Today is March 28, 2016. It has been 2 years and 3 months since Soaring Wings Ministries purchased 499 Trinity Lane in Wellington, Colorado and it has been 2 years and 7 months since we left New Hampshire and traveled across the country on a journey of faith to plant Soaring Wings Ministries as a temporary home and an offering of hope to homeless families and young adults in Northern Colorado.
I don't know what has caused me to reflect back on our journey here as it isn't an official anniversary date of leaving New Hampshire or of purchasing 499 Trinity Lane in Wellington but nevertheless, my thoughts have caused me to reflect on how far we have come and how much God has done in two and a half years since we left New Hampshire.
I remember so very well arriving here in Colorado from New Hampshire. Meredith, her husband Todd, and their little girl Payton, traveled with us. We traveled in two vehicles with 4 dogs and 1 cat. The journey was a hard, emotional one for me. I did not like the adventure of the journey. I longed for the mundane and the ordinary. Meredith and Ed kept trying to encourage me along the way and said I would feel better when the journey was over and we were in Colorado. I was not convinced. I remember when we pulled into a campground in Wellington, Colorado after our long, cross country journey and Meredith said to me that we had arrived. I remember thinking arrived where? Arrived to what? This campground was to be our home until we could get settled? Get settled? Get settled into....into what and into where? I felt so all alone and so afraid. It was so hard to say good-bye to Meredith, Todd and Payton as they flew back home to their life on Cape Cod. Ed and I were left living in a campground to begin a ministry to the homeless and needy in northern Colorado. Little did I know during those hard, lonely days at the campground that God had a little house on the prairie waiting for us just 10 miles from where we were staying. Little did I know that in a housing market where the prices were through the roof, that God had a house on 40 acres waiting for us that Soaring Wings Ministries could afford to purchase, with cash, so that the ministry would have no mortgage. Little did I know that over the next 2 years God would send us wonderful, generous and ORDINARY people to help us along our journey to grow Soaring Wings Ministries. I can't give you an exact number of people that have helped us since we have arrived here but the number is well over 500 people!!!! Over 500 ordinary, everyday people!!!! Over 500 people that God has used and directed to do His work of growing Soaring Wings Ministries!!! Over 500 people reaching out to help the homeless and needy in Northern Colorado!!!!! Over 500 generous, hard working, everyday people, doing what they could to help Soaring Wings Ministries progress from a vision to a reality!!!! What a miracle and what an amazing God we serve!!!!!
Maybe my thoughts are reflecting back to our journey here because we are so very, very close to making our vision, of Trinity Lane being a temporary home for a homeless family, a reality. That Soaring Wings Ministries, on March 28, 2016, would be this close to realizing a vision truly is a miracle and a testament to God's power, guidance and blessing. The reason this is such a miracle is because Ed, Meredith and I are just ordinary people and because all of our financial support, gifts, prayers and encouragement has come from ordinary people. Never doubt that God is a God of miracles and never doubt that God guides and blesses ordinary people to accomplish His will. Ed, Meredith and I are not extraordinary people, wealthy people or people with great talents. We are not, by any means, accomplished or gifted writers, speakers, fundraisers, planners, builders or organizers....WE ARE ORDINARY PEOPLE SERVING AN EXTRAORDINARY GOD! The fact of the matter is that Meredith, Ed and I are way out of our comfort zone. We are all introverts. We like the ordinary, we like the mundane, we like time our at home and we like the uneventful. But, as much as we like these things, we like saying yes to God more and we like seeing how God can work through ordinary people who say yes to Him.
The ONLY reason why Soaring Wings Ministries has come this far is because we serve a great, mighty, powerful, generous, good and loving God. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The God of the Old Testament, the God who sent His son Jesus to die on the cross and then defeat death through the resurrection three days later, is the very same God who leads, guides, directs and blesses Soaring Wings Ministries. Ed, Meredith and I draw on the power, blessing and guidance of God everyday. We lean hard on Him when our introverted personalities and ordinary desires cause us to shy away from the task at hand. We tell Him that we are doing the best that we can and we ask Him to bless our meager efforts. God hears our prayers and God does indeed bless our efforts.
My heart is full of praise, gratitude, humility and amazement as I think of all that God has accomplished through over 500 ordinary people that said yes to God. There is a huge lump in my throat and I am pushing back tears as I think about God's goodness and greatness. We are all so very ordinary but God is not. He deserves all of our praise and He deserves ordinary people, giving their lives over to Him, to serve Him without reservation.
His humble and grateful servant,
So often people will ask us what a typical day looks like here at Soaring Wings Ministries. I have to answer that question by saying that there is no such thing as a typical day here, in fact, we sometimes long for a typical day but then we remember that what we are doing here is not very typical! Would you consider praying with a homeless man who is in his car part of a typical day? I sure wouldn't....but that is exactly what our daughter, Meredith, did last week. We were in Fort Collins, getting ready to set up for our time serving Donuts With Friends. It was a bit chilly outside and there was major construction going on around the park where the homeless people gather so we had to go looking for the homeless people. We walked down a street, coffee and donuts in hand, hoping to run into some people in need. It didn't take us long before we saw two vehicles parked along the side of the road. One was a camper with several people coming out of it and another was a car with a man sitting in the driver's seat. The camper had a young boy, about 7 years old, playing outside of it. He was very excited to see us, but his mother was not. As we walked over to the camper the man in the car rolled down his window and so Meredith approached him and asked if he would like some coffee and donuts. The man told Meredith that he didn't need anything but he said he was a Christian and he asked Meredith if she would pray with him. I wish I had a picture to show you of Meredith standing in the street, her hand through the window on the shoulder of the homeless man...both of their heads bowed and eyes closed in prayer to their Lord and Savior. I don't know what they prayed for or about, I didn't ask, but I know that Meredith fed him in a way that was more important than food.
Today is March 1st and we have put out our building fund drive online. We are excited about what could come from doing this building fund drive. We are excited to see God move through people, businesses and churches to get a homeless family a place on the Soaring Wings Ranch!
We know and trust that God can do amazing things and can get 15 people, businesses and churches together to give a different future to a homeless family that would either wise live in their car, on the street or in a shelter.
As a mom, I can not imagine raising a child in a car or shelter. It is hard enough to teach a child the way they should live in a supportive house never mind in a car. I can't imagine getting a child ready for school and wondering where they will brush their teeth or if the car is warm enough before school starts. I can't imagine what it would be like to get breakfast at a shelter with my kid wanting to have breakfast before getting dressed for the day but knowing we would see too many strangers for that to be okay. I can't imagine what it would be like to wonder where the best and safest place to sleep for the night would be with my little family.
We want to change all those worries and fear for a family. We want to give a homeless family a space that is theirs. A space with their own bathroom, living area, laundry space, bedrooms.
We want to give a homeless family a mentor and some spiritual guidance to move forward with their future.We will help connect the homeless family to health insurance, job training or schooling, counseling and teach them the skills needed to be successful in moving out and having an independent future.
This can be done with YOUR help, with YOUR investment in the building fund. Soaring Wings Ministries believes that this building fund is God's desire for Soaring Wings Ranch, to help a family receive God's love, grace and mercy while getting the necessary skills to be independent when they leave the ranch. But we can not do it on our own! We need you to invest! We are looking to raise $31,100 to get the building addition up.
5 people/businesses/churches giving $5000
4 people/businesses/churches giving $1000
3 people/businesses/churches giving $500
2 people/businesses/churches giving $250
1 person/business/church giving $100
What can you/your business/ or church give today?
There are two ways to give: You can give by mailing a check to Soaring Wings Ministries and in the memo write "Building Fund Drive" or you can give through Paypal (there is a link on the building fund page on this website http://www.soaringwingsministries.org/building-fund.html).
We are trusting and praying that God will provide people like you to say yes I will invest in getting a homeless family off the streets in Northern Colorado and into a supportive caring home at Soaring Wings Ranch. We have the permit from the county. We have people ready to build. We now need you to invest and help get a homeless family out of the shelters/streets and into their own space at Soaring Wings Ranch.
Please visit our building fund page today to read more about our building drive. Share it with your friends and join us in pray about how much you will invest TODAY!
"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive."' Acts 20:35
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries