Call for help: Slavic Village

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As all of you know, I have been preparing to begin planting Eden Centers in Spain, Slavic Village and Kenya. Yesterday the way was made quickly for me to begin this ministry project in Slavic Village.
After praying about it, I felt sure that he was referring to get to Slavic Village in Cleveland and begin the work immediately.

I first went to Cleveland in the fall of 2014 for two weeks. I stayed with a friend and helped him through a hard time in his life. I also did some teaching while I was there to small groups. Towards the end of my trip, I was in prayer during the day and I saw in my spirit some young men beckoning to me from across the street. A sign on the building behind them read “Slavic Village”.

So I went to my friend and asked if he had ever heard of a Slavic Village. He replied that he thought it was in Cleveland. We drove over that afternoon and I witnessed the devastation for the first time. I felt that God wanted me to start a church there and my friend was to look for a building that we could start in.

Six months later, due to circumstances, no progress had been made. I contacted my friend and attempted to make plans to go back to carry out what God had told me to do. I felt I was to go but my friend had too much going on to do any ministry with me.

I can remember sitting in the woods after my friend said it wasn’t a good time to come and really struggling with God. I felt that he had told me to go and yet nothing was working. I had bought a ticket that was sitting in my pocket but I had nowhere to go once I got there. Suddenly, I heard God as clearly as I ever have say to me ” Am I not God in Cleveland? ”

So I headed out not knowing anyone or where I would go. On the way, my friend found me a place to stay in Slavic Village with some Christians.

They were very gracious and put me up for over 50 days. For over 50 days I taught every single night. For 50 days, I did Street ministry, fought social justice battles and prayed.

The way was never made for a final move. We had offers for buildings, vehicles that could be purchased and genuine plans that could be implemented immediately. But we could find no one to help. Promises were made that were not followed up on. The people there just did not seem to care about their own city enough to give towards a ministry there.

After a few months back home, I gave up on Slavic Village. The harvest was there but the church was completely ineffective. If you are going to minister an effective Gospel in an area that has more foreclosures and abandoned homes than anywhere else in the country, you need help. If you hope to introduce the Kingdom of God to the main drug trafficking area in Ohio, you need help. And I could find no one that cared for much besides their own concerns.

After the Lord spoke to me about Slavic Village again yesterday, I began looking to head that direction. I contacted church Pastors that I knew and people that had attended my meetings. The biggest need was securing a home there, fixing that home and then using it as a ministry base to shift a region.

Well, I am excited to announce that a four bedroom home has been totally donated for this ministry. It has been stripped and needs new pipes and wires, the inside needs refinished and it needs appliances, a heater and AC. What else it needs, we don’t know.

We want to retrofit it green, using sustainable materials and technology. We believe that a revolution can occur among the poor if we show them how to get independent of the world system and plugged into God’s abundance. We want to use solar, a water catchment system, heat sinks and plant a complete permaculture garden.

We also want to use it as a ministry center, holding nightly revival meetings, offering discipleship and community building as well.

We believe there is hope, even in this hopeless place. We believe that we can start a movement where the church gains control of properties and changes the spiritual climate of the region.

I am pasting an old article here from CNNMoney that talks about the issues facing Slavic Village. If after reading it, you can see the importance of getting a Kingdom based Gospel preached there, please give generously towards this project via our GIVE tab.

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CLEVELAND (CNNMoney.com) — When homeowners moved away after a wave of foreclosures in Cleveland’s working-class neighborhood of Slavic Village, crime took off.
Slavic Village is known as the worst neighborhood in the nation for foreclosures. In a study for CNNMoney, RealtyTrac calculated that properties in its ZIP code recorded more foreclosure filings in three months than anywhere else in the United States.
According to Jim Rokakis, Cuyahoga County Treasurer, more than 800 houses now sit vacant and moldering in the area, which was founded in the 1840s by Polish and Bohemian immigrants who worked in area steel mills and factories.
The first thing that happened after owners moved out of foreclosed homes in Slavic Village was that squatters and looters moved in, according to Mark Wiseman, director of the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention Program. “In the inner city, it takes about 72 hours for a house to be looted after it is vacant,” he said.
Walking around the neighborhood, Mark Seifert, director of the East Side Organizing Project pointed out a home he said was still occupied less than two weeks before. The gutters and downspouts were already gone, and trash covered the yard.

Long-time Slavic Village resident Joe Krasucki had celebrated his 78th birthday last spring, when, late in the evening, he heard some noise and went out for a look. Reports said he’d had run-ins with local gangs before. A neighbor’s abandoned house had already been stripped of its aluminum siding and, according to Rokakis, Krasucki thought the looters were back, working on his home. Outside, he was attacked and badly beaten. He died some days later.
After stripping the siding, looters don’t take long to make a vacant property nearly worthless.
“If someone takes the doors, moldings, appliances, it’s bad enough,” said Wiseman. “But once they pull the piping out, it’s all over; they do it with a sledge hammer.”
Putting a house back together takes money, more money than the restored home could bring on the market. And stopgap programs, such as razing derelict houses, aren’t feasible – Cuyahoga County only has a few million dollars available for demolition work, and Wiseman estimates at least $100 million is needed.
Many houses in Slavic Village have had their siding stripped up to the roof lines. A few criminal masterminds even stripped vinyl siding, apparently unaware of the difference in wholesale scrap prices between plastic and metal.
When a house is derelict, people will dump garbage in the yard, rather than pay for haulage. Windows are broken, and doors are stolen, opening up the interior to the elements. In Cleveland’s cold and damp climate, the houses deteriorate quickly. But some not badly enough to keep drug dealers out.
Asteve’e “Cookie” Thomas was just 12 years old this past summer when she was gunned down coming out of a Slavic Village candy store, caught in a crossfire from suspected dealers engaged in a drug war. Seifert said one of the alleged shooters was using an abandoned house in the neighborhood as a base.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, five people, including Thomas and Krasucki, have been killed in Slavic Village in the past two years: In July, Grady Smith, 27, was shot outside his home while working on his car. In Nov. 2006, Roman Grasela, 71, died of blows to his head after his house was broken into. And in October 2005, Therese Szelugowski, 76, died weeks after falling and hitting her head after she was mugged.

Some Slavic Village home owners, still hoping to salvage something out of houses they have vacated, have installed stout doors on entryways with thick locks. They board up windows with three-quarter-inch, exterior-grade plywood.
Others attempt to thwart looters by advertising the lack of anything of value inside. They paint signs saying: “No copper, No wiring, PVC.”
Residents have tried to fight back, organizing neighborhood watch groups and lobbying the police, who, many feel, are too often missing in action.
Seifert pointed out an open, empty lot on one block that had been used by car thieves for months and months to store and strip parts from stolen cars. It took a concerted effort by a local group called “Bring Back the 70’s” (which refers to the street numbers in the neighborhood) to get the police to clear the lot of the thieves.
But as the number of empty lots and abandoned houses grows where houses and residents were once packed in a tight community, there are fewer and fewer neighbors to fight the battle.

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Fakes, frauds, the broken and the deceived.

IMG_0182It’s amazing to me. As a preacher, the first rule to ongoing support and personal survival is to never, ever allow the people to see the sausage being made. You post a nice picture of you and your wife on the site, everyone smiles, there are no issues in your lives (see? We are a shiny, happy family) because God forbid you have issues, you would be disqualified from ministering.
So from the jump you’re a fake. Your career becomes about growth, numbers growth. You wear jeans and a hip button down shirt with the sleeves slightly rolled up. You make up for your lack of content in your sermon with multimedia and lights. You make sure that the praise team sings the newest contemporary songs so everyone knows how edgy you are. Your wife plays her role, no holes can be seen in her game. Your kids are not immune either, they must be paragons of the young, leaders among their class.

The reality at home may be far, far different. Because of the discrepancy between the performance that you and your family are forced to put on and the realities that you face, your kids may grow up hating church because they’ve seen Mom and Dad fight like cats and dogs. They’ve heard Dad’s comments about the church people he was just hugging on. They have watched Mom cry from frustration and loneliness. They grow up and avoid church altogether.

After 26 years of ministry, almost 19 with my wife as my best friend and partner, she has filed for divorce. This after leaving me around 8 months ago and taking the kids. During that time I was diagnosed with CPTSD from multiple traumas that I have experienced since age 10. Now I’m not talking about garden variety PTSD, bad memories because someone yelled at you or you lost some stuff. This is complete shut down PTSD, the worst my doc has ever seen. It seems that when my wife left, it triggered hell in me.

I drank a lot. I did not really pray. I fought physically as much as I could. Why? Because of the torture I was enduring inside. The doc explained that we have an emotional side and a rational side to our brain. Between the two sides, normal folks have bridges. These bridges allow memories and experiences to pass from emotion to rationality.

With PTSD, that bridge may be burned, you can no longer take an emotion that has trauma attached and move it from emotion to the rational side. With CPTSD, it is multiple traumas over a broad spectrum with all bridges burned. Welcome to hell, cowboy.

Example from a normal mind: this guy is staring at me, maybe he knows me or maybe he has had too much to drink. Just ignore him and enjoy yourself.

Example from PTSD: this guy is staring at me, he must be plotting on me, if I don’t move first, I could be hurt. /punches guy in the face and continues beating him.

No, it makes no sense to you. It makes no sense why a single memory can cause you to go into a trance and get stuck. Why someone would have to rock and make noises to keep thoughts at bay.

How this could happen to a believer.

I could expose my wife, what she’s done. I never will because I have made mistakes that I wouldn’t want broadcasted. I could go into details regarding the traumas that I have endured, not stories but realities. I could explain it to you as I’ve explained to close friends these last months and watched tears roll down their face about my memories.

It would all be for naught. That’s not the kind of preacher you want. You want the plastic hype filled primadonna that grew up in church, went to youth group, got his own church and is now tragically hip and completely unable to give you anything other than pat churchian answers to your issues.

I am not him. I am no one’s hero. I am damaged, limping, hurt and wounded. I wake every day with nightmares whose terror is quickly replaced by loss, mourning, fear and betrayal. They drop like pinballs in my mind, bouncing around and keeping me from focusing- all I can do is re-live or feel. Soon more balls drop, banging around inside until I literally shut down.

Why don’t you just pray or worship or read your Word you ask? Do you not understand that mental illness is real? That mine was caused by things done to me, things I’ve done and seen? It was caused by being completely shut down until I was 26 years old? Then when I did trust and give my heart, to have that betrayed and destroyed? How do you pray then if not about that?

I am not normal, never will be. But my pain and my hurt gives me the unique ability to love people that the church despises. They know they are safe with me, that I love them and actually care. I am broken as a man but whole as a heart given for the least of these.

My support has dried up. I forgot the cute couple’s pic on the blog apparently. I can’t post a family picture because my kids are withheld from me. I don’t have a family now, just a hole where those that I trusted and loved the most used to be.

I am trying to get better, allow God to move again. I have had issues doing it alone. I have to pay thousands literally by tomorrow and I have no support. I am working a secular job and doing my therapy. I have ministry opportunities that God and I seem to care about.

I have nothing left to qualify me to you. You know me, you’ve been in my services, you’ve seen the miracles or watched as God showed up. You’ve listened to my teachings and read my articles. What you didn’t see was the price that was paid and that continues to be paid.

Here is my point, please put down your copy of Max Lucado and listen; quit forcing each other and particularly your leaders to be fakes, frauds and phonies. In the end, you won’t be helped and they will be destroyed. Have the courage to show your issues and warts. Let God shine through your ugly. God moves around me because I don’t have guile, I know what I am and I will let you know as well. He’s the only good thing about me. Man, give others the grace to say that. Support them as they do, be honest, be raw, be real. Quit acting like you’ve got an answer, if you do, you’ve not come to the real question yet.

As for me, I need your prayers and your support financially, I do, sue me. I need you to pray for my wife and kids, that they will end up okay. I need you to pray for doors of utterance to open for me. It won’t be in a stadium with big names, I tried that and me and them don’t play so well together. It will be doors to the jungle, to Slavic Village, to Spain among the lost that think they have answers, to Kenya and babies with AIDS.

Real ministry to the broken by the broken for the one that was broken for us.

Shalom to you with all my heart.

JC

http://www.americanpentecost.wordpress.com/give

Illegitimi Non Carborundum.

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Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?
Remember how she said that
We would meet again
Some sunny day?
Vera, Vera?
What has become of you?
Does anybody else in here
Feel the way I do?

Vera, Pink Floyd

The church gets uncomfortable with real. So let me be as real as I can for you.

You know, I wish I could convey how devastated I am at what the enemy was able to do through my wife. How shocked I was at the events. I wish I could communicate the misery that consumes me because I’ve not spent time with my kids since April 29th. I wish I could let you feel what I feel when she explains I won’t be seeing them and knowing I will have to fight it legally when I don’t want to.
I wish you could plug into my heart so that you could look back over the years and feel that all of it counted for nothing. That my life benefited some with our prayers and teaching but as a minister, you are easily forgotten. I wish you could feel a vision die that you have given everything to or watch people that you love fade into the distance as they seek better things for themselves. You stand holding an empty bag of promises and hope and try to imagine how you can ever hope again.
I wish you knew the gnawing fear in the back of your mind when no one gives and no one prays. The awful realization that despite all of the encouraging one liners, all that you loved is gone and you are embarking on a new journey, sight unseen.

I wish you could feel betrayal by the church. Those that counsel a spouse deeper into sin based on humanism and modernism but never by the Word of God.
I wish many times I would never have been called by God. I wish I would never have met my wife or had those children. Not because they did not give me joy in the past and not because I don’t love them but because the loss of them has hurt me beyond human endurance, I love them too much.

What hurts even more is the seeming silence of God. I saw a missionary online today asking for funds so that he could eat. Not to buy a jet, not to add a new wing onto the church- just eat. But the conservative corporate business model Spirit has so infiltrated the church that we freely equate prosperity and success with the blessing of God. And to those that have, we send more because God is with them. To those that don’t, we ignore because there is obviously something wrong. By those standards, you would have rejected every prophet and preacher in the Bible including Christ himself. I’ve gotten messages telling me to quit begging and go get a job. These people whose only sacrifice for Christ has been to get dressed and go to church once a week sitting back in judgment of someone that has given their life. That’s just par for the course, forgive them Lord.

Funny how it happens after the worst attack in my life as I sit back in awe at the damage, unable to even address the situation and having to move forward into a future when I am honestly worried whether I can trust God or not. There are good days and bad days. There are days that I hurt so bad, I can’t hardly function. There are days when I am locked in place by anxiety because no one wants to give and I am past the point of need. There are days when there is hope and when I can see the good things that are still in my life.

The problem is, I am still limping. I’m better by far but like the old wound that knows rain is coming, I still feel the effects of the worst betrayal and trauma I’ve ever experienced in my life. And I have needed help as I battled illness, I have needed help as I came to terms with PTSD. My life has always been about helping others and I needed some of that.

I still do.

Some of you have communicated that if my needs or goals for the immediate future in ministry are God’s will, he will provide. Then you feel safe in not giving and not praying. Friend, God could plant a perfect field of corn if he desired but he chooses to use farmers. And all the enemy needs to do to shut down a man or woman of God is to convince the church to do nothing.

I have been through a living hell this last year and a half. For a few years before that, I had a breakdown and fell off the map and no one bothered to check on me. I was alone, flustered by the seeming abandonment of God and wrestling with a mental condition that I knew nothing about- ptsd. And no one cared. Those that I did reach out to grew uncomfortable and broke off communication. I needed help, real help, due to the excessive traumas that I have experienced in my life. None came, God was silent, life fell apart, I died.

Yet here I am. Not for your benefit or amusement but because I have nowhere to go but to him. I have lost all in my pursuit of the answers to the salvation of Gen-X. I have made many mistakes along the path as well, believe me. I believe that the need for the answer must be greater than the price paid to attain it.

So here I go into the breach in the enemy’s wall once again. I go to start something that will speak as the oracles of God to a generation with a 3% occasional church attendance rate.  And once again I look for you to hear from God and be his hands of support.

The price has been too dear. The change too complete. The wounds too deep to ignore. I don’t feel ready but I do feel compelled.

Pray about your involvement this time.

JC.

Help us reach France today!

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Those of you that follow this ministry know that we have never backed down from a challenge. We have always preached the truth, no matter how unpopular. We have travelled and preached in places that “normal” Christians and preachers won’t go.

This ministry has preached all over the U.S. for over 20 years. We have spoken of the need for revolution and the Lazarus Generation, revival and Reformation; many times to people that were quite happy to remain asleep in the light.

We have talked and written about the upcoming generational chasm and it’s repercussions for the future of the American church; how we will see a 3% church attendance rate in this country within a few short years.

Recently, something has shifted and we are staring at the biggest change in the history of this ministry squarely in the face. God is calling us to a different mission field.

We are leaving the U.S. and heading to Europe as missionaries.

We believe that the lessons that we have learned over the years in regards to vintage reconciliation, post modern ministry, Gen-X outreach methodologies, etc, will be used by God effectively in one of the most spiritually barren places on Earth; France.

France, you ask? Why France?

France has the 4th largest atheist population in the world.

Of 36,550 towns and cities in France, 35,000 do not have 1 evangelical church.

A large evangelical church in France may consist of only 20-30 regular attendees.

A youth population that is largely uninterested in the gospel. 

Less than 10% own a Bible and 80% have never even handled one.

There are 10 times more people earning a living in occult practices than there are evangelical pastors and missionaries. 

There are now 10 Muslims in France for every 1 Evangelical Christian.

Now, we believe that the only point of this ministry is revival. And we believe that revival is the ultimate purpose for this move. France is the Jericho of Europe – if revival breaks there, in the very heart of secular humanism in Europe, then the rest of Europe’s Gen-X and disenfranchised youths will be swept up into a great awakening as well.

But the methods that have been employed over the last 50 years have all failed. And the majority of Western missionaries that go there fail. But this ministry is something radically different that Europe has not seen before.

We believe that Jesus loves the lost of Europe and wants to awaken them to the light of the knowledge of Christ. This secular stronghold must give way for the Kingdom of God and the eternal message of Christ’s dominion and rule.

We need your help, make no mistake. The mission organization has set us a goal of $10,000 USD per month for personal and ministry funding and an initial set up need of over $100k.

We believe that God is going to set up a ministry training center there that will be free, where converts can come and learn all they need to succeed in that mission field.

We believe that God is going to have us train people in off the grid sustainable farming and building techniques to free ministers from the slavery of the world system and as a means of social justice.

We believe that we will employ the hub method that God gave us and reach thousands with the Good News of the Kingdom.

We are asking for your help in one time gifts and monthly donation pledges to sustain this incredibly important revival mission.

Simply go to the GIVE tab and help us to launch this revolution in the darkest part of Europe today.

God bless you, friends.
James and Shana & Co.

All Things New

Proverbs 16:25  There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

I have been active in repentance ministry for several years now. I must tell you, when I first became involved I was so excited about it. It had seemed that I had come into a secret fraternity- one that understood that the church was in bad shape and error was present everywhere you looked. These were those few that God had used through the ages by revealing to them the message of repentance and I ate up everything that I could find. Now, repentance had always been a factor in my ministry, I had preached messages that brought repentance for years. But suddenly, it was all that I preached- it became the golden key of revival and I became a crusader against the world system and the church that was its pawn.

Over time I began to question the fruit in my own ministry and my personal life and also the fruit in the ministries of others I knew in the repentance circles. I wondered why there was no revival, even on a small local scale. I mean, if we were “in the know” as to secret revival truths, then there must be some fruit somewhere, right? It seemed easy to claim that it was the fault of the people or the enemy or whomever. However, when I looked at the people who were coming to hear me, I saw people open to my message and hungry for whatever God had for them. It simply could not be the case. Even seeing this issue, I was still preaching the messages because I had not, to my mind, seen anything else that struck me as being right.

A few months ago, I was thrust into a situation in which I had to call on faith and had to do it fast. And as I reached to grab it I honestly realized with no small horror that I had none available. So I got into the Word and searched but I received no faith from what I read there. So I began searching online for sermons from those involved in repentance for something that imparted faith and found nothing. In fact, I soon saw evidence everywhere that I looked that faith was not something that they talked about at all.

Now, I came up in ministry in Word circles. In fact, I preached it for over 12 years. I saw dynamic miracle after miracle in my life and in the lives of others. I had lived by faith from the time I started in ministry, trusting God for provision for myself, my family and my ministry. The day I began ministry when my local church laid hands on me and “sent me out”, I got into a tiny car with $50 in my pocket and when that ran out, I prayed in everything else I needed out on the road. And over all of those years since then, God had never once failed me. Now that is not to say that we didn’t eat some funny looking meals at times, we certainly did, but we always ate. I was living proof of the scripture that says “I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).

And here I was, faithless now. I had grown so accustomed to “calling those things that are, as they are or worse” in my life and ministry that I had no ability to live by faith. I saw all of the problems with the church and focused on them with all of my intent. I saw the problems with everyone around me, with the system, with everything. All that I saw were the problems and I truly felt that God hated it as much as I did. I did not rely on His promises because he simply did not care about me or my joy. God only cared about His glory and my job was to take up my cross and die. And believe me; I really began to do just that.

I found myself angry at everyone and judgmental of everything that did not line up with my own theology. Soon, I never received revelation in the word because that sort of thing led to error. I fed myself a steady diet of un-Spirit filled preaching focused on the problem and never the answer. And I lost all of my joy, all of my love, all of my peace and all of my faith in the process.

The heart of this sort of preaching is unbelief, plain and simple. And I had embraced it and in so doing, agreed with everything that the enemy was doing in my life and the world. I actually got into agreement with him in the Spirit! I agreed with him that I needed to have nothing and I didn’t. I agreed with him that people hated to hear me and I never got invited anywhere and soon I wasn’t anymore. I agreed with him that people did not want to hear the “truth” and that America was doomed to face judgment. Can you imagine that? Is it God’s will that America be judged? That it does not turn and find Him again? So why would we actually get into agreement with the enemy about every single thing that he is doing?

When I first got involved with repentance ministry, I was bitter. I was shell-shocked from some personal tragedies in my life and I was angry with the church. And when I heard the message, it all rang true with my experience. It was so easy to blame the church, the system, the preachers and everyone else. It felt so good to think that it wasn’t my fault, it was theirs. Everything that I heard lined up with my experiences in the flesh and I was sucked in. Now, that is not to say that it lined up with the word; I had to ignore large passages of scripture that did not fit in with my new belief system. Of course, I was so busy pointing out the portions of scripture that others were ignoring that it was hard to see my own blind spots.

In the end, it was the total lack of faith in those circles that shocked me to the truth. After all, if “Now abideth faith, hope and love, these three” and none of those things are evident, isn’t there a problem? There is a fault-finding and hyper critical spirit there that brings people into bondage and into agreement with the enemy. And I will harbor that no longer in my own life.

In the last little while I have began to change up my thinking and I have never felt so liberated in my life. Both my wife and I felt the effects immediately in our hearts and in our lives. Suddenly we had hope once again: hope for our own life and hope for the ministry that He called us to! Love was shed abroad in our hearts again by the Holy Ghost. We drove past a church building with a silly name and instead of cursing them and being angry we looked at each other and said ‘Good for them!’ We have peace that surpasses comprehension because we are standing on His word and not agreeing with the enemy in regards to circumstances. We are freed by knowing the truth and I have not been so excited in so very long.

And so I must take the biggest faith step in my life right now and begin to preach the full Gospel message again. Seeing the problem is always important and I will certainly continue to do that. But seeing GOD’S ANSWER IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT and that is what we are called to do. We must know that His word is established in heaven and then seek to establish it here on the earth in our life and ministry.

I invite you to stay with us as we turn this corner; I know that the best is yet to come!