Are you broken?
You’ve probably heard the song “Broken and Beautiful,” but broken sure doesn’t seem beautiful when you are broken. Nor do we really want it as we sometimes sing “Brokenness, Brokenness is what I long for. Brokenness… is what I need. Brokenness… is what you want for me” (Take my Life) This is really hard to swallow sometimes. God can want this for me, but I really don’t want it for myself. But, could it really be good for us? Could it be what we really need?
Yet the church has often become a place where brokenness is unacceptable. We wear our masks and pretend all is well; yet when things are not good, we stay home. We at Bridge of Hope often have the privilege of showing compassion to those who are truly broken. In the past couple weeks, I’ve talked with a pregnant teen, an x-prisoner, and 3 guys facing divorce.
One visitor shared, “I like the church. It’s very laid back and accepting…” Accepting! Maybe hugs at the front door and our interactive break really do make a difference? I think so. You may want to utilize a “prayer board” as well. This allows people to share concerns on a white board before the service. We then pray for these concerns before the message. It is concise and yet creates an atmosphere of openness and love. [What’s an interactive break? After about 30 minutes of worship we send everyone to the lobby to grab coffee, popcorn, and donut holes. We spend 10-15 connecting before we return for the message. The primary goal is to connect with new]
Somehow, we’ve managed to avoid the judgementalism that plagues so many churches and create an environment of acceptance. I recently heard one of the most profound comments about Bridge of Hope I have ever heard. He said… “What I like most about Bridge of Hope is that it is dark. Yet, we look into the light and you give us a clear path out of the dark.”
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING…
On May 27, we baptized Brandon. Just a few weeks earlier his mother-in-law connected him with me. We talked on the phone and he visited BOH. Now he is starting down a new path and looking forward to growing in faith and love.
We enjoyed two great celebrations in the Ultrascreen in April. We followed up our Easter service with a “Big Worship Sunday.” This included special music from 3 rappers, a human video, a gospel kids choir from a local church, and worship with “A New Rejoice” (a group lead by Armond which includes people from BOH and the community.)
On April 21, we again participated in Love Cedar Valley. A New Rejoice let the worship with over 1,000 people in attendance. BOH also hosted several projects… a water give away with music in the park, a craft and cookie give-a-way at a nursing home, and yard work at 3 homes.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US IN PRAYER & Helping us connect others with God!!!
Summer activities… Pray that we connect deeply at “Friday Woo” (a bi-monthly gathering with food.) Pray for spiritual growth through our Bible studies. Pray that kids and parents are connected with Jesus through our work with “Kid’s for Christ” and a VBS program in August. Pray that many of our men attend Promise Keepers at the UNI Dome in July.
Finances… We recently launched the Financial Peace University (FPU) course with 10 people participating. They are very excited about the challenge and opportunity before them.
Pray for additional sources of income to cover expenses, allow us to hire administrative help, and serve the community more. You can send a gift to the address below or give online at www.bridgeofhopechurch.com.
Community Enrichment Center… Keep praying that we begin several new ministries for teens, young adults, and low to mid-income families, empowering them to make wise choices. We also ask that God provides accessible, safe places to serve our community. [God is answering… In the past few weeks God enabled us to start FPU in a local church with great facilities and VBS will be at/with a local Hispanic church!]
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Kevin Van Wyk