[et_pb_section fullwidth="off" specialty="off" background_image="http://www.wellspringcolorado.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/goldbackground.jpg" transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_cta admin_label="Call To Action" title="Compassion Ministry: A Glimpse of the Kingdom" button_url="http://www.wellspringcolorado.com/connect" url_new_window="off" button_text="Back" use_background_color="off" background_color="#2EA3F2" background_layout="dark" text_orientation="left" body_line_height="2em" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" header_font_size="42" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" background_color="#f4f4f4" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" text_line_height="2em" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] By: Julie Mihevc
Here is an article by Julie Mihevc submitted in PEARUSA's monthly publication, City Gates:
"Holistic outreach" is one of seven core values of Wellspring Church in Englewood, Colorado. From our earliest days, we desired to see people freed from the effects of poverty, addiction, and being pushed to the margins. Poverty and drug use stalked our neighbors, and largely took over their lives. 12 years ago, we opened a food bank, seeking to build relationship and be a blessing to the people of our community. We handed out groceries to folks for a few years until Wendy, a young, single mom in the neighborhood, said, “it’s great we’re giving them food, but they’re hungry when they get here. Can we please feed them lunch?” Wendy bought hot dogs for our folks, and we sat down together to share a meal. A mutuality was born there, as sharing meals together is a great equalizer. Both rich and poor felt uncomfortable, but as we engaged in conversation and ate together, we learned we all need Jesus, and it was about both giving and receiving from each other.
From those early days, we’ve done many things to help our folks escape poverty and addiction: providing job help, 12 step groups, a medical clinic, case management, counseling, friendship. I wish I could say hundreds of people have found themselves by Jesus and living sober, fulfilled lives, but that is not the case. We’ve seen a few dozen people over the years totally transformed from that life. Our church has also been transformed, and many middle and upper class folks' lives have been changed by intentional relationship with the poor and marginalized. Many Sundays, you’d find a heavily tattooed bunch of men or women, obviously not your typical church goers, taking up the offering. It had happened rather benignly as Jeri, one of the guys who is a former drug dealer, and now running his own construction business, became our lead usher, and he was always asking his friends to help out at church. Obviously homeless men and women would help, and be visible, this way, and many others in the life of the church. We get a glimpse of the kingdom in those moments, and we start to see the world and people in new ways.
Our latest endeavor, just 8 months old, is a strip club outreach called Beloved. We send people out to a few strip clubs in the area with bags of makeup, jewelry, and other small gifts. We seek to get to know the women, over time, and tell them over and over, through words and action, that they are beloved. They are loved by God and cherished by him. Our hope and prayer is to see them freed from the sex industry, and enter a life of grace and safety. But, we start with the truth that they are beloved, and we share that love through consistency, conversation, a small gift to remind the women they are not forgotten.
Our hope as a church is to continue to love well, and always be looking for how God is at work, and get in on that. As you pray for us, and, please pray for us, ask that we would always be looking and see what God is up to, and follow him. Thank you!
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