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Penetrating the Darkness on our Knees

An increase in shootings in a two-block radius of the church. One resulting in the murder of one of our “lost boys” of Newark.  One occurring in the early evening when children are still outside playing all around. One resulting the in busted window of one of the church house’s window.

Fights on the street.  One of Safe Haven’s own staff getting arrested. The stabbing of one of our teens.

The church dwindling due to lack of laborers, leadership, and funding.  Losing one of the houses that the church owns because the money has dried up.  The last of our laborers scrambling to find apartments to stay in because they are being evicted.

Things seem dark. The battle rages.

But there is light in the midst of it.

A community garden that won an award from the city of Newark.  Teen staff falling in love with God’s Word and rejoicing in teaching it to the children.  Kids memorizing Scripture, Catachisms, and the Books of the Bible. Teen staff having an opportunity to earn money and invest in others, without resorting to gang involvement and drug dealing. Gifts being developed. Children’s minds being developed. The Kingdom coming in “little” advancements.

But not without the battles.

This post is a call.  A call to prayer and fasting.  A call to penetrate the darkness on our knees.  A call to not ignore God’s admonition to “Stop doing wrong (living in our self-absorbed little world), learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”  Isaiah 1:16,17

Many of us can’t go (or can we?!?) but we need to be mindful and prayerful for those who have gone, are going into the stream of the Enemy’s onslaught on this generation of the oppressed, the fatherless, the widow in the inner cities, and in this case, the inner city of Newark, NJ.

So here is the proposal.

The weekend of February 10-12 we are calling for fasting and prayer for the ministry of Safe Haven Urban Redemption as they labor in the midst of a darkness that many people have never had to come face to face with. We will fast from whatever we feel led to fast from: food, sweets, coffee, facebook, or TV, etc. from Friday 7pm until Sunday 7pm.  We will stand in the gap for them, for the street kids, for the confused teens who desperately need father figures in their lives, for the children who, unless intervention happens will just enter the cycle of high school drop out, teen pregnancy, poverty, gang involvement, misery and death.  For the single mamas just trying to hold it all together. For the homeless.  For those bound and oppressed by drug and alcohol addiction.We will lift up the following requests, that God may intervene and that our hearts may be softened to this call to CARE about those that God cares about (Ps. 68:5,6), to uphold a cause which God upholds (Ps.146:7), to spend ourselves on that which God calls us to, not only for their sake but for ours (Is.58:2,6-12-when we spend ourselves on the hungry, needy, and oppressed then we are promised light breaking forth, healing appearing, our calls being answered, guidance, and refreshment)

The Laborers-“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. GO! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” Luke 10:2-3

-pray for Randy and Al’s leadership over Safehaven. Pray for the Board of Directors to be impassioned with the cause of Christ in this place and for their unity and leadership.

-pray for David and Kortlyn, the two directors of SHAC (the after school program) They carry MANY responsibilities and need constant encouragement, energy, and refreshment in the Lord.  That they may delight first in the Lord and then labor with all HIS energy. For their physical provision.

-for MORE laborers.  If you have not already read about Daniel’s death, please do, and listen to the song/call at the end. Ask God if He is sending YOU. Pray for more mentors for the teens, who desperately need discipleship and even “parental” guidance  because they have often lacked it their whole lives. Pray for men and women of Christ to step in and HIS hands and feet to love and care for “the least of these.”

-They need groups to come on week-long mission trips this summer to help run their summer camp and summer outreaches.. They need summer interns to come, a director for the 6 week summer camp, and  year-long interns to come next fall. For more information concerning any of these, please contact me!

The Teens-“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set and example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (I Timothy 4:12)

-Safe Haven employs teens from the community to help run the after school program. They are not immune to the constant pressures of street life. Pray that they will fall in love with Jesus, that the Holy Spirit would be upon them, and would give them supernatural strength to follow Christ instead of the lure of the world in their community.

-Pray for stability in their homes, and that even their parents would come to know and trust Christ.

-Pray I Timothy 4:12 over these teens.

The children-“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14) May we not hinder them due to our apathy, prayerlessness, and neglect that would prevent them from ever hearing about and experiencing the Gospel.

-Pray that supernatural protection would be over them to protect them from sexual, physical and verbal abuse.

-Pray for PEACE in their homes.

-Pray for an awakening in their hearts to the Lord, and His Word that grows and bears fruit in their lives

-Pray for their giftings and abilities to be nurtured and used for God’s glory in their communities.

-Pray for a supernatural breaking of the generational curses that keep them in “the cycle”.

-Pray for “straight paths, valleys filled in, mountains made low, crooked roads made straight that God’s Salvation may be made known in and through their hearts. That ALL the obstacles to a life of faith, stability, and productivity would be removed.

Funding-“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19)

– Pray that all the funding would come in to continue to pay the Executive Director, the staff, the teen employees and to keep the afterschool program running. We need monthly supporters (even $10 a month helps!!) and one-time gifts.  GIVE.

Pray God’s promises over Newark, and the citizens of it:

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations: you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” Isaiah 58:12

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH (IN NEWARK) AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” (Matthew 6:9)

If you are willing to participate in this call to fast and pray, please either “Like” or comment on this post, so we can have an idea of how many are participating.  Thanks!