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True Ministry

Okay parents, it’s time to let you know about how God is working in your kids. They are all in bed – we are battling a quick onsetting stomach flu (I had it last night for a few hours), yet we are in an incredible spot together as a team.

First off, our team has taken on the tasks that have been given them and worked as though they are working for God. They have finished a lot of ministries earlier than scheduled, which leads us to the events of today. Our first team that we sent out was responsible for food truck ministry. After giving out food, praying for people, and returning to the dream center, the team chose to wash the Dream Center trucks for them. Then, we organized a birthday party for one of the Dream Centre Disciples after completing a ministry with him. God is working through this team in beautiful ways. He’s moving them beyond the ministry and into creating their lives as ministry. Beautiful.

Would like to share a few other moments with you as well. As a dad, I saw my first baby on skid row the other day. He was in a stroller very much like the ones that we see around Sherwood Park. Mom and I were talking, and the father showed up and walked across the street to collect on some unfinished business deal. My heart was broken to watch as baby in stroller was put into the middle of a business deal down on Skid Row. So we continue to pray…

This is the latest update, and one of the most incredible things that has happened to me in my lifetime, and it just happened after church. The circumstances are of God, and nothing else. On Monday, I was walking our kids through Skid Row for the first time, and stopped in front of Midnight Mission (google it) to talk with a homeless person named Reggie. Reggie was incredibly articulate and kind, and led us on a tour through Skid Row, ending up at LAMP (another ministry down there). Reggie and I really hit it off, and he talked to the kids about the realities of skid and the value of their education and having a plan B (a big topic around here). On Wednesday, we returned to Skid Row to serve a meal alongside Volunteers of America and the Dream Center. During that time, I dropped off the kids at the organization and had to go find parking. I found parking two streets over, and was praying that I would run into Reggie (a statistical impossibility given the nature and impermanence of homelessness). I found Reggie on a street as I was running to get change for the parking meter (actually running). We talked and I asked if he would come inside the Volunteers of America for a meal. He agreed, and actually showed up 30 minutes later. Incredible. It was a blessing to see him. During that time, the team met and found an 18 year old kid who was wanting to get off skid row and come to live at the Dream Center. That’s a beautiful story in itself.

This is where it gets crazy. We showed up at the Thursday night church service at Angelus Temple and got called on stage to sing our national anthem. The kids volunteered me to be their lead singer (poor choice) and in the end, your kids sang beautifully. As we were up on stage, we were also on the big screen and we were recognized by everyone in the crowd. Again, this is where the beauty of God comes in. The one person who was there who recognized us was Reggie. He had taken the bus from Skid Row to Angelus, just to talk with us, and see if we could get him in off the street. He came up to me after the service to a huge hug and just wept. After talking to everyone we knew at the Dream Center, we got Reggie an application (all the beds are perpetually full at the Dream Center). Carson and I prayed for Reggie, that he would get in tonight (which is important when you have to return to Skid Row) and as we were literally praying, a bed opened up. At age 64, Reggie is coming in off the streets and entering the Dream Center Discipleship Program. We thank God for this miracle, and we continue to pray that he will seek God and see God.

I can’t tell you enough how much this experience has shaken my faith in such an incredible way. The team here at DC has been talking to Reggie for months, and God used us to allow Reggie to get away from the life at Skid Row.

About Shaun

Most comfortable with people shorter than him, Shaun is able to leap over smaller people, medium-sized playground equipment and little barking dogs in a single bound. He is the proud father of a tall, a surfer, and a bobblehead, and is married to an incredible teammate named Michelle. As a religious education teacher and Pastor, Shaun desires to build community and discussion within the emerging generations. He is deeply passionate about digging for the 'real', and loves being around people who strive for authenticity. Shaun also happens to think that the phrase "baby bok choi" is possibly the most hilarious combination of words in the history of humanity.

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  1. Good Morning Team … I trust you had a good nights sleep. It has been a true blessing to hear of the great work you have done while in LA and how God has opened your eyes and your hearts to show you his love thru the people of skid row, the Dream Centre and the tasks (however humble) you’ve been performing. How you as a young team have been able to share his love with this community in ways I’m sure many of you couldn’t even imagine.
    We are so so proud of each and everyone of you – I hope you are feeling better. Take care with you final days in LA and look forward to seeing you arrive safe and sound tomorrow!
    A verse from Romans … “God is kind but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life change.”

  2. Marti Vanderveen

    Praise be to God!! Thank you Shaun for giving us those glimpses into what God is doing in & through you and the rest of the team and how you all are experiencing it! Our God is a great big God…as the song goes! So thankful that most are feeling better and praying for your last hours to be God filled as you continue serving with your eyes & hearts wide open to whatever God wants to show you, say to you, do in you…
    Soooo very proud and inspired by all of you!

    Love you and miss you Mikayla. A Big big hug to you. Mom<3

  3. What an amazing account this is about God placing us in just the right place at just the right time, and how fantastic for you all to experience this! So thankful for this. It’s unbelievable how God will line everything up for his purpose! I pray that God will provide a similar miracle for the young family you met with the baby, and so many others like them on the streets. Praying that everyone is in good health, and that the next two days will be a good finish to an awesome week. So looking forward to hearing all about it! See you soon!

  4. Praise God from whom all blessings & miracles flow. Rejoicing with you, to God be the glory great things he has done!! I pray God will continue to use you for his glory and give you strength and faith to finish well!! For your last couple days I pray Col 1:10-12: “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light!!”

  5. Markus & Christine

    WOW…God is so Good, isn’t He? You, this, has been such a blessing to even us back home. It is so neat to read the postings and comments of what God is doing in and through you guys. And also to read the notes of encouragement and support. AWESOME….God is Good, He is Faithful!
    Thank you to all for being such a blessing.
    This has been an amazing experience.

  6. We’re thinking of all of you as you experience Good Friday, watching as God works through the worst of times to bring a message of hope and of joy beyond circumstances. During the service this morning, I found that I was engrossed in thoughts and prayers for you in whatever God has for you on this last full day, and for Reggie as he embarks on a journey of freedom. I am overcome with how God works through people, and with gratitude for his goodness. I know that we will be seeing Easter in a whole new light this year. God is so worthy of our praise!

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