Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)
Its been a great 2013 for the Jackson Five (plus Troy). God has been good and we have been busy. Here is a quick update on our family, ministry and how you can better pray for us.
Our family is growing and we are loving it! J1.0 (Jayden 4yrs old) is excelling in school (student of the month for his whole school), loves to play, starts Tball this week (I’m coaching), and teaching his brothers about Wrestlemania and his love for John Cena.
J2.0 (Jimmy 2 yrs old) has gone from baby to all boy in just a few months. He is a quick learner and is his own man. He loves to follow his brother but has his own personality. Fist bumps, thumbs up and “cool dad.”
J3.0 (Jordan 10 months old) is growing up very fast. He loves his momma and hates to see her leave his sight. Just started saying “dad,” loves to steal his brothers toys and especially likes to chew on WWE action figures.
Jon & Keiki (us) are loving life and each other. I couldn’t ask for a better wife, lover and best friend. She more than completes me, she makes me better at everything I do. We are coming up on 10 years of knowing each other and 8 years being married. Wouldn’t change a thing! Beautiful and amazing.
Troy Mcclendon (aka Troy-boy, aka Tdubs, aka Michigan Made, aka lil bro), just turned 16 and is a man. We love this guy and he is a great part of our extended family. Troy is getting his drivers license this year (pray for us), and is a huge help to our church as he helps run the video and sound boards.
What we’ve been up to:
This has been a crazy few months for us. Some great guys came up from Orlando Baptist Church and helped us finish our basement, bathroom & third floor into a bedroom and office. It is a huge help to us as we are always having people over (day and night).
We traveled to St. Petersburg, Atl and back again trying to raise money for City Church, our family and raise awareness for the Klove Hope Center (World Hope) coming in Detroit.
Financially we have been blessed. We did our taxes and both Keiki & I were blown away that we lived all of last year on about $5200 for the whole year. I can’t explain to you how we made it other than to say that we never missed a meal, we tithed and gave offerings when we didn’t even have it, and somehow God provided.
When our truck broke down, God had a family we have met only once send us a check to help pay for it. A wonderful single lady bought our boys a bunk bed and tons of toys. Some friends of ours in Atlanta and Orlando started sending checks monthly to City Church that helped lighten the load so that there was enough money to fill up the truck with gas and keep mac and cheese on the table, hot dogs (and sometimes steak/chicken) on the grill. Keiki and I felt burdened to give, so we gave some money that we were given recently to help a project that our church is working on, the next day we received some great news that more financial support is on the way in the future that matched what we gave! I could go on and on.
Many times people have asked us how we have made it or what the secret is to making it. First, there is no secret. Second, give all you have to Jesus and He will take care of you.
City Church has been doing great. This Easter we broke the triple digit barrier and busted 100 for worship on a single day. We have been hosting multiple drug recovery programs, our food pantry gets full and emptied weekly and we have been hosting 2 main worship services each weekend. Offerings are still needing improvement, but considering we are in Detroit, anything in the offering plate is a plus. Every week this year we have had at least one visitor, we have had baptisms every month and our best attendance and offerings in the history of the church. While all this is great, we still have along way to go to get this church out of the infancy stage to up and running.
On the weekends I have been preaching through the Gospel of John, preached “Jesus is Dope” on Easter, Keiki sang and the boys danced. We are thrilled about the potential for growth and the future. For only being in this building a little over a year, God is doing some great things.
We have planned several big mass feedings for the spring and summer. We hope to help thousands that are hungry just in the next few months. As a church we will be hosting several big days and several concerts in the park which are an outreach to our community in need.
Our church is currently running three drug recovery programs, we are wanting to see these grow and expand by the fall. There is a serious need for rehab, recovery and restoration in Detroit. We will do this.
The Klove Hope Center will begin construction this summer and hopefully will be up and running by next Easter (all of this depends on the city of Detroit’s approval). We are grateful to partner with Dr. Janney and World Hope to bring real hope to the inner city. This center will be run by local Detroit peeps, it will have a soup kitchen, run drug recovery programs daily and will all be led by a church that we are helping to start and get off the ground.
For several months while I have been working with the Klove Hope Center, I have also been working with several great men here in Detroit who want to plant churches and missions to help more people. We are in the early stages of planting another City Church in Detroit sometime next year. This would be a sister campus of our church and would work together to help reach more people with Jesus, feed more people that are hungry and help the helpless.
How you can help:
Obviously, we need you to pray for us. Please pray for our family, our safety, for more help, stability and for strong backs.
There are two big ways financially that you can be a help.
- We need to raise about $15,000 to pay for our parking lot (the city requires us to pave our parking lot to get our occupancy permit). Our church has raised over half and I’ll announce this Sunday that we are close, but we still need about 20-25 people to give $100 each. If you would be generous enough to help us, we would be more than grateful. Our ministry and my family spends money wisely and if you give it, it will be spent on what is given for.
- Our church and our family need monthly support. Our church budget for the whole year is proposed at $38,000. That is everything. To pay for utilities, flyers, printing, insurance, food assistance, heat, programs and us. Please consider giving online monthly, even if its just a little bit, it goes along way to help in revival of Detroit.
If you would have told me five years ago that this is where I’d be now, I wouldn’t have believed you. God has helped me grow as a pastor, a man, a son, a husband, a father and a friend. I have had to learn the hard way, and it took alot of hard work. We are nowhere near the finish line in this marathon, but I know we are on the right track and momentum is with us.
To those that want to get involved whether that be here or wherever you are, let me challenge you to stop talking about doing something and go do something. It wasn’t until I started doing something that things changed. No more talk, just do it.
Thanks for reading this. I’ll be posting more regularly and have delayed this post just because of being busy and on the road the past 7 weeks. Blessings peeps!
Let the redeemed speak louder,