Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kramertribe January 2009 update

In this month's edition of kramertribe you will read about the following:

Ocala Homeless Youth trip
24/7 Prayer

and maybe a few other exciting things. Thanks for staying tuned, here's the latest!

January 2-12 we made a trip with Source to Florida. The purpose of the trip was to reach out to some folks who live in the Ocala National Forest for a Rainbow Gathering. Rainbow gatherings started in the 70s in the high of the 'hippie' movement. These gatherings consisted of anywhere from 100 to 20,000 people living in the woods, sharing free food, playing music, doing drugs, etc. There greeting to each person who comes is 'Welcome home.'

Every year in the Ocala National Forest several thousand homeless youth, travelers and old hippies gather together. Source has gone to this gathering twice previously-once in 2005 and again in 2007. This year we had a team of 12 who set up a kitchen, cooked and served three meals a day as well as maintaining a 24/7 prayer tent in the woods. We also kept a journal while we were in the woods. You can read about it on Source's website. The link is:

God really blessed us on the trip, even before we got into the woods. A vineyard church hosted us before and after the gathering. A couple, Tom and Anita (pictured above), that have been involved with Christian community for years hosted us at their home. We were encouraged by their hospitality and felt like family instantly! Once we got into the woods God really gave us grace and favor. We met a lot of people, prayed with a lot of them, cooked and served some great food and saw God move in great ways. Many of the people have been hurt by the church and are turned off by Christians.

By the end of our week in the woods our new friends, who knew we were Christians and had been around while we prayed or even prayed with us, did not want us to leave. We had become family in just a few days. One of the young men even decided to come back with us to Minneapolis! The last day we were in Florida we went to the beach. It was a cold rainy day. Tom, our host, told the young man, 'if you are ready to follow Jesus i'll baptize you today in the ocean.' He thought about it for a while and decided he wanted to do that. We gathered around him, prayed for him and then Peter and Tom baptized him in the ocean. Please pray for this young man as he is trying to follow God and looking for a job. His name is Jacob. He is the shirtless one in the picture. Our friend has posted a lot of pictures on his facebook. If you have facebook Go here:

24/7 Prayer
January 24-31 we hosted another week of prayer at the Fallout. We value these weeks of prayer because we see them as a time to refocus on what really matters. And what really matters? Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Loving our neighbor as ourself. The week went really well and as usual God surprised us. The last night of the week of prayer was our community night. We had around 60 people, a great time of worship, a great time of sharing about the week and also had an opportunity to share about our trip to Ocala.
God brought new friends to the Fallout to pray with us, he brought some people in crisis through our doors and overall was very present. The result of the week of prayer for many of us is a renewed hunger to prayer and to study the Word of God. We continue to maintain rhythms of prayer and are encouraging people to use the prayer room more often! Prayer really is the foundation of everything that God does.

2009 is going to be a very good and crucial year for Source. As a non-profit things are challenging but we are trusting God in all things. Peter and Jessica, the directors of Source, are having their 4th child in March. As a result they are going to be stepping back from a lot of their responsibilities. This is good but it also challenging as they are used to being deeply involved with every aspect of Source. So, this month, February, is going to be very important. We need your prayers as all of us on staff try to step up, understand our roles and hear God. We are excited for Peter and Jessica as God has been speaking to them for years about this. We are also anxious as it means even more responsibilities for everyone on staff. Needless to say, things are exciting here! Thanks for your prayers and your support!

Tim and Dana Kramer

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2008 Highlights / New Year Update

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy 2009!

Thank you all for your prayers and support this last year. You all are definitely one of our 2008 highlights. It is literally impossible for us to do what we do here without you. 2008 has been a crazy year for us. There have been some amazing joys and some deep sorrows. We know that without the strong support of our family and friends we could not have made it through this last year.

There are a lot of highlights from our first year at Source. We cannot share all of them but will share some of them in this letter. We have included picture highlights first then we have written more in detail about the year below that.

2008 has been a great year of prayer at Source. We were able to do 3 full weeks of prayer plus two weekends of prayer. Along with this we also kept a rhythm of morning, midday and evening prayers at the Fallout. All of this praying is dangerous though because we soon realize that God wants to use us to answer our prayers to feed the hungry, invite the homeless into our homes and be the voice of truth in our world.As the prayer coordinators we had the privilege of bringing the body together to set up the prayer room, maintain weeks of prayer, as well as the daily prayer rhythms. We also had the privilege of praying with people from other faith backgrounds in our Urban Prayer Room. Hosting a permanent prayer room at the Fallout has given us the opportunity to be available for people in crisis, people seeking to understand God and other believers in need of encouragement. We continue to see prayer as the foundation for everything else we do at Source.
One of the surprises of 2008, which is also a highlight, is our crash course in leadership. It has been a somewhat reluctant acceptance of this truth over the last year or so. But whether we do it reluctantly or willingly, God is developing us into leaders at Source. The result has been all sorts of challenges, frustrations, responsibilities and really good stories! We have both had the chance to teach, lead small groups, be in charge of volunteer groups, outreach teams, etc.
We have been humbled as people have expressed their gratitude for our godly leadership as well as their appreciation for what we do around Source. We have also learned that leadership is a lot less about recognition and a lot more about faithful obedience to serve God and people.
Part of this crash course of leadership was leading 11 interns as well as helping host 6 students from Crown College who helped us for 2 weeks. You can read more about it in an article that they wrote afterwards. The link is:

Joshua House
In August of 2007 there was only one person living in the Joshua House. Now, a year later, it is full and has stayed full consistently for months. There is a great group of men there who are growing together in Christ through community living, meals, Bible study and lots of fun.

27 years old: never done laundry,
never had a drivers license, and never paid a bill…
Chris has had a very rough life including losing his little brother tragically when he was 4, living a life of drug addiction and crime leading to years spent in treatment and jail. As a result he found himself at age 27, graduating from a drug treatment program and not knowing where to go next. Thankfully he heard about the Joshua House and moved in.

At the Joshua House Chris has been given the opportunity to grow and succeed. Along with learning how to do his laundry and personal financial management, - goal setting, mentors, living with peer role-models, connecting with a cross-generational community (seeing families, moms, dads, and children), Biblical foundations, attending school, working, getting his first drivers license, and cooking his first turkey have all been part of Chris’s experience at the Joshua House.

Pray for Chris along with the current and future young people in the Transitional Homes Program. Pray for opportunities to succeed, growth in their relationship with God, practical life skills, a community / family to be nurtured in, and a future women’s transitional home.

Homeless Youth Outreach
We saw a great response to God’s challenge for Source to step up our involvement with homeless youth in 2008. We began by spending a lot of time praying and then began to make changes such as: starting a ‘free store’ in the Fallout basement, going out on regular outreach in search of homeless youth, letting some travelers crash at the Fallout and personally we let two of our friends, Jeremy and Val stay at our house for a month this fall. We are excited to see God continue to move in this area of Source in 2009. Part of this excitement comes from a local church college group that will be joining us for some training and outreach this winter.

Our excitement increased even more recently as 12 of us got to go on a homeless youth outreach trip to Ocala, Florida. Some of the highlights of this trip were hosting a prayer tent for 5 days, serving 3 meals a day to hungry hippies and getting to pray with many individuals. We will have more about this trip in our January update so definitely check that out.

We want to give you a wee update on us as well as everything at Source. 2008, as mentioned previously, was a year of great joys and great sorrows. Some of the joys have been seeing God move in Minneapolis, our house and our lives. Some of the joys have been seeing young people give their lives to the Lord and continue to grow in him. Some of the sorrows have been two miscarriages and the grief, confusion and disappointment of suffering. Some of the sorrows have been beginning great friendships only to see those people move on or fall back into drugs. Overall, the result has been growth in our trust of God and our love for him and one another. We are so grateful for our families, friends and the body of Christ that has stood with us, here and from a distance, throughout this whole year.

In December and January we had a few appointments with doctors regarding our recurring pregnancy loss. They ran some tests which all came back negative. It seems that there is nothing ‘wrong’ with us that is causing the miscarriages to occur. So, for now we are trusting God and trusting his timing for us to have children. The doctor is very optimistic and we are very hopeful. Thank you so much for your prayers and support during this difficult year. Please continue to pray for us as we wait on God for healing, direction and grace in regards to being parents.
We would also love your prayers for our house. We have had 5 roommates move out in the last year and as of right now it is just us and the Howards (Andrew, Sara and Zeke). We are seeking the Lord so we can know his heart and purpose for the house in this season. Living in community has been such a joy and has brought about immense growth in us. We look forward to growing more this way in 2009. The Lord has really knit our hearts together with the Howards and we look forward to more of that great work this coming year. Please pray for our relationships, for direction in this season and for the right roommate(s) in 2009.

Financial Update
Finally, a financial update. We are so grateful for the support that we receive and are humbled by God’s provision through you all. We have been surprised over and over by God’s faithfulness and provision.

We are doing well with monthly support though we are still taking out a little more from our account than we take in each month. Our rent may also have to go up if we don’t find any roommates who can pay rent in the next few months. We know God is providing as we seek his kingdom first. Thanks again everyone for your faithful support financially and through prayer.

We love you all very much! May the Father bless you richly this year!!
Tim and Dana Kramer