The Connection

Connecting Ministry Partners with the Mission
February 2010 Volume 1, Issue 3

Mindy Sue Colvin
Mindy.Colvin@uscm.org (269) 908-0611

The Haven
Since moving to Charlottesville in November I’ve been somewhat bored with my extra time. I spent a couple hours each day working on fundraising, making phone calls and sending out letters, but that left a lot of time on my hands. I tried finding a part-time job but the students had snatched all of them up before I arrived. That’s why I was so excited to hear about a homeless shelter downtown that needed volunteers. This would be a great opportunity for me to get involved in the community, get to know more people and make connections and give of the one thing God has provided abundantly: time. Come to find out the shelter, called The Haven, was a work in progress and wasn’t open yet. I waited for two months but am happy to report to you now, after a month and a half of volunteering, of this enriching experience. I had never worked with the homeless before. As I thought about my potential encounters I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous for my safety. This is an issue many of us volunteers faced so the directors of the Haven addressed it during the volunteer orientation. I have been enlightened by the hard facts that the homeless population is more likely to be a victim of crime than a perpetrator. The homeless often have jobs but have lost their homes due to circumstances outside their control. I am at the shelter four days a week helping guests with their laundry, giving them storage or sometimes just doing a jigsaw puzzle! Every day is a little different. Yes, I’ve met a lot of new friends, most of whom are homeless. I want to share with you one of them, Thomas. He is a senior citizen, a widower, an alcoholic and a lover of Jesus. Some days I spend time praying and reading the Bible with him, other times I have to calm him down so he doesn’t start throwing punches at other guests. He’s a complex character but I wouldn’t trade his friendship for anything. How could I when everyday on his way to the soup kitchen he offers to take me out to lunch. When I’m at the Haven I’m overwhelmed with joy. The people I encounter during my two hour shift have gone through things I can’t even imagine and yet they continue to choose their happiness. Every day. What a blessing, that God has given me this time to be a blessing to others.

Prayer Requests: • UVA’s spring break is next week! A group of students are headed to NYC to serve the community there. Pray for those who don’t know Jesus, that this would bring them closer to him. • Continued support raising • Final applications for Summer Project are in! Pray for the staff as they review them and place students in locations across the globe for a challenging summer of growth and renewal. • Our neXt2010 conference was canceled due to snow. Please pray for the Juniors and Seniors as they begin to make decisions about what to do in their next stage of life. • Three women who are guests at the Haven are pregnant. They and their husbands are looking for homes for their children and jobs to provide for them.

Support Update
This month had a lot of ups and downs as far as financial support goes. I have gained some and lost some more. It is frustrating and discouraging at times until I remember who is in control. I received permission to adjust my support goals to help me report to campus sooner. I am currently at 82% of my goal! I still have a few open ended contacts and waiting to hear back about group and church presentations. Please pray that God would move people to partner with me in this mission. At this point it has been over a year since I began this journey of Ministry Partner Development. Many of you have been giving faithfully as we wait for the much anticipated ‘report to campus’. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. I can understand that it may be difficult to make financial sacrifices and not see how God is using it immediately. It is also difficult for me to continue receiving gifts in these circumstances. However, the funds in my account have been accumulating over the last several months. If I complete my MPD by May I will be able to go on our summer mission trip back to Acadia Nat’l Park in Maine and all of the costs will be covered. Praise God!

To Donate: Call 1-888-CRUSADE ~ email egift@ccci.org ~ go online http://give.ccci.org/give/0593522

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