Send us your stories to post! We want YOUR account of what God is doing at Adullam and throughout our city. What are you learning? What are you taking back to your community? Feel free to send us images, text, artwork, music, anything! All content will be edited to be family-friendly. :D
Click Here to send us an email or find out how to contact us.
by Melissa Stanton | January 2, 2013
The decay of internal holiness is unquestionably the source of many sins that have appeared in the world. All these would be overthrown if inward devotion were reestablished… Oh, how inexpressibly great is the loss sustained by the man who neglects his inner spiritual man! What an account will those have to give who are entrusted with the care of souls, yet have not communicated this hidden treasure to their flock…The reason we have been largely unsuccessful in reforming mankind is that we have dealt with external matters rather than internal. If we deal first with the matters of the heart, the outward concerns will follow quite naturally…To teach a man to seek God in his heart, to think of Him, to return to Him whenever he has wandered, and to have a single focus on pleasing Him, is leading that person to the source of all grace. There he will find everything necessary for sanctification.
by Phil Bender | November 13, 2012
Awe and wonder. Have you felt those emotions lately? Have you felt the awe and wonder at the sight of the Father unfolding this beautiful mission of love among us lately? It happens to me all the time here, usually when I hear another of the constant stream of stories of some amazing thing God has done through one or a group of us or how he has miraculously provided a need in some way.
If you didn't know it, we had our first
Adullam Advisory Board meeting a couple of Sunday's ago. There must have been 15 or so of
us there, each representing a different facet of what God is doing in our
midst. And there were still others who
were not able to make it who could have been there. That is a lot of
representing! I was in awe of God again just sitting there with everyone as I
witnessed the vision of God's mission to the inner city of
is on this beautiful, amazing mission to the inner city of
Then the eleven disciples went to
Jesus' last words to us before He ascended to his Father's right hand were the mission assignment all of us were to be engaged in until this age finally comes to a conclusion. We call it the Great Commission. And it is great. Its such exciting stuff! We actually have a clearly articulated, God-given purpose that we all get to focus on together! No confusion or doubt as to what it is. No ambiguity. We don't have to fret and wonder about what we are supposed to be doing with our lives.
Now, I understand that the specifics of how it gets walked out by each of us may not
be so clear all the time. We walk by faith, not sight. Missions are adventures and adventures by definition mean not always knowing what's coming next. But I'm humbled by the fact that the almighty God, our Papa, the holy, exalted, infinitely amazing, living God actually desires that frail, broken, needy little ones like us join him in his work of reclaiming a lost world. And this mission is a thing that just consumes his loving heart. He cares for us and the world so much! All of us are the most precious thing in creation to him. And he goes and invites us to join him in what he's doing. Whoa! What a privilege! What an honor!
I'm bringing this up because ever since my wife Emily and I became connected to Adullam two years ago I have been blown away by the heart for Papa's mission that lives in all of you. I'm serious here. This is not flattery. Its true. I pray you will receive it and be encouraged by it. Because I believe our Papa is delighted with the hearts of His kids.
Whether it's the prayer meeting on Monday
night, or the outreaches, the summer work projects, or the different ministries
and volunteers partnering with us, I see it over and over again. This
passionate desire to love the city of
So, if you are reading this and are connected in any way to Adullam I want to start by saying "God BLESS you" for the love of God that beats your hearts so strongly that you have joined the Father in his mission in this place! May his desire to love the world grow in you more and more.
The other thing I've noticed over my time here is another thing that burns in you all: love for God. A love that is willing to lay down anything so that it can know Him better. A love that lays aside distractions to seek him and spend time getting to know him better. I see it in the atmosphere of hunger for God and his Presence that we experience at prayer on Monday nights, or on our worship nights. It was there during our first 24 hours of non-stop prayer in our prayer room we did last August. And its there during the 12 hour worship Burns we started last month.
The bible teaches us that worship is why we're alive. Did you notice the word "worship" in this famous passage on mission? I missed it for a long time. Every time I would see it I focused on the mission part (not that thats bad!). I missed the worship! I missed that the disciples came to Jesus and were transfixed at the sight of him that day! They were overcome one more time by how amazing he is!
And Jesus didn't jump right in and start dialoguing with them. He let them experience the glory of Him and received their worship before he launched into what they were supposed to be doing. The text says "When they saw him they worshiped him". First they worship, then they get their mission. First they get close to him and catch a fresh vision of all he is, and only then do they get their mission.
* I don't know about you, but I am usually tempted to do it the other way around! I want to get busy doing stuff for God. And then afterwards I try to get to the worship and intimacy. Life is busy! Ministry can be very busy!
But I believe the only way the mission of God is ever truly accomplished by us is when we do what the disciples did and put our mission and worship in the right order. When falling head over heels in love with him is our highest priority. When its even more important to us than the mission he gave us. When intimately knowing him is the highest priority of our lives-so much so that our calendars and to-do lists prove it. When God's glory and love are actually being experienced by each of us on some level.
I'm sharing this because this is the heart I see in the community at Adullam and I long for it to be our heart for as long as God chooses to allow us to be here. My prayer for us is that this love in us will only grow stronger and stronger as time goes on. That seeking his face together will always be our highest priority.
God has given us an amazing team of folks who are dedicating themselves to help facilitate a lifestyle of intimacy with God. We have Monday night prayer. We have monthly worship nights where we gather to simply be with God together, worship, and pray. We just had our first "Burn", 12 hours of non-stop worship and prayer in the presence of God. And in August we launched our Adullam prayer room and did our first 24 hours of non-stop prayer together. Everyone associated with Adullam in any way, really anyone in our city, is invited to come and join us in seeking him at any of these times. We will be working on making sure the calendar on the website is updated with all things worship and prayer so you can know whets going on. And we will be working on communicating via email with the Adullam family on all that is happening.
I would like to continue to share things related to prayer or other topics on the blog from time to time. I hope they will be an encouragement.
Its a privilege to be on his mission with all of you. But its also my total joy to seek him with you, find him, and fall more in love with him together. I don't want that to ever stop!
Bless you all.
by Priscilla Grabosch | September 12, 2012
Well, summer has finally wound itself down with the onset of the school year and the strange absence of children's voices echoing through the warehouse. We're ready for a new season, but I'd like to share a few stories and inspiring news events from the last few months of ministry. My only question is, "Are you sitting down?"
So the summer started the week before our kids were done with school for the year with a group of YouthWorks students who came for a week to work on the building project. All of our volunteer staff members were excited to have eager workers to start on all of the projects that we had been holding off on for months. Willie was so anxious, he started some of the projects without the students!
I had tried very hard to organize jobs and printed out cards and posted information on a bulletin board. I set up a little break room for the students and made sure I had maps of the building printed so no one got lost. Steve and I were heading south with our kids for two weeks to visit family, so I wanted to get everything ready so the volunteer leadership wouldn't be completely lost. Well, by the time we left later that week, several of the jobs from that board were already done. Hmmm. I threw up my hands and decided I couldn't worry about it. We were leaving and needed a vacation and family time, so we left and didn't give it much more thought.
God knew exactly what everyone needed. He swept in like Superman's cape and brought needed leadership and connections. Sara and Kelly were doing tours and leading crews in cleaning and gardening. Willie was leading groups scrubbing up the donated kitchen equipment and painting the board-up windows on the outside of the building. Kylie was plugging away at finishing walls. Katie and Tina were teaching kids how to sort donations. Greg executed the delivery of carpet squares, which ended up laid out on the second floor. He sent us pictures so we could see how pretty it looked.
We arrived back to Milwaukee so relieved that they pulled it off without us. The building looked amazing, and although they were tired, these servants had taken the reigns and proved themselves to be capable of running this ministry. You see, Steve and I are pioneers, as Melissa put it when she prayed over us. She said, "You're not good settlers". We know that we can't do everything and lead everyone. We are here to plant. But the people (gifts) that God has brought together for this time, for this place ... they are here to settle.
On with the story.... Last fall David Potter from YouthWorks decided he wanted to bless our community with the opportunity for Adullam to host the YouthWorks weekly Community Cookouts. We were gracious, and went along with the plan. I can't speak for Steve, but I was completely amazed at the impact this weekly event made on our community. Every single Thursday night from June 7th through August 2nd, the YouthWorks staff and students cooked up and served a hot, delicious, and nutritious meal and offered it for free to anyone who came. They fed anywhere from 100 to 200 people each week, through rain or snow (it didn't snow). It did rain twice if I remember right, and against my judgement the event was held inside after Steve and Willie came asking me with puppy dog eyes.
Glen Moore came one evening and performed an impromptu hip hop concert, which everyone totally loved. Then he kept coming back every week. The kids starting learning his songs, and "Where my soldiers at? [Hey, hey]" became somewhat of an anthem. For the final event we were treated to professional photography by Vanessa Berghuis of vJoy Photography who served so sweetly and captured the absolute beauty of those moments and the people of our diverse community. Please visit this link to see what I'm talking about. It literally brings tears to my eyes because THIS IS WHY WE SERVE.
Saying goodbye to YouthWorks and Next Step staff was bittersweet. Many of those leaders we will never see again, but some of them promise to come back to visit or even work for us. These connections are the body of Christ. We've already had a phone call from Paul with Next Step who will be bringing a group of students in October for a work day. We've also had several emails from leaders and staff who plan to get involved with Adullam in the near future. This has prompted us to develop our intern program so we're a little more organized and focused with how and what we offer.
Focus is a huge glaring issue for us right now. We've had two meetings to address the need for additional staff because the weight of responsibility in so many areas is lying entirely on Steve and I. He basically takes on anything building-related, and I take on anything administrative. Combine this with the balancing act of parenthood, personal relationship with God, and the responsibility of raising our own support, and we are facing burnout on an almost daily basis. Enter Arthur Burk, founder of the Sapphire Leadership Group, an international think-tank addressing various issues in community using Biblical principles. Arthur spent a Sunday evening and extra-long Monday with us, observing, analyzing, encouraging, and teaching. He told us stories so we could relate. He spoke into our lives and provided clear direction on how we can focus. This visit took place in mid-August, and we are still processing a month later. Adullam also now has a lending library of various teachings, a gift from Arthur to our ministry.
This year has been the incredible stride forward that we anticipated. In August, we hosted our first Urban Camping Experience, inviting Steve Clark's church youth group down from Wausau to serve with us at the Southside Outreach on the 25th. This was a huge success, so we are planning to continue offering this to church groups. Kelly Reynolds has offered to help organize work groups, and we actually have a men's group coming for the weekend later in September. They will be helping us with some projects around the building to get us ready for winter.
For 8 weeks this summer we were blessed with help from an HR professional through Adonai Employment who developed our Employee/Volunteer Handbook as well as processes for varied administrative tasks. She kept everyone in line with her no-nonsense attitude and knowledge of how to do things the right way, rather than "flying by the seat of our pants". These things are necessary as we grow.
Speaking of growing, our community garden has produced an abundance of vegetables! Groundwork Milwaukee helped us build the raised beds and provided the soil for them back in June. Home Depot, Misty Harris, and Delisa White provided plants. Sara kept the garden watered all summer, during the drought, earning the right to call it "Sara's Garden", and now we're harvesting perfect, delicious tomatoes,eggplant, basil, and peppers. Watermelons are next to ripen!
I know the month isn't over yet, but I want to give a little update on things in the works.
- Official offer of employment to Greg Clark, our fundraising coordinator, also serves as "electrician", "security guru", "database administrator/developer", "accomplished pianist", "RC car racer", and most importantly "Theresa Clark's husband"
- Steve and I were blessed to receive paid registration to the CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) national conference in Minneapolis
- Phil and Emily are the proud parents of a healthy baby girl and are busy learning the ropes!
- Sara and Kelly are starting their very first after-school program next week, happening every Thursday from 4 to 6 pm
- Tim and Janeen Covell will be starting Adullam's Career Development Program October 4th
- Adullam has been offered a few different options for obtaining housing. Please keep this in your prayers as we look at properties, attend classes, and continue discussions with individuals and organizations.
- Plan ahead for a Life Church sponsored Thanksgiving event - details will follow.
- Adopt-A-Family for Christmas will be held on December 1st at Adullam this year!
- Business initiatives are still being pursued with longboard manufacturing for Orphan Longboards, offering space and partnership with New Man and New Start product, and developing The Landlord's Friend
- Watch the calendar for events like Worship Nights, Burns (explain later), 24/1 Prayer, etc.
Maybe I will post more often now that I see how easy it is. If you have a story or journal entry to share, please feel free to send it to me. I know people are being impacted by what God is doing in our city. Your story might change a life.