When New Year’s 2020 approached, I heard many speaking about 2020 being “the year of clear vision.” Instead, this has been a year of pandemic, economic troubles, racial strife and deep political divisions in our nation. Fear and uncertainty have touched all levels of our society. This is not at all what any of us anticipated for 2020!
As we at UHM reach the end of this year and look back, we are amazed at how God has directed UHM into more fruitful ministry despite these difficult times!
At The Harvest Center in the South Bronx, the Lord led us to implement a new emphasis of community outreach. We began with 40 days of prayer and fasting along with five weeks of equipping in sharing our faith with relevance and prayer to tear down strongholds. What has resulted has amazed us! More is taking place this year in fruitful outreach in our South Bronx community than in recent years combined! The Gospel is the answer to all the fear, uncertainty, and hopelessness that abounds around us. Thank God, the true answer Jesus is touching the hearts of people in our community and they are responding!
In Detroit, a city ravaged by the pandemic, discipleship has expanded! Personal mentoring of young adults through the IGNITE Ministry has increased rather than decreased. Young men who had never heard the Gospel are coming to Bible studies in the chapel with their Bibles discussing what it means to serve Jesus in their world. They are growing in their faith! In addition to these things, we are providing all of the fixings for a full Christmas feast for 35 needy families through out Adopt-a-Family for Christmas outreach, and God continues to open doors in the Muslim community. If there is an effect on our cities this year, it is only that the harvest fields are riper than ever before!
We are also prepared to launch a new ministry – The Bridge School of Ministry. The focus of The Bridge is to empower in Great Commission by providing a deeper foundation in sharing our faith and relational discipleship, by strengthening spiritual foundations, and by preparing for greater servant-leadership roles in the local church and community. Topics of study include servant leadership, Christian living, discipleship, worship, evangelism and outreach, empowerment of the poor, reaching the unchurched, doctrine, examining modern theological trends, local church ministry, and child discipleship. We will launch in January! Classes are offered on Zoom. If you are interested, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Please share about this opportunity with those you know who may be interested in participating.
We were deeply concerned about our finances when the pandemic hit. Our giving fell to 35% of usual in the month of March. Then the Spirit of God moved! Special offerings arrived to help make up the gap and some of our monthly partners increased their giving. Because of the faithfulness and generosity of these individuals, God has helped UHM to not miss one step in providing for the doors of ministry that continue to open.
We are truly grateful to God! By His hands and the prayers and support of our partners, the Lord has expanded the ministry of Urban Harvest during this difficult year, and He has opened doors for the year to come! All honor and praise to Jesus for all of these things!
I began this letter by saying that I heard many speaking about 2020 being “the year of clear vision” when New Year’s approached. Many would look at this year of pandemic, economic troubles, racial strife and deep political divisions and say that this was certainly not true. BUT I DISAGREE! We have never in the history of our nation had a clearer choice laid before us. JESUS is the only answer! I believe we see that more clearly in our nation than ever before!
As we reach the end of this year, we ask you to consider UHM for an end-of-year gift. We know that God will sow it into fruitful ministry in the South Bronx, Detroit, and beyond! And we pray that He will bring abundant blessings to you in return!
God’s Word is definitely true: “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Thank You, God, for all that You have done, and thank You, God, for all that you are about to do!
Merry Christmas to you! May God bless you this Christmas season and the coming year!