He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Common Ground Weekly Update-July 14,2009

I know its been a while...we are sorry...here is our most recent update.
Thank you all soo much for your prayers over us, they are greatly needed!
How great is our GOD?! HE takes such unskillful men and women and give them great skill to reach the LOST for HIM! Only HE CAN DO THAT!


Greetings from Common Ground Montgomery!

The funeral of a young man….

A few weeks ago a young man was gunned down in our neighborhood. He was 37 years old, and the story from many was that he had recently begun to make some major life changes. A handful of the kids involved in our camp were related to this man and one of our summer interns had grown up next door to him. I do not know if this man became a Christian, but I do know that many had taken note of the decisions he was making. He was trying to make something of himself in some very respectable ways. He was gunned down after trying to calm some tension between others. What is different about this death and funeral than others I have attended over the last two years was that there was a real somberness… a deep heaviness over many in the neighborhood after his senseless death. One of the things that scare me in the neighborhood is that after a murder many people talk about it with no emotion. It’s almost as if the discussion is about whether it may rain or not that day. Kids roll off the details of the shootings as if it doesn’t affect them at all. The numbness and disconnectedness to such tragedy is terrifying to me. When life, anyone’s life, is struck down and the pain, suffering, and hopelessness is suppressed or the ability to feel is completely absent from others in the community (or in the city for that matter) we are in a desperate place. This was different though. A friend of mine told me he was going to the funeral and hoping that God might speak to him there. Just maybe God might grant him some hope towards change. He looked me in the eyes and said that he woke up that morning with no desire to keep ‘doing the things he had been doing for so long’. Another godly friend looked at him and said, “you have the desire, but you don’t have the power. The good news is that God gives both the desire and the power. You can’t change this on your own…you can’t change yourself… you can’t change this neighborhood… you can’t become who you want to become without God’s power. Forgiveness for our sins and power to change can only come from Him though Christ.” That discussion has led to many more with this man and others since the death. I believe God is working out even the death of the young man for his glory. Please pray for us in this window of opportunity. May we be wise with the 70 kids as we share our faith with them during our 8-week camp this summer. We have them all day, every weekday with us. They are off of the streets, they are hearing God’s word and are being loved on by our staff, interns, and volunteers, and they are being confronted with the Gospel. Also, God has moved powerfully in front of us with others we have been building relationships with. A major door has opened with a group of men between the ages of 19 and 35. They are watching and listening. God is at work.

Current needs:
Financial :
1. Would you consider ‘adopting a camper’ for the summer? We have 70 kids in our 8-week camp this summer. They skate, bowl, swim, go to movies, do theatre and drama training (girls) and so many other fun and recreational activities weekly along with the bible study. The last week of our camp we are taking most, if not all, of those kids away for a 5-day camping experience at Blue Lake Retreat. We are trying to raise $400.00 per kid to cover our summer cost. Would you, your business, or your Sunday school class consider supporting one of these kids?

2. Would you consider making a one-time donation towards the completion of our building? We are very close! We are anticipating the building being complete by August 10th, the first day of school!
Grunt work and Labor needs: -We need help with some brickwork around some windows. -Heavy equipment and dump truck(s) to move some dirt from one end of our property to the other to complete some site work. -Need workers (skilled and almost skilled!) (See below)

*****Work day this Saturday (July 18th)*****

Painting, vinyl floor installation, installing ceramic tile, scraping some old tiles up, clean-up, weed eating, building a retaining wall, hanging a ceiling grid for a drop ceiling, Take trash from the warehouse to the dumpster, frame up and enclose a couple openings, and anything else we can think of!
If you are up for the challenge, please email Mike Bunce (Mike@cgmal.org) and tell him you are coming so he can plan the various jobs and get materials ready.