Victory for the Kingdom
First we want to say thank you for the wonderful support and prayer during the hard summer of war for the Kingdom! God is so faithful and never leaves His children alone and powerless. We feel so encouraged by all the prayer support, financial support and the many who have come stood beside us and helped us fight the battle we have been called too. By God’s grace we have seen a summer of extreme victory that makes the war wounds well worth it. God worked great things in us and through us this summer and we just want to share with you the awesome things God did so that you can praise Him for His faithfulness and know how He has answered prayers.
1. We have seen his promises from His word come alive in a powerful way. Many people sent us passages and prayers to encourage us. One of the women on our board sent us Isaiah 41 to encourage us and it came at the right time, right when we felt that we couldn’t go on. The whole chapter is so powerful, read it if you get the chance. Here are a few of the verses that stood out and spoke to us. 10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. 13 For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God.And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. 17 “When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the Lord, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.” God didn’t abandon us, and through the struggles He poured out His grace in amazing ways in our lives and into this community.
2. Summer Program: God really came through. Even though we were short workers our volunteers stepped up and made it happen. we had over 20 volunteers from our community and the suburbs help out with the programs. What a relief to see God bring in reinforcements. The mission teams that came for the rest of the summer picked up the pace as well and finished strong. Our youth group volunteers led the whole mission trip and Kimberly and I had a week to rest and get better and really just focus on the Lord and our family and pray for the ministry. God moved in a mighty way. Two teens from Newark, Vernard and Anthony were baptized on the trip and 2 more made solid professions of faith. They came back alive and eager to share the gospel in this community and be agents of change for Newark.
3.Over 100 kids from the community were impacted for life through Safe Haven’s VBS Program “Tommy’s Time Machine”. It was so amazing to see the gospel seeds planted in their hearts. What a joy! I wouldn’t trade that for the whole world. There really is no greater privilege than to be used for God’s Kingdom! His power is shown in our weakness and in the midst of the struggle He did more than we ever could have done on our own strength. What an awesome and faithful God we serve.
4. Over 130 teens came from across America this summer to impact Newark and Newark ended up impacting them far deeper. We saw such amazing growth in the teens that came who did such an awesome job serving this community through physical labour and the various outreaches and summer programs. One teen, Stephen, from Indiana actually came back for another week on his own to serve in any way He could. God really used Him and did some neat stuff in his life in the process. The Holy Spirit really planted in each person a deeper desire for serving the poor selflessly from the heart in the way that Jesus served us.
5. Safe Haven youth center is done, computer lab funds almost raised! Our youth center looks great. I ‘ll send pictures in our next email. God has done miracles in bringing this to completion. Also it looks like we will be able to start operating the computer lab this fall. 3 churches that came here on mission trips have already agreed to each raise funds for one of the eight computers. Another church from nearby who supports Safe Haven, had their VBS Program raise the funds for a fourth, so we are half way there. Praise God! (Side note- If anyone wants to make a special gift to help us complete this computer lab you can do it online by clicking here, or send check to Safe Haven @ 483 ferry street, newark nj 07105.make sure to write computer lab in the memo)
6. Kimberly and new baby are doing great. As I write this she is 2 centimeters dilated and having minor contractions. Any day now a new Iverson will enter the world. We are so excited to meet this new gift to our family and can’t wait to see if it is a boy or girl. We love the surprise. My mother is coming from Japan next tuesday to help in any way for ten days, that will wonderful. Kimberly is so full of joy and ready for round two!!!!!
7. Daniel Josiah’s Chest X-rays came back negative for the TB Infection. That means he was only exposed which is common and now he is on meds for 9 months and then there should be no problems. Praise God and thank you all for the prayers. He is as healthy and as active as ever and never ceases to bring great to joy to us and everyone in this community. Everyone loves him and he seems to have a gift for breaking down the hardest walls and making the meanest gangster smile. We love Him so much.
8. God has really raised up support for Tasha Dent, the mother of 5 who was in great need. When I sent out an email a few months agao asking everyone I knew to help I had no idea how amazing the response would be. All her material needs have been met each week by God’s grace through the church of Jesus Christ across this country. Her husband Jamar, Lord willing, will be released in two weeks and we still have enough support that has been given to help them get back on their feet while He looks for work. He really met Jesus in a real way while in jail and is excited about coming back and supporting His family and seeking the Lord. Attached below is a thank you letter from Tasha to all who helped her pull through. The family of God is amazing. God really multiplied each dollar given and supplied all their needs. Their family never went hungry and they are all caught up on their rent. Praise Him for that. Continue to pray for God to provide for them on their road to recovery.
9. My beautiful bride and I got to take a 24 hour get away. A family from a supporting church let us use their camper and they watched Daniel Josiah for us so we could have a retreat before this baby comes. What a blessing to get out into God’s Beautiful creation and reflect on his mercy and faithfulness. We got to read, go on hikes, cook out on the fire, talk, pray, sing, cuddle and just be together. It was very much needed and refreshed our spirits and bodies. We are so thankful for all the many supporters who have been so faithful in showing us the love of God. We love you all and praise God for you each day. We couldn’t have made it through this summer without you!
May Jesus our Savior continue to make His rich mercy abundantly clear to you as you seek the face of God each day. Remember, our responsibility is availability to Jesus Christ. To be who we are in terms of who He is, 24 hours a day, one day at a time.
Forget not the promises of serving the living God. My each of us take up our crosses all the more each day and joyfully serve our Lord who was willing to give Himself to redeem us.