his group of kids and, you know, he didn't feel like--he didn't feel different.
Morgan: I had fun and I don't really get to do a lot like this, but I had a really good time today.
Announcer: misty has a message for Joyce Meyer ministries' friends and partners who helped fund the event. Misty: thank you. I mean, I'm so appreciative that they're wanting to be a part of, you know, our world and help our community out and bring us together and I just--i think it's amazing ministry. I think it's an amazing thing and I think that a lot of people are gonna be reached and touched by that event. [music] evan: the dna of what we do specifically within domestic outreach is we're not trying to prefabricate or manufacture an outreach event and then bring it to a community. Every single location that we do an outreach event in here in the united states is tailored to the families in the community and the specific organization that we partner with. Just by being a partner of Joyce Meyer ministries, you're able to be in newark, delaware, with us. You're able to be in glen burnie, maryland, and providence, rhode island. But also, we do typically 10 to 20 outreaches like this around the country every year and so your involvement helps you to be a part of everything that hand of hope is doing across the country. And that's really special.
Announcer: would you prayerfully consider giving a special gift today? Your giving makes a huge difference for people here in the united states and around the world. Your generosity enables us to help people rebuild their lives after disaster strikes, and bring clean water to some of the most remote places on earth. Together, we're feeding more than 80,000 children on a regular basis and bringing desperately needed medical care to communities that lack the most basic healthcare. Your giving makes this and so much more possible. Call the number on your screen or visit our website today. Give the gift of God's love to people all over the world. Announcer: today, for your donation of any amount, towards the outreaches of hand of hope we'd like to send you Joyce Meyer's book, "promises for your everyday life." Contact us now... Or go to joycemeyer.org.
Announcer: our journey continued to another amazing church, this one in glen burnie, maryland, a suburb of baltimore.
Female: I've seen a lot of tragedies with my friends and, for that reason, I think a lot of people have questioned their faith. And even what's happening in the world, you know, politically, it's kind of a confusing time foreveryone.
Female: I dunno, I think there are other ways to have faith in a relationship with something greater that may or may not be God or universe, whatever you wanna call it, that can just be done in your own way.
Jimmy: well, one of the hurdles, if you will, in this area is people are just unchurched, you know. It doesn't matter, social-economic status, it's just an unchurched area. I don't know if that's because, you know, we're next to d.c. And the political climate is high. But what we're trying to do is introduce a need for God again.
Announcer: pastor jimmy and his congregation decided to adopt a baltimore neighborhood called brooklyn and meet some of their biggest needs through an outreach called "red week."
Jimmy: and so the idea of red week is that we would focus an entire week being a service to the community before we asked the community to come to church. And I believe that we are called in that great commission to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We just really put everything around the five, which is our mission, high five: food, water, shelter, clothing, and care. And so we asked ourselves how can we make an impact in those five missional areas.
Announcer: brooklyn is a neighborhood struggling with poverty, violence, addiction, and hopelessness. But i-5 church is on a mission to change that and, as a Joyce Meyer ministries friend and partner, you're on that mission with them.
Pam: we had over 200 families come out and it was really a great time of developing relationship and giving them a bag of groceries.
Clerra: we have so many families in this community that really need help and little things like this really helps out a lot of people. So it means a lot that people will come out and give something to the community. It's really good.
Pam: life happens to everybody and sometimes they just want a friendly ear to listen to and, by developing that relationship in this area one step at a time, one red bag at a time, is truly how we plan on really infiltrating the neighborhood.
Jimmy: there's an area at red week that we served called tent city. And in tent city, there's about 200 homeless that are there.
Regina: we're at a tent city right now where you can tell they're homeless people who don't have much here and so we're cleaning up, despite needles, despite trash. We wanna make sure that their homes are cleaner than what they left 'em. It's just an honor to be a part of this.
Jimmy: some of these people there have not had showers for 3 months. I thought wouldn't it be incredible if we could dignify the homeless people with a shower, a sink, hot water. And so with our mobile service unit, we were able to do that and meet those needs.
Tyfanni: so this is one of two showers or stalls in the mobile service unit. Inside here is a complete shower. Then we have the toilets and a full sink and then in this area we have all of the toiletries and they get to choose what they're gonna take with them. And then on this side, this is where we keep the food warm for the meals that we prepare. Today, we are going to have a spaghetti and meatball dinner.
Irene: the mobile unit is awesome. I think it is awesome. It is just great. It's wonderful that they are doing this for people like us that really need it.
Joel: when we walked up, they offered us food, clothes, and toiletries, shower, hand massages. It was amazing, amazing.
Terry: what I love about what we see here is we brought this service to them. And I believe they feel the love. I believe they know that we're sincere and we're gonna be consistent. On monday when folks were here cleaning up, we even put down gravel so when they go to their tent home, they don't have to walk through the mud to get there. Little things like that. I smiled when I saw one of the gentlemen, like that guy there, who's walking away with his backpack on, and he's just strutting across the street with his food in his backpack with his toiletries and that says that tonight's gonna be different for him because he has a hot meal prepared by our chef and he has a bag of toiletries and he has some things that he needs that will help his quality of life improve, even if just for a night.
Irene: it means a lot to me, it really does, to know that you do got people out here that does care because i--sometimes I don't think anybody cares. And it shows that people do care.
Jimmy: so each and every outreach, we give and empower our group with a little postcard, a flyer, that is actually inviting them to church on sunday mornings. Not just an invitation but here's what time we're gonna come and pick you up, you know. And so if we're taking food to them and we're taking--and they have these needs, then it's probably safe to say that they don't have transportation to church. So let's also provide transportation back to the hospital just as an ambulance. We wouldn't leave someone out on the street, you know, and say, you know, "well, we hope you go to the doctor one day."
Jennifer: I think red week is really great because a lot of people don't have anything, you know, and it does help out a lot with clothing and food. My kids love it too because monday I was actually trying to figure out what I was gonna make my kids for dinner 'cause I didn't have anything. So my kids were looking out the window and there was a big sign on the corner said, "free food." So my kids ran in the front room and said, "mommy, come on. They got food across the street." So I got dressed and we came over and they actually gave my kids hot dogs and told them to pick whatever they want and so that was really good that day, so.
Jimmy: we did this work clothing drive and we just wanted to provide work clothes for people, you know, when they were going on interviews and I had some incredible conversations with young men, you know, who are looking for jobs but don't have the clothes, the actual practical things that they need to even pursue a job opportunity.
Eric: I found two of 'em that really fit me very well and one of 'em actually still has tags on it, which, you know, I'm very thankful to i-5 church and Joyce Meyer's for making these suits available to us in the community. We really appreciate it.
Tanika: it's hard sometimes to get to the thrift store and sometimes you don't have the money to do it. So I just, you know, I appreciate them bringing the clothes to the community.
Announcer: tanika rucker lives here with her three children. She says outreaches like red week go a long way toward bringing hope to her community.
Tanika: I appreciate red week because red week, on tuesday they gave food out. So you knew they was giving something out. They had red bags, red truck, so they had different things that you could use in there to help you for the parents that working and really don't have too much to put on the plate for their children. The community needs stuff like this, you know? It helps the people come out and know there is people that care. And that's why they said it's so important for them to continue to do it. You know, it's hard, struggling. Sometimes, you know, people don't know that, you know, everybody don't--is not on food stamps. Everybody--some of us work, like me. We work and, you know, trying to figure out how you're gonna pay your rent. All the rent is not low. When I first moved here, I was 21 with my first child and pregnant with my second. It was a stepping stone. It was supposed to be a stepping stone but, as time went on, you know, 16 years later, I'm still here. Sometimes, people think because you live a certain place that that's what you want. And not all the time, that's what we want. Because we want our neighborhood to be better, you know. I want my children to be decent. I want stable--a stable environment, safe environment. At the end of the day, I show my children that even though you have a challenge, but you're able to do anything with God. And you know, that's your challenges. You know, that's your challenges that we, you know, like, nothing stops me because God say that we can do everything with his help. We're never alone. No matter what it looks like, no matter what it feels like, we are never alone.
Jimmy: the partners of hand of hope and Joyce Meyer ministries, i'd just like to say this. There is no better investment than the one that is eternal. This is the tangible hands and feet of Jesus. Us meeting needs right where people are and it's amazing that the hand of hope and Joyce Meyer's ministry is the vehicle that God is using for such a time as this to meet those needs. So thank you. God bless you. We are the boots in the action but you're also a part of that action. Thank you, it's amazing.
Announcer: today, for your donation of any amount, towards the outreaches of hand of hope we'd like to send you Joyce Meyer's book, "promises for your everyday life." Contact us now... Or go to joycemeyer.org.
Announcer: the final part of our journey took us to the city of east providence, rhode island.
Female: I'm agnostic. I think that if you wanna be a good person and treat others with respect, you don't have to be affiliated with any religion.
Female: so I blend Christianity with native american culture and so, in the native american spirit, we believe in the earth, the trees, but we also believe that God is the maker of the earth and the trees.
Female: so I grew up in the ukrainian orthodox church when I was younger and, as I got older, I started to branch out and learn more about other faiths and I felt that my spiritual beliefs and the way I wanted to live my life aligned a little bit more with buddhist values.
Josh: well, providence is the least Bible-minded area of the entire country, which really means that the majority of people here, they don't believe in the authority of scripture and they also don't spend time reading it. In new england, the church attendance rate is anywhere between 3% and 5%. But then also, we're not only the least attended but we also have the fewest amount of churches within the entire country too. So for us, as you have individuals that don't have the body of Christ present, and they're also struggling as the least Bible-minded city in the entire country, they're trying to figure out what does it mean to follow Jesus without the church. And that is a problem.
Announcer: bridgepointe Christian church found a great way to draw unchurched families to Christ. With the support of Joyce Meyer ministries' friends and partners, they host an easter egg hunt at three different locations in their east providence community.
Josh: we began this event because we understand there's a lot of people who are never gonna come through the doors of bridgepointe and they--they just haven't decided that that's something that's important to their life yet. So we believe that, as the church, our call is to go to them. And really, that's why we do this. This is why we do anything that we do, especially this egg hunt is an amazing opportunity for us to reach thousands of people who would never walk into the church. This is a next step for them.
Rebecca: I love being part of this. I love seeing the community. It was awesome standing far away and watching all the kids just run and it's amazing seeing so many people come together.
Female: when he said go, they all, like--they all, like, ran towards the eggs and started grabbing them all. It was fun.
Female: it was fun.
Kim: they had a blast. We enjoyed all the activities across the street too. There was--we didn't get to face-paint yet but we're going back for that. But they loved the bouncy house and they had popcorn and lemonade and they had a blast. I think that it's really important to have events like this for people to come to know Christ and just to--just to get to know each other and to have fun together and then do--you know, wanna build on those relationships and feel comfortable going into a church that they may have never been to before because now they know somebody and just know that they'll be welcomed there. And this is a great way to do that.
Josh: being able to have a family-friendly event where there's conversations happening with those who know Jesus is really the next step for someone before they come ever on a sunday. Our hope is, is that before we tell them what they need to know about Jesus, that we let them know that we care.
Announcer: that message got through loud and clear to rebecca and roger desa. They heard about last year's egg hunt and it made them want to learn more about the church.
Rebecca: we talked about it and we really needed something else in our lives and it-- there was definitely something missing.
Roger: we decided we were just gonna try it out, and bridgepointe definitely opened up the door that I always knew was there, I just hadn't walked through it yet.
Rebecca: before having Christ, my life was--i was very all over the place. I was never on one path. And now I'm on one path and I know it's the right one. This easter egg hunt's really important because people don't know the church exists if you don't have the community involved.
Roger: you have this tiny little egg with some candy in it that your child takes home, and the experience that they have when they come here and the people that you meet and the relationships that you form, it's really a small, small thing that will just plant that seed and it'll grow and grow into something huge.
Rebecca: just even reaching to one person, for them to enjoy and meet the new people and make new friends and have new relationships, and eventually, hopefully, have a relationship with Christ, it's a great door-opener. Joyce Meyer's ministry has been helping sponsor these events and it's amazing. It's--we're so grateful that they can help us so that we can keep on bringing people to Christ and we appreciate it.
Joyce Meyer: well, we realize that there is a great deal of work to be done right here in the united states and around the world. So through hand of hope, we make that a priority. There's no more powerful way to introduce people to Christ than by meeting their practical needs when they're hurting. And you know what? We can't do it alone. Your faithful giving makes it all possible. This is how we partner together in reaching people for Jesus Christ. So would you consider giving a very special gift today to help us with our missions around the world? You know, somebody gave at some point to help you be introduced to Christ, and now we're asking you to do the same thing to help somebody else. Your giving not only provides the gospel to people, but it helps provide clean water in some of the most remote areas of the earth. It helps us feed more than 80,000 children on a regular basis. It helps restore women and children, those who have been rescued from sex trafficking and more and more and more. So many people that are desperately hurting and we can help them by just, each one of us, doing what we can do. So I'm gonna ask you today to send in your very best offering. Do it in faith, trust God to not only help somebody with your gift but also to bring a blessing in your life as well. We love you so much and we appreciate you helping us today. We promise to do our best and, as you do your best, we can serve the best one, Jesus Christ, in the best way possible. Thank you for your giving. Announcer: today, for your donation of any amount, towards the outreaches of hand of hope we'd like to send you Joyce Meyer's book, "promises for your everyday life." Contact us now... Or go to joycemeyer.org.
Announcer: we hope you enjoyed today's program. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org. This program has been made possible by the friends and partners of Joyce Meyer ministries