We have visited many homeless ministries over the years, but none like 2nd Chance. Pastor Kootama used to work on the Chrysler assembly line. He took the buy-out and used the money to begin a ministry to the homeless in Southwest Detroit. His approach was not to establish a place for them to sleep and eat, but to plant a church for the homeless and hopeless that would bring the hope of Christ and begin to repair their lives. Pastor Kootama loves them, and they know it. They come to his church not for a meal and a bed, but to worship and be built up in Jesus Christ. He helps them get birth certificates and ID’s. He reunites them with their families and starts them on a road of healing and restoration.
Amber is one of those people. We met Amber at a Prayer Station in Downtown Detroit. She had just gotten out of jail and had nowhere to go. We bought her a meal and Lidia spent time with her to share God’s love and plans for her life. We then took her to 2nd Chance and introduced her to Pastor Kootama. He got her a bed at a shelter and then began the process to reunite her with her family. Before she left to go home, Amber’s face was shining with joy as she testified about how God was beginning a new life for her.
A very important part of our work in Detroit is to build partnerships with ministries like 2nd Chance. We stand with these ministries to encourage them and to empower them to be an even greater impact in their ministries. We introduce them to pastors and churches in the Detroit area so that they can build partnerships together. Pastor Mike and Ferndale Assembly are one of those churches. Since we introduced them to 2nd Chance, Pastor Mike has led his people to join in homeless outreach with Pastor Kootama. They recently prepared 60 lunches and walked the streets with Pastor Kootama to share Christ’s love with those in need. Pastor Mike’s church is committed to continue this. They have been deeply touched by their experience, and God is opening their eyes to the needs of their city.
God is always moving! He reaches out to a hurting, homeless soul like Amber and starts her on a new life. He encourages Pastor Kootama in his vital work of compassion. He brings churches like Ferndale Assembly and Pastor Mike to serve them and stand with us to help them in their mission.
Urban Harvest Ministries is in the middle of this, used by God’s hands to make these things happen.