Multi-Housing Ministries

LuAnn Turner
LuAnn TurnerCBGC Consultant for Multi-Housing Ministries

 LuAnn would be happy to answer your questions or to speak to your church group about Multi-Housing Ministries.

Team Work in Multi-Housing Ministry

by LuAnn Turner

WOW! I love working with Christian Challenge! We had groups from the School of Mines and CU Boulder join us for 4 days of spring break, and they were amazing to work with! The days were full, and these servants worked joyfully, sharing Jesus’ light with children, teens and adults in our communities.

The Gospel went out as they shared the Easter story at two of our locations along with hot dogs and Easter egg hunts! They also taught and shared at our church services and kid’s clubs, and then lived the Gospel as they played endlessly with children and teens!

When asked what he liked best about Easter, one child said, “that you came.”

When they delivered bags of cookies (after baking 700!), inviting people to Easter services, they were surprised at the responses. They would knock and say they were with the church. At that, people’s sometimes suspicious, hard countenances would soften, and many would say, “We love the church.”

After hearing the testimony of one college student, one of our teens, obviously touched, said, “That is my story.”

One of the teens who lives at one of our communities, but who has never joined us, never once, even though she has lived there most of her life, joined this team when they went to the rec center. She has been accepted at the School of Mines, and needs some friends there to help her with what will be a massive adjustment. In a moment, God gave her that!

He gave her new friends who will not only be key to her continuing in college once she arrives there, but who, I’m sure, in time will invite her to spend eternity with Jesus.

I watched two Spanish speaking collegiate have a heart-felt conversation with a woman new to our country and who barely speaks English. We saw college students during their “down-time” sit on the floor and play games with children desperate for a few minutes of attention. In another example of God’s perfect timing, two college missionaries delivered beds to a woman who said, “I’ve never slept in a bed before.”

In America, 85% of people who are Christians accepted Christ between the ages of 4 and 14. It is a privilege to be out in the world among a population who is not inclined to step into our traditional churches. In fact, 98% of apartment dwellers do not have any church connection. For the light to be seen, it must be in the darkness, and these young missionaries gave part of their Spring breaks to do just that.

Wess Spafford, former President of Compassion International,  in his book Just a Minute, wrote “I have become convinced that if God stands a child before you, for even just a minute, it is a divine appointment.” He continues, “ But I know from my childhood, my academic studies, and now decades of serving the poor that the real root of poverty lies well beneath these visible conditions.

It’s the message it breathes into the heart of even very little children: Give up. Nobody cares about you. Nothing will ever change. You are nothing and always will be. What we at Compassion do is rush to those dying embers before the glow is gone completely.”

It is also what we in Multi-Housing do. It is what these college students did. We fan the embers, praying for a life-changing, eternity changing fire to blaze.  We encourage parents with what we provide for them, and to most, more importantly, what we provide for their children. Everyone needs a minute from someone who cares about them. All we do is that. We give minutes, glimpses of Jesus. And His mere presence through us fans flames.

What a joy! What a privilege! And what fun and blessing to do it alongside such quality, love-filled young adults!

Ministry Effective in Crisis

by LuAnn Turner

A two year old was murdered at Green Gables. This tragedy touched every family there, and many were deeply affected by the loss of a family member and child they knew and loved. As news unfolded, many were then impacted by the arrest of a friend and family member. For most, it was like a hurricane had uprooted their security and stability. Some of these were children. Children who lived in the home or were often in the home. Children who love the accused.

Because the Multi-Housing ministry has been present in this community for several years, we have really lived life with the residents there.  We felt the pain and are walking through the darkness with them.

A two year old was murdered at Green Gables. This tragedy touched every family there, and many were deeply affected by the loss of a family member and child they knew and loved. As news unfolded, many were then impacted by the arrest of a friend and family member. For most, it was like a hurricane had uprooted their security and stability. Some of these were children. Children who lived in the home or were often in the home. Children who love the accused.

Because the Multi-Housing ministry has been present in this community for several years, we have really lived life with the residents there.  We felt the pain and are walking through the darkness with them.

Through all of this God has brought more broken and grieving people into our lives.  He has given an opportunity for his church to be a light in the darkness. He has filled a few of our teen boys with a hunger to know the Bible better as they battle nightmares and anger.

Kavon writes, “Immediately following the tragic event the family was not allowed to return to their own apartment and they were without food and access to their clothes for almost an entire week.   The look on the face of the grandmother when I handed her a meal was priceless.  She asked where we were from as she wondered why I would bring them food. Tears came to her eyes when I told her we are the church here at Green Gables, and we are here just to love on you guys.”

Fruit of the Spirit, Alive and in Action

by LuAnn Turner

This summer I have the privilege of working with both a North American Mission Board Church planting intern, and an intern team of college students. The Bible lessons they are teaching are from Galatians 5:22, 23, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” It is my joy to not only watch them teach it, but to live it out in the world where it is needed most.

I continue to be amazed at how easy it is to let someone know of Jesus’ love for them. A member of our community, Linda, lost her son two years ago this month. He left behind a wife and two very young children. Linda, disabled herself, watches the children every day while mom works. She often sits outside her apartment while the kids play. Unfortunately she no longer had useable chairs. We had two very inexpensive plastic chairs that we gave her. Her gratitude was so big that it trickled down her cheek in the form of tears. This dear woman could not have been more grateful.

Last week at a kid’s club at one of our 9 summer locations, a 12 year old girl was the only attender. She had grown up with both abuse and a hearing loss. She wore a large, out-dated hearing aide, and of course, was often made fun of by other kids. After the lesson one of the interns took her swimming. Although initially reluctant and cautious, after a bit she began to laugh and have fun, thoroughly enjoying the one-on-one attention. Gregory Boyle in his book Tattoos on the Heart, describes such children as “dry sponges looking for the slightest drop of adult attention.” We serve many such children and adults. Our society is filled with them.

On Sunday during a lesson on the expansive, abundant forgiveness of our God, one pre-teen said, “My life is dark and miserable.” And so we shine a light into the darkness as best we can. Because of all the rain this summer, we have had more than our usual opportunities to spend time with individual or small groups. So as I have grumbled about the weather, God has clearly and repeatedly said, “I am the God of the wind and the rain, and I have this. I know what I am doing.”

 

One of our women had surgery this summer. When I visited her in a brand new rehab facility she said, “I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’m really having fun here.” It was air conditioned, she had a view of the mountains, and the food was good. She got to watch movies and had people treating her with great kindness….all things I take for granted in my life.

And so it is with gratitude that we move into our world, carrying a light in the form of pizza, plastic chairs, and swimming. A little kindness. A lot of joy.