December 25, 2012

A Greater Faith for the New Year...

I would like to share something on my heart with you in this 2013 year of Faith...

God tends to show himself opposite to the current situation:

• When there was a storm, He brought good weather
• When there was the Israelites in the desert walking on their journey, in the day He showed up as a cool cloud an in the night, a hot fire
• When Gideon was to conquer an army, He asked for a small group to conquer a huge army.
• When there was hunger in the crowds, Jesus multiplied food
* When there is death, He brings life and health.

Jesus has passed the baton onto his followers, His Father’s kids—that’s us. He expects us to take a stand in trying political and economical demise and to represent His Father’s desires and Kingdom. He has commissioned His children to show up in the opposite to give Him glory. In perilous times, that's when and where we are SENT. We are sent into a realm that is without grace and favor to bring God's favor and grace. This is our assignment as Sons and Daughters. God wants this world to look like His world.

So, in these time of threats of falling off a fiscal cliff, terrorism inflicted by our own children upon fellow innocent children, drug addiction run rampant—we are called to take our position-- understanding our assignment and responsibility as sons and daughters to confront the things that do not belong in His Kingdom—in our neighborhoods, in our families—in our own life.

What does this look like? For the one who just lost her job, “Father, I know you are my Provider. I choose to be grateful and believe you to provide for my family. Give me wisdom and favor and make a way where there is no way.”

It looks like the for the one who has fatal cancer, “God, You do not give a person cancer- You are the giver of live and healing. I thank you for healing me and I will press into you for healing.” Did anyone who came to Jesus NOT get healed? Are we to carry His baton and do “Greater things”? Forgive us Lord for making a theology out of how some people are not healed after prayer, but pressing into the more that God has for us as His kids.

It looks like giving a big tip to your waitress even though the economy is bad because you believe you can walk in a generous spirit despite your small bank account at this time. If we walk in a negative spirit of poverty when times are rough, we also empower the enemy and negative spirit and close the door for the Father to come in the opposite spirit.

It looks like when your neighbor is disrespectful to you, you return good for evil. You come in a spirit that builds up even those who tear down. This tenderness keeps that negativity from attaching to your spirit.

God’s word guides us in how to live in a society that is filled with challenges, and in a society that has abandoned the value of honoring God. Press into God’s love and His Truth and Freedom. He has the answers for everyday issues and challenges! We do not have to bow down to the economic depression predictions, or to the fear of natural and societal disaster.

The Father has a way out and wants to use us to shift the atmosphere around us. When we accept the world’s predictions, we have lost our faith in the One who is Lord of all Creation, the One whom has given us the privilege of walking as Jesus did and doing the things He did.

God bless you my friends. I'm praying for you in the Church to grasp the Beauty of your position as sons and daughters of such an amazing Father. I'm asking you to beg into His heart this year. There is nothing more worthy of living for but to know who He is and who He says you are...The world needs you to rise up in your spirit and become who you are!

Thanks so much for your prayers for me and our mission at Mama Nita’s in Steubenville.


December 21, 2012

Happy Advent & Merry Christmas & a Wonderful New Year to you!!

God chose to gift His gift of Jesus in a world torn by Middle Eastern strife—Herod’s unjust political tyranny, corruption, slavery, poverty prevailing among the family Jesus was born into—and yet His Mother was bursting with Hope and Faith: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord! My spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”

That’s what I am feeling here as I live at Mama Nita’s Coffee House Ministry home—a place so many of you have been a part of this past year in so many ways. I’m so amazed at how God has been moving in and through us this past year! It’s really been an adventure of encountering His Presence and seeking to make this new mission a place where God’s “Christmas Presence” can flourish.

To re-cap for some of you, I returned from Africa in the Fall of 2011 and bought a run down 5200 sq ft mansion this past January. After uniting with my friends from different churches we recognized it is time to “do something” that will usher in God’s unity among us Christians in Steubenville and facilitates encounters with our Loving God in this downtown area. It’s now my home.

I'm still connected with my people in Sudan and thankfully my old Volleyball coach is helping out Joseph to finish his school to become a Sudanese Doctor in South Sudan. Way to go Joseph!! And Thanks "Mum Mollie" as Joseph calls her.

“Doing good in the hood” is our motto in Steubenville, and that’s what’s been happening. Here are some highlights we can join with Mary in “proclaim the greatness of the Lord”: • Over 3000 volunteer hours from people around the nation to work on the house and over 20 churches represented
• A weekly praise and worship and intercession time on Mondays and prayer for the city twice monthly
• Several people recommitting their life to God through our ministry and many receiving prayer and relationships with neighbors deepening
• 29 of you sponsored windows so now ALL of our 38 windows are replaced! (There’s still 4 left!) Others supplied rugs, furniture, curtains, bedding, kitchen supplies, etc so that I hardly had to buy anything!
• A real sense of “God’s about to move in our city” from many of our local intercessors and a move on the Franciscan Campus of student’s hunger to grow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit
• A few movie nights with Furious Love and Father of Lights and a mini concert by Chat Smith
• Last but not least, a growth in my heart to hunger to have a deeper capacity to love God and others—keep me in prayer to continue to grow in generosity in loving others.

I have been praying for local people to be moved to volunteer here. Not primarily because I need the help (which I do!) but because it’s a sign of something the Holy Spirit is doing among the poor downtown to “give back” and find dignity and pleasure in giving of their time and talents.

On one of the warm November days I decided to inaugurate our winter with one last mow of the little bit of weeded-lawn we have. A middle aged man walked by with a few empty jugs. “Hi—how you doing?” I chimed in as a I took a break from my mowing.

I soon found out “Lawrence” was moving from Fort Steuben apartments to a house around the corner. “I got to get out of that place. It’s bad. The drugs. There’s no peace or quiet there. It’s bad there.” Since he didn’t have enough money for his water company deposit, he was walking 10 blocks to get water for his grandkids he was taking care of and his girlfriend.

Since that time, I’ve gotten to know Lawrence and his girl, Lauraine who is a patient at the free clinic I serve at on Thursdays. He now knows how to use my front load washer which was donated by Franciscan University, and pushes our neighbor Ruby’s grocery cart with jugs of water he’s filled from our faucets. After a few weeks of this, he said, “Do you need help around here? I’m a jack of all trades. I want to give back to you. You’ve helped us out so much. I want to give back.”

So now, Lawrence (Ruby calls him ‘Whispers’ for some reason I’ve not discovered yet) is putting on mudding to the dry wall that Jonathan put up and will start on some basement work next week.

Walter, another neighbor who was the first to volunteer back in February is the first local person to donate financially to our mission and helped pay for the Boiler company to evaluate our boiler. “Katie, don’t worry” he always tells me. God is moving in our people down here… Good in the hood. It’s really coming together. God is doing a great work here.

May the Lord especially bless those who have served here this last year either from afar through prayers and giving and those near who have joined me in doing so much to get this house and mission up and running. We still have far to go but it’s amazing how far we’ve come. I thank you God for the grace and favor!

So, I say to you, my friends: “Don’t worry…God wants to give back to you, fill you, refresh you. Amidst so much turmoil in our world, in the quietness, in the stillness, HE is HERE. Jesus will never leave you no matter how much you may get sidetracked. God is GOOD and is so ready to heal your hearts, fill you up and strengthen you to be a blessing to those around us.

May your spirits rise up like Mary’s does and say with all the Saints and Angels amidst any trial that may be going on and say, “My soul proclaims the greatness of my God!” Much love to each of you and your families!! You’re all welcome to visit anytime!! Thank you for being in my life!


July 31, 2012

Keep the Hope!

So many people are worried about the economy, our nation, increasing violence, etc. I'm not stressed! I see signs of hope! It is in difficult challenging times that great leaders and God's love and hope can shine. Small steps in faith can birth creative dreams never thought possible. I am sure in your own neighborhood and family you can and are making a difference. Don't give up!
Mama Nita's Coffee House Ministry is moving forward in the house-rehabilitation phase. Amidst our nation's struggles, we have received over 2500 volunteer hours since we started cleaning out the house in February of this year! Amazing! The Community keeps asking us with hopeful anticipation, "When are you opening???" On the other side of the world, in Nuba Mountains, I keep in touch with the Camboni Sisters and the Nurse Practitioners from Sudan that are serving with Dr. Tom Catena. They are true heroes. Bomber planes drop bombs all around, they care for those needing amputations and who don't survive the trauma. They are starving.
Think of that the next time you buy yourself another 'treat because you deserve it". Think of the hungry around the world and share as much as you can in these trying days. You can send money to any Camboni Missionary Sisters convent around the world to the attention of the Sisters in the Nuba Mountains and they themselves will feed the starving and victims of the genocide. We have SO much to be grateful for. Please don't complain about the heat, humidity, 'the economy' or 'violence'. Do something about it. Pray, reach out and say "Hi" to the drug dealers, prostitutes, the 'over-privileged' who don't share. These times call for a greater sacrifice in our lives than we've ever given before. I want to answer 'on that day' to my Father in heaven, that I've given my 100%. I am no where near being able to say that yet, but I am hoping to be one day. Bless you ALL for praying! Let's pray for one another...Thanks so much!!
Thanks to YOUTH WORKS who have helped Mama Nita's so much this summer! You all ROCK!

April 23, 2012

Pray for the people of Nuba Mountains

The suffering of our people in Nuba Moutains is unbelievable. Please follow this link and say a prayer for my friends whom I had the privilege to have worked with last year.">To read about it, click here."> To read about George Clooneys visit to the hospital I served in last year and where the amazing missionaries nobly serve today, click here. To donate to this worthy mission, click here. Thanks for your prayers... I wish I could also be there, but it seems God has me planted in Steubenville for the next years. Here is an article that came out in our Sunday paper today that sums up what we are doing: click here. Thanks for your prayers dear friends, Katie

March 29, 2012

Thanks for the prayers!

My dear Friends,

Thanks SOOOOoo much to each and all of you who have been praying for me. By that next morning after I sent the last email, I was beginning to be lifted up. And I am experiencing a new strength, joy and hope since that day--increasingly. What a gift you all are! I don't feel so alone anymore! I had a great overnight of prayer at the at the Cappucchin's retreat house recently, am taking a long weekend of prayer and relaxation to spend with friends for Holy Thursday through Easter, and am learning to "work hard, pray hard, and play hard while resting in between!"

We had an amazing time with Franciscan student volunteers for several days and Saturday a bunch come also along with some kids from the local High School. Please pray for Mama Nita, (AKA Juanita Slappy) has had her second Grandson shot in the last month in our downtown area. The first boy died and now Leroy is stable. This drug-gang war has to stop in Jesus' Name! It's so sad. We know our house will in some way will have a part in stopping this war of revenge.

Please also pray for our friends and brothers and sister in Nuba Mountains where I served a year ago for 2 months. Dr. Tom Catena is there along with dear Camboni Sisters and Priests of the Apostles of Jesus, along with dear friends from Uganda and Kenya and Sudan who are serving on the medical team. Darius emailed me an hour ago saying there is heavy fighting near them and they are constantly in the surgical room mending near fatal wounds from the antenov bomber plane. The northern regime has declared all out war against the Christians and sympathetic Muslims in the north and have declared officially "Sharia law". These brave missionaries will stay there to care for the poor and wounded. Please pray for them!! I have experience first hand the power of your prayers. Pray with me, please, for their courage, health, strength, wisdom and protection. Please pray for an end to the war there and for wisdom from other countries if they should intervene so that this genocide doesn't continue.

I wish I could be there, but God has made it clear to me to do this mission in Steubenville where we have our own war going on. Again, thanks so much for your prayers. God is teaching me so much lately. One thing is that, like Mother Mary, we can be small but mighty. "He who is mighty has done great things for me!" Luke 1. I may be only one small lady in the midst of a drug and corruption war in Steubenville, but together with many hands all enveloped in the Lord's hands, we can change this city around to become a city that loves God's heart and honors and respects each other. It CAN happen. I'm going to be childlike enough to believe it. It is NOT impossible for God. Please stand with me on this to see it happen.

I was VERY encouraged yesterday with a phone call from Pastor Jason from a Presbyterian church around the corner from us. He heard what we are doing and said something like, "That is exactly what we are seeing around the world-- God is moving mightily in the out of the box types of places like Christian coffee houses and people are having encounters with God in beautiful ways. I fully support you and if you need anything let me know!" My own parish is doing a fund raiser this week for us, too. God, YOU are moving in downtown Steubenville! Have your way!

Thanks for all those volunteering and sending words of encouragement. They mean a lot to us!

I wish you all a very wonderful Holy Week and soon Easter.

Big hugs to you all!

January 06, 2012

Mama Nita's Coffee House...

I've got to be a missionary wherever God calls me... and for now, it's in Steubenville. Joseph is doing great in Medical school, and let us continue to pray for his country of Sudan who is really struggling now to remain at peace...

Here in Steubenville, we also need transformation by God's presence. Check out my new blog and you can sign up to get updates from there too... it's exciting!

If you live in the Steubenville area, we'll be having some clean up days on the 15th & 16th of January...let me know if you're interested to help. We'll also welcome anyone willing to do interior house painting and garden cleanup work that coming week. And of course we'll need a bunch of things to get the house looking like a very cool looking Coffee House, so anyone interested in helping, C'mon down!

Please keep this mission in prayer... we're expecting God to do great things through it! Thanks for your love and support!