God answers prayer! We believe it!!!

Last year, we decided to be intentional in asking the Lord to send help.  We are writing today to tell you that God is faithful, He continues to answer the prayers of His people.  In one instance, a local church partner committed to praying for us for the entire month last April.  The results were amazing, and we believe were attributable directly to their faithfulness in prayer! That month was the beginning of major breakthroughs on several fronts in our work here in Regent Park. 

If you have been following us on Facebook, or receive our e-newsletter, you are well aware of the many, great things that happened in 2018. We are grateful. Even late in the year, we received some significant help from an Eastern Michigan University marketing class to help us to be more consistent in event posting, neighborhood news, etc. As we write today, we have a U of M class that is working to help us increase the awareness of our work and build our support base going into 2020 and beyond. God answers prayer!

To date, we have more interest in volunteering than in any other time in our history. We began this year knowing that we needed help in coordinating volunteer events here in the community. This role is particularly important as our work uniquely engages volunteers in ways that are both memorable and transformative. A volunteer coordinator would ensure that we are intentional in our efforts to make sure that the transformative nature of our work is understood by our volunteers. One of our church partners pointed us to a person who is particularly gifted to help in this important role. So, if you’re thinking of participating in one of our volunteer events this year, you will be pleased to know that we have a streamlined process of getting folks on board with our work. That’s because God answers prayer!

In the past 90 days, we have sold 4 homes! It is so exciting welcoming new families to Regent Park! It is really catching on that there are great things happening here! In fact, have you heard about the Ford Motor Company’s “30 under 30” program? In it, their young talent has the opportunity to apply design thinking to a select group of non-profits each year, with the purpose of taking an idea and making it transformative in nature over a period of 8 months.  We feel really honored, and are excited to see what these young talented people come up with over the next 8 months!

Now is the time when we begin thinking and planning for our summer camping season, events for seniors, neighborhood beautification, youth employment, and so much more.  It’s a time when we see our neighbors more frequently and engage regularly. We can’t express how excited we are!  And we are also prayerful; prayerful that God will continue to provide the needed partners and resources to see this work to completion.

Perhaps you can pray with us. Even more, you might pray how God might direct your heart to partner with us in some significant way. 

Influence That Made Headlines...

For the past few weeks, I have been writing about influence. When you read the words #InfluenceDetroit, it's natural that questions would be raised. Hopefully, I've been answering some of those questions here, along the way. I'd like to take the 'influence' topic a little further.

 

Perhaps it is best that I tell you about a recent thing that our community just celebrated. Seven years ago, several individuals partnered with us so that we could purchase the abandoned Tracy Macgregor Elementary School. Since then, no fewer that 50 individuals, corporations, and foundations have donated time, talent, and resources that ultimately resulted in the opening of a state of art Early Childhood Education center for the families of the Regent Park Community.  

All of those who supported us saw something! Perhaps that 'something' was simply a great need; a huge deficit that they could help alleviate.  In the beginning, our partners could not have had anything more than great faith to give at those early stages.  Today, they can say, along with so many others, “look what God has done”. 

Partnerships of all types and sizes - that’s what has made this opening possible.  A lot of hard work has been done. Work like this excited our partners and our community, because for both, it shows that Lifebuilders is about far more than restoring houses. The opening of this center is all about people! It's about children… it's about FAMILIES!  

In case you missed it, you should take a moment to check out our recent television interview, where we discuss the opening of this new facility, and what it means for Regent Park.

So much is in store for 2019. As you begin to set your mind toward new resolutions, this might be a great opportunity to consider how much you will partner with (or partner more with) LifeBUILDERS this coming year?

In Him,

Larry Johnson

Individuals DO Have Influence!

For the last 2 weeks we have been talking about Influence.  Each of us have some Influence.  It’s a matter of how, and for what, we decide to use it.  People know when something matters to us.  Let me share with you how some people have shown us they want to have an influence.  Maybe you’ll see how even a small amount, added together with others, can make a big INFLUENCE.

Just this month, we hosted our annual Community Christmas Store. Talk about influence! Churches, businesses and individuals provided hundreds of gifts for families in our community. Families were able to provide incredible gifts for their loved ones this season!

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 Individuals gave to our Parkway Education Fund to provide scholarships for kids from our community, and now, eight students are soaring in college preparatory academics.

All year-round, individuals, corporate teams, universities, and churches, all donate their time to help us with beautification, home repairs, and blight removal in the community. The results are residents that can take great pride in the community which they call home.

Individuals offer up their time to be with teens and younger children throughout the year as teachers, mentors, or drivers.   

Individuals faithfully give $50, $100 or more each month enabling us to impact our community in many different ways, addressing glaring deficits in the community.  Think of the impact of 500 people giving $100 each per month. That’s $50,000!

There are 2,200 homes in the neighborhood we serve, called Regent Park.  More importantly, 10,000 residents. Consider what YOUR influence might be! Notice how many individuals I noted above? That could be YOU!

Larry Johnson