Monday, May 15, 2017

Our Annual Ministry Report

This is from our Annual Ministry Report to the CFCI Board. 
Please contact us if you would like more information on any part.

Over the past several years, our ministry here in Omaha has been going through some transition. While we have not retired, the Lord has seemingly changed our focus from building churches to building individuals. In light of that, much of our ministry is personal mentoring of both current and developing leaders. This report will give you an idea of the kinds of things we’ve done in the past year that are impacting many churches, non-profits, businesses, individuals, etc., who are leading teams or congregations of their own.

Sheryl is still technically the Omaha Base Director for Christ For the City International. However, because the international office, as well as the US office, are also located here in Omaha, we have felt it to be more productive to focus on networking organizations together, resourcing current leaders, and training up new leaders. Therefore, the “Base” here does not function according to the parameters of a normal CFCI City Base.

In the past year our ministry has included the following:

Dave & Sheryl together:
Omaha 360 Network, Omaha. Dave attends this network meeting weekly, and Sheryl still goes periodically. This is a network of over 300 non-profits and public agencies including police, FBI, ATF, State & Local government agencies, churches and community groups that are working together towards violence intervention & prevention in the city. Dave has been quite active with all events that come out of this network since 2007. As a result of their efforts, there has been a significant reduction in weapon related violence every year for 10 years now. The Homicide PrayerWalks Dave coordinates function under the Faith Based part of this network. (More in Dave's Individual section)

Faith Leaders’ Breakfasts, Omaha. We are both active in the North Omaha monthly Omaha 360 Faith Leader meetings where there is opportunity to build relationships and network with pastors and leaders in our inner city. There are about 30 people generally in attendance.

CRU Summer Mission, Omaha. During May and June, Sheryl helped to organize, structure, and facilitate two summer mission projects with the local CRU City Director. College students came from around the country to attend this urban ministry experience. The first was 10 days long, and the second focused on integrating your faith into your medical career, and was one week long. There were five students in the first and 10 medical students in the second. This required working with local and national CRU City staff, as well as area ministries and about 40 students from around the country, not all of whom actually came.

Dave taught PrayerWalking to the students and also helped to build, wire, and plumb the bunkhouse where these students were housed during their time in Omaha. 

Hope Center For Kids, Omaha. We’re part of a team who meet to pray for and minister to the Staff at the Hope Center on a monthly basis. There are about 15-20 staff generally present when we go. Sheryl meets with Brenda Block (Hope Center Director) personally periodically for personal encouragement and ministry. Dave is doing some leadership mentoring with two of the staff leaders. 

Cross Training Center, Omaha. We both meet with the founder, Brenda periodically for Pastoral Care of a ministry leader who has a strong desire to see churches and ministries working together. Dave serves in an unofficial role of ministry chaplain and mentor for staff. He meets with Brenda and her staff 2-4 times per month to help with leadership development and ministry growth. 

Spence Counseling, Omaha. We’re part of the personal prayer team for the Directors of Spence Counseling, and periodically meet with them for personal ministry and encouragement, as well as to pray for the center and their staff.

The Beautiful Gate, Omaha. Sheryl meets regularly with Heidi Sampson, the Director, as well as her assistant Director, for ministry and encouragement, as well as to help with ministry development and growth. Sheryl served on her Board for 3 years, and is presently in the process of designing a Volunteer Program for them, and has helped to organize ministry and staff schedules and policies. Dave meets every month or two with Heidi to provide the spiritual father component.

God’s Secret: Women Conference, Omaha. Dave spoke at this conference in August on the topic of PrayerWalking. We took some prayer shawls, and talked about how they are used in various situations. There were about 150 women present from all over the Midwest, representing dozens of churches and prayer groups.

Waypoint Prophetic Prayer Team, Omaha. Sheryl participates on this team monthly, praying for four individuals each time. She serves with a team of about 40 people from Waypoint who make up this ministry. Dave comes whenever the team is shorthanded.

Okontoe Christian Fellowship in Grand Marais, MN. We made 4 trips up there for several days each for personal ministry and encouragement of the leadership team there, as they were facing huge personal health and family situations. Sheryl wrote a rough draft of a Policy Handbook for them, and is in the midst of drafting a “Parent Policy Handbook” for the parents of those students who come to be involved in their residential discipleship program for 6 months to a year. Dave often teaches for the Sunday morning fellowship meetings when we are there and in the past led several staff workshops on leadership. Dave also did some maintenance work projects on the grounds while there.

Brainerd Prayer Group, Brainerd, MN. We’ve made about 6 trips to Brainerd this year to deal with multiple situations there. Dave’s parents have been moved twice, his Dad’s health is not good, and his Mom has completely lost her cognitive abilities.

Additionally, we’ve helped to establish a prayer group that is meeting to pray for healing for one of Dave's childhood friends and our longest term prayer and financial supporter. He has been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and has asked that we agree with him towards healing. 

Community of Grace, Elkhorn. Dave preached several Sunday services there, and we co-taught a Sunday afternoon workshop on the Motivational Gifts of the Spirit, that was attended by about 30 people from that congregation.

Sheryl Individual:
School of Ministry at Life Church in Omaha. Taught several sessions on the character attributes of God for them. There were 12 students, all of whom will be involved in various ministry positions, some here in Omaha, others as far away as Alaska. 

Leadership For Life, Omaha. Sheryl has been facilitating a small coaching group for Leadership for Life this year. We meet monthly. There are 4 of us, and it’s her responsibility to help build their leadership skills, as worked on in their monthly workshops. One leads a non-profit, another heads a nursing team for Better Health, and the third runs his own business.
In addition, I have filled in as a table leader for LFL, as called upon when they are short on staff. This table had 5 other people who all lead businesses or ministries.

Wellness and Hope Counseling Center, Omaha. Sheryl serves as unofficial chaplain and pastoral caregiver for the Director and staff at this counseling center. I meet with her monthly, and with the staff periodically to pray with them and through the facility.

Prayer Shawl Ministry, Omaha (and internationally!). To date, this ministry has had much more impact that I had originally anticipated! Many have dropped away, and the current team consists of 5 women, including myself, who make everything! They represent 5 different churches, and one of them is currently living in Texas. We have distributed well over 700 prayer shawls. They have gone to homicide PrayerWalks to touch moms and other women impacted by homicides. They have also been given into many situations touched by grief or some other heartache, some even internationally. Two of them went to Muslim women, one of whom is from Egypt; the second went to a lady who lives in Algeria. A third one will soon be on its way to Puerto Rico, and was specially made for that climate.

In Addition, in the past year or so, we have made about 200 caps for the NICU babies at Bergan Mercy Hospital. Of the 700 shawls, we have provided about 250 shawls to an area Hospice Chaplain who uses them extensively in ministry to families who are losing loved ones in one way or another. 

In the past year, we have also provided approximately 100 knitted or fleece hats and scarves to a local street ministry to be distributed among the homeless and needy.

Women’s Bible Study, Omaha. For about 8 months Sheryl conducted a Bible Study in our home on the Names and Character of God. I have compiled most of the materials, and they are available now for me to use in other situations. The Bible study had about 10 women, but was discontinued when I had my knee surgery last Fall.

Tentmakers, International, Minneapolis, MN. I have met with the Director, Dick Amundson, several times during the past year to talk about some issues within Tentmakers that need attention. He asked me to submit a plan that would structure some things for them, as well as evaluate the present situation. I spent some time evaluating their history, present structure, and suggesting some direction and rewrite of policies for the future. They have been in existence since 1976 training and equipping leaders for local churches.

Personal Mentoring & Leader Care: This is where much of my time is allocated as follows:
  • 3 women that I meet with every other week for 2+ hours; these are young leaders who are developing, and who I am mentoring. I spend 2-3 hours on the alternating weeks preparing materials for them.
  • 4 ministry leaders that I meet with monthly for 2-3 hours for personal growth and accountability.
  • 5 ministry leaders that I meet with regularly for personal growth and accountability.
  • 10 other women I meet with periodically for their personal encouragement and pastoral care.

Dave Individual:
First Responders Homicide PrayerWalks, Omaha. Dave still heads up this ministry team he co-founded that prays onsite whenever there is a homicide due to violence in the city. First Responders PrayerWalks is an effort to help get the Salt out of the Saltshaker...people out of their pews and into their streets.

Dave has coordinated or led over 400 Homicide or Violence related PrayerWalks since the Fall of 2007 as part of the Omaha 360 VIP Network (Violence Intervention and Prevention). This is not a Christian Network but a Community Network of Police, Government, Social Agencies, Youth Agencies, Neighborhood Associations, Churches and Faith based Ministries that happens to be founded and led by a strong believer Willie Barney.

Here is a chart from police records showing violence in Omaha from 2005-2016. We started PrayerWalks in the fall of 2007 and First Responders Homicide PrayerWalks in January of 2008. Many of those first Homicide PW's were just 3-5 of us in the snow...but as we were faithful God gave us favor. We believe 2008 would have been much higher had we not been praying. Note how the violence trend has gone down in Omaha since 2008 while at the same time violence in many cities has gone up.

Currently, most Homicide PrayerWalks average 30-50 with some over 100 and a couple have been over 200. Police and the gang unit are assigned to each PrayerWalk, Precinct Captains frequently participate and occasionally our mayor. Dave has developed a lead team of several pastors and ministry leaders along with about 75 volunteer prayer warriors form various churches who come as they are available.

In most PrayerWalks the victim's family & friends come along with people from the neighborhood, many of which are un-churched so we now are Pastoring the community on the streets. We have seen people come to Christ right where someone was murdered a few hours earlier. We have seen many miraculous happenings in response to prayer in the streets of our city, as God has given us boldness and favor. As a result of this visibility and responses, Dave often gets invitations to train in PrayerWalking.

NE Family Alliance Board, Lincoln, NE.
Dave has been a member of this board for approximately 20 years now, and has been actively involved with issues that have come before the State Legislature that have impacted the laws of our State. He continues to attend quarterly meetings in Lincoln, as well as periodic phone conferencing with the Director and board of the Alliance.

Dave is currently advising or individually mentoring: 
  • Two church pastors 
  • Five local ministry leaders.

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