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Archive for the ‘Second Saturday’ Category

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Simon has been leading the Extreme Team since Second Saturdays started back in 2009 at Cornerstone. I was a year into being on the Mission board and the concept was to send teams out into the community to volunteer for a few hours on a Saturday. Even though Simon no longer attends there, he has always kept the Extreme Team going. He always has project and sends out Facebook invites to get some of us to help. I love his heart for the local community. Tonight he had a gathering for those of us that have helped out over the past year. But we pulled a surprise on him and honored him for his leadership to the Extreme Team. He was humbled of course. It was a fun night of food and fellowship and I look forward to many more opportunities to serve in 2013.

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A bunch of us have been helping out a veteran who had a pacemaker put in and has just been put on dialysis. Our friend  John Maxwell lives in a pretty run down house in Chandler that needs a lot of work. Some of us went in a month ago and cleaned up his yard so he could avoid city fees. After he was put on dialysis, we found out that he was sleeping on a pretty crappy bed. So my friend Simon organized an online donation link for many of us to donate to get him a bed. The money came in within hours and by the end of the week, John had a new bed to lay in as he received his treatments. Today a bunch of us spent time doing electrical work and patching up holes in his house. Afterwards, he took us all to lunch at Rosati’s.

As awesome as all of this is, the cool part of the story is John’s son. He has been taking care of his dad and we found out he is a practicing Buddhist priest. Through all this serving, we have made a connection with. He has been allowing us to pray for him and his dad and really enjoys being around all of us. My prayer is that we can be a shining light to him and that he sees Jesus in all of us.

The new bed

John keeps this next to him for inspiration

Working on John’s house

John’s room

Simon – A humble servant

At Rosati’s – the guy with the beard is John’s son

John’s cane

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Today I joined the Extreme team for Second Saturday and helped them clean up a yard of weeds of an old veteran that was having surgery. Our miracle team did an amazing job of cleaning things up in his backyard as he was facing fines from the city. The cool thing was that his son was watching the place for him and he is a Buddhist priest. We were able to pray for him and his father afterwards.

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Today I helped moved a friend and her husband to a new home with a group of people from Cornerstone for Second Saturday. It was great to get out and be a light in the community and to fellowship with some wonderful people. Just hearing Debbie’s story of how God brought her and husband back together after years of both of them struggling to be single parents on their own was encouraging. And now God has blessed them both with a new home to do life together in. I also enjoyed hearing the many stories of the group around me and how God is working all over the place in people’s lives. We had this amazing prayer session afterwards in which we prayed for people and blessed the new home. I love how a simple day of serving turns into a day in which we saw God glorified in people’s stories.

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Cornerstone visited a new site for Second Saturday – Central Arizona Shelter Services. Last week during our homeless outreach with Liberty House, we donated lots of clothes to CASS. Christin, the boys and I rode on the van to CASS and they had us sort out clothes and supplies. CASS is Arizona’s largest shelter and supportive service center for homeless individuals, serving an average of 5,000 men, women and children annually. They not only provide for their needs, but have programs to help them to become self-sufficient and get them back into society.

From their website:

CASS was founded in 1984 in response to a need for an agency to operate an emergency shelter for the homeless in downtown Phoenix. It is the largest shelter and service center for homeless people in Arizona, serving 6,000 men, women, and children annually.
CASS has two facilities. The main facility in downtown Phoenix serves 400 homeless men and women. Vista Colina Emergency Family Shelter, is a 30 unit apartment complex in Sunnyslope that houses homeless families with children. Both operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Sleeping area at the Watkins Homeless Shelter

Sleeping area at the Watkins Homeless Shelter

Had an amazing Second Saturday yesterday. I normally take a team to Liberty House, but today I got to go to the Watkins Overflow Shelter. Twelve us headed out to Phoenix. Watkins is an emergency shelter that is currently housing a hundred women and about forty families. We spent the first part of the day sorting out clothing that was donated. Then we got to spend some time playing games like bingo and doing crafts with the kids. These women and families are really going through some tough stuff.  Getting a chance to play a small part in bringing a little joy to their day was an amazing experience for all of us.

Playing Bingo

Playing Bingo

Candace Cameron and her husband Val Bure were the guest speakers at Friend Day today. We got to go back to two of the homeless shelters that we visited yesterday and bring them to Friend Day. We filled up both vans and brought them to church. Then we fed them lunch after service. It was awesome to see the joy on their faces.

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My friend Cecil Walker joined us for Second Saturday and made a video of his experiences. Check it out!

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