Updates

November 2013 Update

November 8th, 2013

Hey everyone! I apologize that I haven’t given you an update over the past couple of months. Life, as usual, has been nuts and many things have happened preventing me from sitting down to write to you.

 

As I told you in our last update, I started back in the mortgage business in August and I’ve been slowing rebuilding a base of business in Denver and throughout the country. Things were going well as I was meeting with many realtors and financial planners and I had a surge of momentum.  With the progress I was making, we were getting ready to re-launch our worship night and service days with Passion to Action.  Everything was going great until the 21st day of September.

 

We decided to visit some old friends from MN who moved to Colorado and purchased land in Conifer, nestled in the mountains.  When we learned they had dirt bikes we began salivating and we knew we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to ride them up and down their 1.7 mile dirt driveway.  In the past when we’ve had the opportunity to ride motorcycles, we wore helmets and full protective gear. Since we were just tooling around, Beth and I jumped on separate bikes and elected not to wear helmets. As we were riding around, the thought went through my head that we should put helmets on, but we were riding slow and being careful, so we just kept going.  One ride up and down the driveway turned into several trips and on a whim Beth and I decided to go further up the mountain for one last run before heading in for dinner. 

 

Unbeknownst to us, our friend Eric decided to look for us on his four-wheeler to get us for dinner.  At the same time, we were making our way back and we were one turn from being back at the house.  Eric came around the corner just as I was and it startled me.  I immediately slammed on both brakes causing me to slide on the slippery gravel driveway.  All I remember is sliding and then violently hitting my face in the driveway. I jumped right up and began screaming in pain.  The pain in my left shoulder and right foot and ankle was unbearable.  I was spitting out blood and my left arm was limp. Eric told me later that as I skidded my right leg got caught in the bike and as I flew off the bike the full impact was on my left shoulder and then on my face. He said he could literally see me bounce off of the driveway. We immediately jumped in Eric’s truck and headed to the emergency room in Denver.  I’ve never experienced such intense pain and the 40 minutes down the mountain was agonizing. The whole way down I was moaning in pain and crying out to God.  I was repenting for being angry with Him and not pursuing Him as passionately as I had in the past.  Over the last month, I had been wrestling with Him because many of the dreams and reasons we had coming to Denver had not come to fruition.  The anger I was holding on to was causing me to distance myself from Him and from Christians in general.  If I had to be honest, I was becoming cynical and bitter. I really believe this accident was a wake-up call and a form of loving discipline to get my heart aligned with God’s heart.

 

In the ER, I learned that I had dislocated my left shoulder and severely sprained my right foot and ankle. I had road rash on my face with a hole about the size of a dime in my left cheek.  I left the ER about 11 p.m. and thankfully I had a pain killers and muscle relaxers to get me through the night.  I thought I had gotten off pretty easily considering what could have happened, until the next day when I developed a fever and noticed that the road rash on my right knee was red, puffy and oozing fluid. I made an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor on Monday and I learned that I had punctured my knee joint and that I had a staph infection in the joint. I was told to go immediately to the hospital for surgery so they could flush out the infection and get me started on what ended up being three weeks of IV antibiotics.

 

The day after my surgery, as I was lying in my hospital bed feeling more broken than I have ever felt in my life, it all hit me.  God had disciplined me, but He also loved me and cared for me like the son of His that I am.  As my family surrounded me that evening I realized how blessed I was and how thankful I was to be alive. Another six inches and I could have been brain dead or paralyzed … or even dead.  I wept as I took it all in and thanked God for all of His mercy and grace. I was reminded of the verse in Hebrews 12:6 that says: “…because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

 

The highlight of my three-day stay in the hospital came on the final day.  A young woman who is hired through a foundation of the hospital asked if she could come play a portable keyboard for me in my room.  I obliged and after she played an instrumental song I asked her if she knew any Christian music. She lit up and starting singing a beautiful song that completely met me where I was.  She then began singing “You Won’t Relent” by Misty Edwards and that did me in. I was weeping, singing with her and raising my hands as we sang the words, “You won’t relent until you have it all, my heart is yours”. After the song ended she continued to play under me as I prayed out loud telling God he could have all of me – every broken piece of me. I was a hot mess as we basically threw down in an all out worship service in my hospital room.  It was during my time in the hospital when I released my plans along with my dreams and desires for Passion to Action. I told God to do with our ministry what He desires and I released my agenda and surrendered myself to Him.

 

I’m happy to say, 6 weeks later, that I’m on the road to full recovery.  It’s been a journey and not without it’s ups and downs, but I’m getting stronger every day. I’ve been going to physical therapy two days a week and it’s taken some time for my shoulder to heal and get full mobility back to the joint, but we are seeing great improvements.  

 

In the middle of the hospital stay, we ended up selling our RV to an airline pilot from Chicago. This was a huge blessing and perfect timing, as we didn’t want the RV sitting here through another winter. It’s also perfect timing because it has allowed us to purchase a home!

 

We began looking at houses, not thinking we would find anything right away. We were surprised when we happened upon a house in South Golden that fit the exact needs of our family and ministry.  Honestly, I was hesitant as I wanted more time to get established in my business and felt that next spring or summer would be better timing for me, especially with medical bills piling up. However, living in an RV for almost 5 years and a small duplex with only one bedroom for the last year has taken a toll on us.  So, for the health and wellbeing of my family, I knew the timing was perfect! We made an offer on the house and after some negotiating and each realtor kicking in $2,000 of their commission (without our awareness) to make the deal work, we are officially under contract and set to close on the 22nd of November.

 

What makes this house a perfect fit for ministry is that it has 2 – 2 car garages, one that we plan to fix up and use for worship nights and ministry meetings. It also has a large driveway with ample parking space. The lot backs up to a park as well, which is great for ministry and family use as we’ll have easy access to play basketball, tennis, Frisbee, or baseball.

 

What makes it perfect for our family is that it has a porch (something my wife has always wanted), gardens, fruit trees, a sunroom, 4 bedrooms (which our teenagers are thrilled about) and plenty of room to entertain and fulfill my wife’s gift of hospitality.

 

We are thrilled to plant roots here and have a place that God can use for His glory. We feel so blessed and excited for all that He has in store for us.

 

Thanks for being a part of our journey and for your on-going prayer and financial support.

 

God bless,

 

Jay

August 2013 Update

August 4th, 2013

One thing that never changes in life is that life always changes.  We’ve been experiencing this reality first hand over the past several months. I apologize for neglecting to keep you in the loop to the activities of our life; however, we have literally been in survival mode since May.

As you may know, we’ve been able to survive financially over the past several years thanks to the combination of a support base, book and study sales, and speaking at and mobilizing churches.  We knew settling in Colorado would mean that we would need to find a new way to help support our mission.  We determined that Passion to Action Studios (providing high quality wedding, business and non-profit videos) was a viable way to do that and over the past year it has helped bring in much needed revenue to keep us afloat.  While P2A Studios has helped, we found that we were just barely keeping our heads above water month after month.

After much thought, reflection, prayer and a significant financial shortfall in April, we knew something needed to change.  I had to face the reality that too much pressure was being placed on Ben to help provide for our family as we do P2A Studios together, not to mention that his desire is to travel overseas with YWAM in January of 2014.

In the beginning of May, the patient (our financial situation) was in critical condition, was bleeding out, and something needed to happen quickly to revive him. I’ve always said I’ll do whatever it takes to provide for our family and to keep our mission going – I’ll dig a ditch if I have to. Thankfully, I haven’t had to dig a ditch, but I did take a job at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver schlepping luggage as a bellman.

Over the last several months, it seemed as though God was shutting the door for me to stay in full-time vocational ministry and that He was leading me to go back into the business world.  After wrestling through this and experiencing many closed doors, I finally came to the realization that I needed to pursue a career position that would better provide for my family.  After two and a half months of sending out dozens of resumes and going to scores of networking meetings and interviews, I finally landed a job with Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking.  I start tomorrow (Monday, Aug. 5th) and I can’t tell you how excited I am to work regular hours and not have to work nights and weekends.  While I never thought I would get back into the mortgage business, I’m thrilled to work with a company like Wells Fargo and I’m grateful I can do loans in any state in the country.

We are still evaluating what God has for Passion to Action in this new season, but our desire it to keep our monthly service days and potentially the monthly worship nights.  We will also continue to work with churches that are interested in doing the Passion to Action small group study.  Because I will be straight commission, it’s critical that I build up my business this first year, so unfortunately, we won’t be joining Toth Ministries for the 19 day road trip we had planned for September. However, we are still planning to do a short-term mission trip to Juarez Mexico in October.

Our next planned service project is on September 7th with the Neighborhood Rehab Project in Golden, which helps low income, elderly, or disabled people maintain their homes in a way that keeps them safe, warm and dry.

The other difficult thing we’ve had to come to terms with is that we need to sell the RV.  Our dream was to keep it and eventually have a ministry center where we can use it for various ministry purposes, but the reality is that we haven’t been utilizing it as much as we had hoped to. Selling it provides money for us to use as a down payment on house in a year or so.  Last week we began the painful process of peeling off the P2A wrap and now we are fixing up some things so we can put it up for sale in the next month. Please pray that it sells quickly!

We realize this change of events may come as a surprise to you ~ it sure did to us. As we sought God, we feel at peace with Him placing us in a season of rebuilding, renewing and rest. Traveling for 5 years took a toll on our family and as many of you have experienced, moving to a new state takes time, energy and effort, most of which we didn’t have when we arrived here. We are still in the process of settling and it’s taking much longer than any of us anticipated. We are still hoping and believing that down the road, we will build a ministry center here. It’s a big dream and we realize it may take years in the making. That will be another mountain, just as moving into an RV was and for now we are thankful God knows what we can handle better than we do!

We value you and greatly appreciate your love, prayer and financial support.  We appreciate you journeying with us even though things look much different than we had anticipated coming to Denver.  Please know we still need your support especially during this transitional time.  If you have any questions that we haven’t answered please feel free to contact me at 678-520-0940.

Thanks,

Jay

 

P2A March 2013 Update

March 13th, 2013

In the update I announce that the Service Project with Mean Street Ministry is on March 19th – it’s actually now scheduled for Tuesday, March 26th.

A Fresh Vision

December 18th, 2012

Being in one location and settling into the duplex in Denver has allowed us to pray, dream and think through what our next steps will be as a ministry. (On a side note, I promised last month that we would post pictures of the duplex once it was completed. To view pictures of the duplex before  and during the remodel click here.  To view pictures after the remodel click here.) Our mission is and will continue to be, “To inspire, empower, and mobilize people to put their faith in action.” The way we intend to move forward with this mission is to accomplish it through the lens of Acts 1:8, where Jesus commands His disciples to go into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Jerusalem
Our Jerusalem is now Denver and we believe the most effective way to mobilize people into action here is by offering the following:

  1. Monthly Worship Nights

Belief:  We believe the “one thing” worth going after is oneness and intimacy with the Father. A deep relationship with God gives our lives meaning and purpose and fills us up to overflowing so we have something to pour out to a world in need. Worshiping God and walking in relationship with Him not only fills us up, but is also a weapon that is wielded against the forces of darkness.

The Plan: (1) Our plan is to start with a monthly worship night where we spend time worshiping, listening to God’s voice, sharing His Word, encouraging each other, and praying for the city. Our dream is that we would eventually have hundreds of worshipers come together across denominational lines to seek God’s face and press into all that is available to us as sons and daughters.  Until that day, we will start with anyone who is hungry and meet in our living room on the south side of the duplex.  (2) The monthly worship night will also be a time to create awareness and highlight strategic ministry partners who are caring for the marginalized and those hurting in the city.  We will show a short 3-5 minute video (that we create) that shows what the organization or ministry is doing and then give people an opportunity to serve with that ministry on another Saturday scheduled during the month.

  1. Monthly Service Projects

Belief:   Intimacy with God is essential, but we also believe if our worship and pursuit of God never materialize into action, then our faith is dead (James 2:17). As God’s children, we are called to do something about the pain and injustice that exists in the world. We are ambassadors who will show others that He is good. How will the hurting know that God is kind, generous, loving, forgiving, and accepting if they only experience condemnation, judgment, or indifference?

The Plan: We intend to mobilize people and catapult them into action to awaken them to the needs that are all around them.  With this in mind, we intend to partner with ministries and organizations that focus their efforts serving: widows, orphans, refugees, children, homeless, prisoners and acts of random kindness (ARKs).  Our goal will be to identify key partners whom we can join hands with and help infuse them with volunteers and resources.  One Saturday a month, we will have people come to a central location where we will give a brief overview of the organization(s) being served, along with a short training time.  After serving together, we will come together for a short debriefing time to share what was learned and what experiences people had.   The goal of these service projects is to expose people to a variety of ministries and organizations in their community so they have the opportunity to commit to serving with one of these organizations over the long haul.

  1. P2A Small Group Study

Belief: We believe that it’s critical that we empower people with tools and resources to serve others effectively. We have found that if we aren’t careful, our service can unintentionally cause more harm than good. The Passion to Action Small Group Study was designed to help people discover God’s heart, their purpose and how to best serve others.  We are passionate about passing on the valuable lessons we’ve learned from traveling the country serving those in need over the past 4 ½ years.

The Plan: We will offer and lead our study on an on-going basis over the course of 8 or 12 weeks.  Not only does the study lay a foundation for service built on God’s passion and love for us, but it also teaches powerful community development principals and helps people uncover how their unique personality, strengths, spiritual gifts, and passions can be leveraged to serve others.  Dozens of groups all over the country have been impacted by the study and we are excited to lead people through it here in Denver. To learn more about the study and to see a video overview of it click here.

Judea
Our Judea is the communities we’ve had the privilege of working with around the country over the past 4 ½ years.

The Plan: (1) We’ve been invited to help empower and mobilize a network of people who are part of a ministry called JWAR (Jesus Was a Rebel). They presently have 8 communities, mostly in the Midwest, which they call, Rebel Town.  We are currently praying and discussing the possibility of partnering with JWAR and Toth Ministries by embarking on a three to four week tour this summer in the P2A RV, where we would visit Rebel Town Communities along with churches we have worked with to lead them in worship and service projects in their communities.  (2) Our desire is also to utilize the P2A RV to do short trips during the summer to work with new communities who desire to be mobilized.

Samaria
We believe Samaria represents the people and places we are uncomfortable going to or working with. Our Samaria includes the local service projects we will do, as well as short-term trips.

The Plan:  We would like to plan a short-term missions trip for the fall of this year with Amigos Ministries in Juarez, Mexico.  Juarez is currently the murder capital of the world and a place many people avoid out of fear. Directors of Amigos, Matt & Misty Lindsey, “have hope that flows from the understanding that God is good, that he loves his children and wants to see them thrive. They believe that every person has been created in the image of God, and that every individual has immense worth. One of their greatest hopes is to see the dignity of Juarez restored- that the oppressed will rise up, walk in their own worth, and work together to reclaim the honor of their city”.

Ends of the Earth
Our Ends of the Earth is … well … the ends of the earth!

The Plan:  As we were greatly impacted and changed by going to Africa, we would like to be the catalyst for others and have a short-term missions “wing” called, P2A Short-Term Missions (creative name, huh?). We believe our first trip will take place in 2014.  Our desire is to do 12-day trips to places like Africa, India, China and South America.
As you can see, we have a lot of big dreams and many things to begin planning.  We know it will take time to implement these things and to continue to build partnerships and relationships with people here in Denver. On a side note, we also have a lot of work to do to update our website to reflect our new vision for Passion to Action, so that is to come as well.

Passion to Action | Studios
One of the many challenges we have faced landing in Denver is developing a funding strategy. While we have monthly donations, it’s not nearly enough to support us full-time. A large chunk of our funding on the road came from speaking engagements and book, small group study and P2A merchandise sales. Now that we are in one location, we are able to pursue our video production business, which we are calling Passion to Action | Studios. We recently sold our Sony EX1 video camera and upgraded to the Canon 5d Mark 3 DSLR camera. The quality and capabilities of this camera are extraordinary and has taken us to a new level of professionalism. Ben has grown tremendously in his ability as a videographer and editor, and with my sales experience, we’ve become a great team. Ben recently shot his first wedding and we are also booked to do a video for a local painting company. To see the wedding video Ben did click here.
We want to thank you so much for your generous support of our ministry and if you are able to make a year-end gift to Passion to Action, we would greatly appreciate your help as we begin to launch into 2013!  To donate – click here.

Have a great Christmas and a blessed New Year.

The Loeckens – Jay, Beth, Ben, Bekah, Abi & Noah

A Much Needed Update

November 28th, 2012

First of all, I want to send a huge apology for not sending an update sooner. I have wanted to do so, but life has taken some interesting twists and turns the last couple of months that have prevented me from having the time to sit down and write.

In our last update, we informed you of our intentions to continue to live in the RV and use the south side of the duplex where we are parked as extended living space. Our plan was to use the north side of the duplex as an emergency shelter for the homeless on cold weather nights and also as space to hold three-day retreats to take people through the principles we teach in our small group study.  Beth and I have dreamed and prayed about establishing a headquarters in Denver and each time we would brain storm about what the ministry would look like now that we are in one location, we would hit a wall. Would we begin by doing serving days weekly or monthly? Would we do retreats right away and if so, how would we house and feed people? Each time we talked, we felt strongly that we needed to seek the heart of God in regards to what He desires for us to do. We knew we could come up with a decent human strategy, but we didn’t want that. We truly want to see the power of God in all that we do because without Him, we really have nothing.

With that in mind, I decided to take a three-day prayer retreat up in the mountains at a prayer cabin called “The Shack”, which is part of Toth Ministries.  I went away seeking direction for our ministry and what we should do next, and as God often does, He surprised me. Instead of giving me direction for the ministry, He spoke to me about resting and abiding in Him. He expanded my heart for my wife and kids. He helped me to see that we had been going strong (many times to the point of utter exhaustion) for 4 ½ years and that we needed to enter a season of rest and wait on Him to show us what to do next.  I came home with a deep peace and shared the news with the family and read each of them personal letters of apology and encouragement that God prompted me to write while I was gone.  We shared a sweet time of tears and healing.  While I believe God was giving me permission to wait on Him before deciding what the expression of P2A will be in Denver, I don’t believe I am to be sitting around doing nothing and eating bon bons all day!  That would cause my driven personality to go crazy! Over the course of the next six months to a year, I believe it’s important that, as a family, we get settled and get back to our priorities. We also want to familiarize ourselves with the city and continue to serve and network with others who are making an impact in Denver.  I will also continue to develop Passion to Action Studios as a way to bring in revenue to support the ministry, which also blesses other non-profits with top-notch video work at a fraction of the cost.  My desire also to meet with churches and groups to get our small group study circulated throughout the Denver area and I am praying about leading a group of people who are interested in going through it in the Lakewood area. While in some ways, it feels like we are taking a step back, I know it’s important that we lay a solid foundation in the beginning so we can grow like I believe God wants us to.

Several days after I arrived home from my retreat, we received an unexpected visitor from the city of Lakewood.  It was a code enforcement officer who was stopping by to inform us that someone had complained that we were living in our RV and that the city code said that we were only allowed to live in an RV for two weeks. He was very gracious and sympathetic and understood what we were about, but he told us that we had two weeks to move out or move to an RV park.  After he left, I felt like I received a swift kick in the gut, but I was quickly reminded of the words from Graham Cooke, “With every problem, there is a promise and a provision.” His visit lit a fire under us and put us into high gear, unfortunately leaving the words of rest far behind. We immediately began the long and exhausting journey to fix up a place that was severely dilapidated and had been neglected for years.  With this we also realized that our family needed to live out of both sides of the duplex, beds and kitchen on one side and living and meeting space on the other, and that is was unrealistic to use the north side as an emergency shelter for the homeless. Thankfully the same day I told this to Tim, one of the pastors at Bethlehem Lutheran, he was also meeting with another church and they were excited and willing to use their space for the homeless, which was a better solution!

To say I was completely overwhelmed with the scope of the project that was ahead of us is an understatement. I knew we didn’t have the skills, nor the capacity to do it on our own, so I called a few people we had met here to see if they could help mobilize people to help us.  One gentleman, who is an incredible connector, was able to rally dozens of people to help us with the enormous project. We’ve had plumbers, builders, painters and handymen come out of the woodwork to help us.  We were completely blown away by everyone who stepped up to help us, even though many didn’t know us from Adam!  We would never have accomplished this without their help. People were not only generous with their time, but also with their resources, donating tile, paint, supplies, a kitchen sink, stove and refrigerator. One afternoon, a neighbor saw us working and stopped by and asked us if we needed a washer and dryer.  We told him yes; he left and ten minutes later he came back with a front-loading LG washer and dryer that were in excellent condition. Another neighbor brought over kitchen cabinets that were like new! We stand amazed at God’s incredible provision for us!

About half way into the project, we knew that in order to move in, we would need to get our furniture here that has been stored in Atlanta. Thanks to a generous donor in California and many other friends, we were able to pull the trigger on moving the pods and they were delivered about three weeks ago, the day after my parents were planning a visit – perfect timing! My parents were also such a huge help with many projects, especially laying carpet! We are now at the tail end of getting what we need moved into the duplex. What we can’t fit, but want to keep for a permanent ministry center, we have moved to a free storage area.

Some of you may be wondering why in the world we would spend so much time and money fixing up a run down duplex, that we don’t even own. We have had moments when we wondered that same thing!  Bethlehem Lutheran Church, who owns the duplex and the lot we are on, has graciously allowed us to stay, rent free, as long as we cover our water, electric and gas usage.  If we rented a house or stayed in an RV park, it would cost us anywhere from $650 to $1,600 a month for RV park or house rental fees.  Living in the duplex, even with the money we put into it, is a far better option for us financially at this stage. We also believe this location is strategic from an exposure and accessibility perspective. It’s centrally located, making it easy to mobilize people from suburban areas and it’s close to people in distress who reside up and down Colfax Avenue (just blocks from us).

Now that we have made the move out of the RV and into the duplexes, we can wholeheartedly say, “We love it!”  We can’t even begin to express tell how wonderful the extra space is! Sometimes, I honestly don’t know how we managed to live in 340 square feet for 4 ½ years with 6 people and a dog!  We have been like giddy little kids in a candy store getting our furniture moved in, pictures hung and curtains made.  (We are almost completed with all the updates and when we are we will be sharing pictures with you.) For now, our plan is to keep the RV and use it for service projects that we will do this coming spring and summer and also for potential bookings we may still get around the country. However, if God shows us otherwise, we are also open to selling it. We are so excited to see what God has for us here in Denver. As of now, our plan is to live in the duplex for at least the next year while we pray and determine if this is where God wants us to eventually build a permanent home for P2A or if he has another location in mind for us. Again, all this is subject to change if God leads us to something else. For now, we just want to be faithful and grateful for what He has provided.

We do have a deep peace that this is where God has called us to be for now and we are overwhelmed with His amazing provision and favor. Before we arrived here, God gave us some incredible promises. One of those promises was that we would not only have an army of angels come around us for protection for the work we would do in the city, but we would also have an army of physical warriors join alongside us.  We’ve experienced that firsthand over the past month as we have had army of volunteers help us restore this place and warriors who have encouraged us and prayed for us. Another promise He gave us was that the blind would see, the deaf would hear and the lame would walk.  After being parked here for several weeks it hit me. I remembered God’s promise as I noticed a sign on one street we are on that says, “Deaf Child”, and a sign on a street one block down that says, “Blind Child”.  Our prayer in coming here is that God would do more through us than just mobilizing people into action, but that He would bring His Kingdom here to earth as it is in heaven.  John 14:12 says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father”.  He says we will do greater works than He did! I believe that He not only wants us to bring healing to people spiritually, but emotionally and physically as well.

We experienced two of these promises fulfilled Wednesday night. We went to hear Bill Johnson from Bethel Church in Redding, CA speak at a conference in Denver. At the end of his talk, we prayed over a woman who was in a serious car accident 2 ½ years ago. The accident wiped out the lower half of her leg leaving no ankle and no ability to place weight on her leg without her cane or boot. She lifted up her pant leg and the accident had ravaged the lower part of her leg. After we prayed for healing, she reluctantly removed her boot and took a step on her leg. She was overwhelmed and began crying for joy. She then cautiously walked up and down the aisle and was able to bend and twist and put the full weight of her body on her leg without pain! Next thing we knew she was cruising up and down the aisle, even bravely lifting up her other leg and stepping only on the injured foot! We were all in tears!

After seeing hundreds of people healed of numerous ailments, Bill said that he believed that there were people in the room who needed healing from hearing loss. After telling Beth what Bill said, because she couldn’t hear him say it, she stood to her feet declaring that she wanted healing. She has struggled with hearing loss for some time and mostly gets about a third of conversations. Although it’s been frustrating for her, you’d never know it. After several people around her prayed over her, her ears were literally opened and she can now hear everything clearly. She even noticed on her walk the following morning that her iPod was turned up to a ridiculous volume! How powerful it was for her to experience healing first hand.

I have been hesitant to share this with you because I realize there are many opinions on the topic of healing, but over the last several years, we have seen how God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He Word is true and in Him all things are possible!

Recently Susie Larson interviewed us on KTIS radio in Minneapolis.  We share an update with her on what we have been up to.  Click here to hear the interview.

Thank you so much for your love and generous support.  If you are able to make a monthly or one time gift to our ministry please click here to donate. We value you and appreciate your prayers and financial commitment to us.

Sincerely,

The Loecken’s – Jay, Beth, Ben, Bekah, Abi & Noah

Up to Speed

September 19th, 2012

We normally reserve this for videos and video updates but thought I would share a recent update here that we share to our supporters and on P2A’s Facebook page.

I realize it’s been a while since you’ve heard from us and I know it’s a lame excuse, but our life has been nuts since we landed here in Denver. So much has happened that I’m not even sure where to begin, but here is my attempt to get you up to speed with our lives.

When we first arrived in June, we parked in Golden at one of our  favorite RV parks in the country, Clear Creek RV Park.  It sits right next to Clear Creek and is nestled in the foothills of the Rockies near downtown Golden. While we thoroughly enjoyed being there, it was difficult because the park only allows you to stay for two weeks at a time during the summer. After that you are required leave for a night, after which you can come back, but you have to wait behind others who are trying to get into the park and they are almost always full. The first month we were in Denver, we moved a total of five times. Not only was the moving around exhausting, but the cost of the park was killing us financially. All the RV parks in Denver raise their prices during the summer because of the demand and we were paying about $250 a week to stay in there. We knew we needed to find something and fast.

The first week we were in Denver, we attended a ministry called The Table that is part of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Lakewood, CO. Our friends, Jenn & Glenn Singleterry, started a P2A Group here in Denver about a year and half ago after reading our book and they faithfully serve weekly at The Table. The ministry reaches out to the homeless and working poor who live on or near Colfax Avenue, just a few blocks from the church. They invite them in for a free meal, worship and a message from Tim Ahlman, the associate pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran. The ministry subscribes to community development principles and they invite those they serve to join in serving.  Everyone who attends eats together and serves together. The community really demonstrates a beautiful picture of two directional service.

After we attended The Table, I went to lunch with Pastor Tim and during our time together I shared with him our need for a place to park the RV and our dream to build a ministry center in or near Denver. After lunch Tim drove me to the church and showed me an abandoned lot that the church had purchased ten years ago, which housed a run-down duplex they were using for storage. He explained that the church’s desire was to use the lot for ministry purposes, but they weren’t sure what that was. I told him about an image I had during a prayer time where I saw Jesus in an abandoned lot with a nail pouch and tool belt on. Through this image, I felt as if the Lord was possibly saying we were to build something, as opposed to renting or purchasing an existing building. As we walked the property, I looked down the street and I could see the high rises of Denver. I was surprised at how close we were to downtown. Tim told me that we were 10 minutes from Denver and he explained how many of the homeless and working poor are being pushed out of downtown Denver because of a no camping ordinance and they are landing in the 1st tier suburbs. He shared with me his excitement about all the ministry opportunities that were just a few blocks away on Colfax Avenue – the longest business street in America. As we walked around the property, Tim offered to let us park on the lot and he said, “This would be a great place for ministry center”. I laughed and told him I was thinking the same thing. As we discussed it further, I realized that this truly would be a great place for us to land as the location is surrounded by needs and has exposure and accessibility being off a busy street, Wadsworth Blvd, which is between 6th Ave and I-70 (both major throughfares into Denver).

As many of you know, we came to Denver in faith and we really didn’t know how God would provide for us financially as we were not booked to speak anywhere for the summer. We knew we needed to obey and we were confident that He would provide. During my lunch with Tim, he mentioned that the church was planning on doing a video project for a series of lessons on service that they wanted to launch in their small groups in September. I told him that we do video work and the church ended up hiring Ben and I to shoot five videos for their upcoming series. Ben has grown tremendously in his filming and editing skills and it’s been exciting for him to have this experience. We stand in awe at God’s continual and on-going provision for us. We are also grateful for a referral we received from a friend to shoot a testimonial video for Front Range Christian School in Littleton. God has also provided an opportunity for Beth and I to share at a Family Summit on September 16th at Jubilee Fellowship Church in Castle Rock. One other unique opportunity is that on September 20-23, I fly to Indianapolis where I will be speaking at a church and join them in serving the homeless as they utilize 200 of our homeless care kits in collaboration with a resuce mission. We are grateful to God for all of His provisions by allowing us to find work and also thankful for your generous contributions. We have learned first hand that God does not have a funding problem and that heaven is not a storage facility.

On July 5th, we made the move from Golden to the abandoned lot next to Bethlehem Lutheran in Lakewood. Since we’ve been here, we have been working like dogs to clean and fix up the place. The church agreed to allow us to use the duplex for ministry purposes, which required that we clear out everything in both side of the building.  Both sides were filled to the ceiling with school desks, furniture, drama staging and props. We have spent weeks moving and reorganizing so we could have access to both sides of the building. We finished the south side of the duplex first, which we’ve re-painted and cleaned carpets. There are two rooms, a small bathroom and a kitchen in the south side. We intend to use that side for meetings, relationship building, teaching our small group study, and an office / prayer room.  The north side has taken longer, but we finally succeeded in clearing it out and we are now in the initial stages of fixing up the inside. This side needs much more attention than the south side did as there was a leak which damaged the kitchen cabinets, kitchen floor and carpet. To view pictures of the duplex and where we are parked click here. Recently, Tim asked if we would consider using the north side as an emergency shelter for the homeless on cold weather nights (32 degrees and wet or 20 degrees and dry). We immediately said yes, thinking of Isaiah 58, and realizing that’s exactly what God would want us to do. After hearing that, Bethlehem offered to help us fix it up, which we are thrilled about. We will be one of two or three other churches who have agreed to help care for those who have no where to go on extreme weather nights. When we are not using the north side as an emergency shelter, we intend to use it to host three day retreats where we will teach the principles we share in the P2A Small Group Study. We hope to bring in suburban churches from around Denver as well as groups and churches from around the country to not only teach them powerful principles regarding service, but to immerse them and allow them to experience serving with dignity first-hand.

We are now ready to get the 2 1/2 storage pods full of furniture that we have in Atlanta shipped to Denver so we can use the furniture for our temporary ministry center. We are currently waiting on God to provide a place to store the extra items that we can’t fit in the duplex and for the financial resources we need to move the pods here. If you know of someone who has storage in or near Denver, please contact me at jay@passiontoaction.org or of you are able to make a contribution to help us move our furniture, we would be extremely grateful. To donate click here.

Since arriving in Denver, I’ve been meeting with many pastors and non-profit leaders. It’s been amazing to see the spirit of collaboration that is happening in Denver between churches, non-profits, businesses and government agencies. I believe in my spirit that God is about to unleash something unique and special in the city of Denver. We are so excited to be a small part of something big that God is doing here.

Our family is doing great and we are grateful to finally be in one place and lay down long-term roots. While this has been a busy season, we are enjoying incredible favor from our Father, Bethlehem, neighbors and other ministries. We worship and thank God and bask in the love He has for us.

Thank you so much for on-going support, love and prayers. We love and appreciate you all so much!

Sincerely,

Jay

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Video Blog – January 2011

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