Category Archives: Uncategorized

05Feb/16

Wiese Family Prayers

Dear Friends

 
As many of you heard, good friends of ours, Chip and Jane Wiese lost their 15 yr old son John David Tuesday night.  He was in great health, happy spirits and strong faith he was found collapsed and was not able to be revived, cause of death unknown. Any of you who know the strong faith and wonderful, serving spirit of this family can imagine Jesus exclaiming: “John David – I know you!  I know your family and they know me intimately – WELCOME” 

 
Pray for Godspeed in the healing process for this loving family Chip, Jane and John David’s siblings – Christian, Daniel and Elizabeth and they walk their long journey of grief.
 
To clarify the funeral service is now 
This Saturday 10:30am 2/6/16:
 at Central Presbyterian Church (new venue)
 7700 Davis Dr, Clayton MO, 63105
Reception to follow at
Bellerive Country Club
12925 Ladue Rd
Town and Country MO 63141
For those inclined: meals for the Wiese’s are being coordinated through this website:
calendar ID 229447
security code 3913
You can deliver the meals to their home: 2 Fair Oaks Dr, St. Louis MO 63124 and place them in the marked cooler by their side door
The Wiese’s have asked in lieu of flowers please donate to any of the following:
- Westminster Christian Academy 10900 Ladue Rd St. Louis Mo 63141
- The Micah Project ℅ Central Presbyterian Church 7700 Davis Dr, Clayton Mo 63105
- Jubilee, 4231 N Grand, St. Louis MO 63124
29Sep/14

Our Participants Continue to Flourish

Faithful messengers are as refreshing as snow in the heat of summer. They revive the spirit of their employer. Pr 25:13 

I ran across this verse – It reflects the spirit of our current Jubilee Services team – Monty, Ray and Antoine.  ALL 3 have stepped up to higher levels of responsibility and performance – both work AND relationship performance.  They are “messengers of our cause” for the capabilities of Jubilee Services to the customers they are working for – as a result our work is flourishing and new customers are being attracted to us!  The relationship between them all is improving, real teamwork, problem solving and leadership is emerging and they are developing new ways to effectively deal with stress – the acid test of personal growth!

Monty Butler has stepped out of his shell, he is a positive contributor in all of our meetings, he can be turned loose on a job site and performs excellently – customers notice his hustle and his team mates respect his calm approach and humor.  He is also expressing real interest in taking on leadership roles

Ray Godfrey has stepped up to an important leadership role – he is our first member to work for a partner business (BA Landscaping) while continuing his participation in Life Bridge Academy.  His performance will open the door for others to follow – this is a big step for us since it will open up more jobs faster than us creating our own.  Ray also identified the need for another employee and is in the process of finding a qualified candidate that first meets our spiritual requirements.

Antoine Whitney is excelling in both his ability to represent Jubilee Services well to our customers and he has taken a great leap of faith to make a personal commitment to learning new leadership styles.  He is leading the work with a new customer HRP that is managing the $30,000,000 Carter Carburetor EPA superfund site.  He took his crew with one days notice onto the site to clean up trash and weed overgrowth in preparation for a major EPA inspection.  This is a major event for the customer, and Antoine’s team is not disappointing them.  Faced with the challenge of being asked to do even more days of work before the deadline and keeping all our other customer’s satisfied, Antoine on his own negotiated with the customer and our other customers to find a “win-win”  solution. This work has the promise to lead to more work beyond this scope on this site and other HRP jobs – year round work.

All of us are so proud of what these men are doing and becoming

Be blessed – we are!

Drew

21Aug/14

Violence in Ferguson – how does it affect us?

How are we affected by the unrest in Ferguson?

I’m getting this question every day.

Our city TV news cycle is now 2 hrs long showing the ongoing protests over the death of Michael Brown. I thought you might want a glimpse into my days during this crisis – here are random highlights:

- Mornings: I meet with our Jubilee Services crew in our North St. Louis garage (for my friends out of town this is our city’s poverty stricken area) for our morning devotional/training as part of our non-profit, Jubilee Service that provides leadership, problem solving and discipleship to men living in this community. We provide employment in our two businesses as our “working classroom”

- 2 of our teammates live near the conflict in the northern suburb of Ferguson. As black men living in generational poverty they are outraged at the image of a white policeman shooting a young black man and at the same time outraged that destruction and violence is destroying Ferguson

- For younger, disenfranchised youth in this area emotions run high and conspiracy theories run rampant. For the mature men on our team distress at loss of life is high balanced with an urge for calm

- Constantly reinforced for me is one characteristic of living in generational poverty is a shortage of meaningful tools to deal with stress. Most have only 2 tools: Fight or Flight. First reaction is emotional outburst or a fight followed by quitting or walking away. You can see it in an entire communities reaction on TV every night. Lots of anger and emotion, no reason or attempt to resolve anything. In my interaction with new team members I can expect emotional outbursts followed by “I quit” multiple times. Thank God there are mature well-respected teammates who can speak into their lives in ways I can’t

- Overheard from a team mate: The “reverend” Jessie Jackson and the “reverend” Al Sharpton show up and shout “justice” – but I don’t hear them say “Jesus”

- It strikes me 50 years ago you wouldn’t find a team of white guys from the suburbs partnering with black men in the city, developing relationships that help both grow

- Comment from one team mate: “Man working with you guys I feel like I can see over the fence” I added: “Tom when one of us stand on the other’s shoulders we BOTH see further”

- We left our morning meeting Monday to discover we had been burglarized overnight; thugs had broken into our trailer and stolen our commercial lawn equipment, our guys livelihood. As the police were finishing their report their radio crackled, they turned to me and said “Sorry we gotta go – an armed robbery is in progress at the bank down the street”

- I struggle with the claim rampant “racism” is the fundamental problem here (not saying it doesn’t exist). 50 years ago racism limited a black man’s opportunities, today, while hurtful it doesn’t have to limit opportunity. When I encounter my contemporaries and explain what I am doing they immediately ask how they can help. Just mentioning the loss of our lawn equipment resulted in $2000 handed to me without question to replace it – right hearted people want to see those in poverty work their way out

- I believe a deeper divide is economic – the differences in culture between poor and middle class are so deep neither side understands the other and neither see a way to bridge the difference. That is the core of our work. We build a bridge across two cultures and invite people on both sides to cross. Our focus is equipping men to do the right thing for themselves, their family, Church and community

- Sunday August 17th (about 5 days into the fury in Ferguson) Antoine, one of our leaders was taking his family to a Church event with his mother in Valley Park (Note to out of town friends, it’s a red neck community). Driving down a street in Valley Park they pass a police car, Antoine sees the cop turn and look at him and make the U-turn, follow him to the Church then cruise the lot to take down his license number. (I’ve never known what that is like. Every time I have been pulled over I was guilty). Yet Antoine maintains his calm and instills it in other team mates

- The shooting was the spark that ignited the explosion. The tinder is oppressive generational poverty