Recently at Thursday night Street Lights, I was approached by one of our volunteers who pointed out a group of men standing at the back of the crowd. It was dark and they were carrying a large cardboard box. In the shadows all you could see were the turbans that each of the men wore. Fearfully, someone questioned, “What shall we do?” I approached our visitors and asked how we could be of service to them. The elder motioned the men to put the box down. He looked at me and said; “Do not fear all men who wear turbans for we are not all the same.” With that he opened the box filled with blankets and provision for the homeless. I apologized, for our first impression truly was filled with uncertainty. As we prayed and thanked God for the provision and kindness of these men. I was reminded of the scripture found in 1 Samuel 16:7: “For the Lord sees not as man sees. For man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
How often do we look at the outward appearance and not see the heart of those God brings into our presence. Every week we meet people who may be different in appearance yet each one is unique and special in the eyes of God.
This month we ask your prayers for Reisa. She writes, “My life definitely has not been an easy journey. I grew up in an abusive home and have struggled with health issues my whole life. Nobody could tell me why I was always sick. In 2009 I was referred to the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle and was diagnosed with Fowler Syndrome. While struggling with my physical health as well as depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts, a friend took me downtown on a Thursday night. She told me if anyone could help me it would be these people at “Street Lights”. That was so true. I was befriended by two women from the mom’s ministry van who prayed over me and loved me in a period of my life when I was ready to give up. They took the time and found the resources I needed that eventually got me off the street and into the medical treatment that would be my life style for the next 7 years.” In 2011, after many surgeries, Reisa had her bladder completely removed. Over the next 4 years, she would endure chemo and radiation treatment for kidney cancer. She continues in her letter to City Gates, “In August 2015 I was blessed to receive a kidney transplant for my right kidney but in November 2015 cancer had moved to my left kidney. I then started the most intense chemotherapy I had ever gone through.” By January 2016 after 25 surgeries she received the best news ever. “You are cancer free,” the doctors told her.
Reisa is an amazing woman who has fought hard to overcome obstacles you and I would never dream possible. Due to the damage from cancer and intense chemo, Reisa visits the emergency room at St Peter’s daily for dialysis and is being fed through a mediport in her chest. She has stayed in touch with City Gates Ministries and continues to be an inspiration to all of us who have gotten to know her. Recently Reisa has been given an opportunity to receive medical treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “I will be evaluated to receive a genetically engineered bladder and to possibly have my left kidney removed. With this opportunity, I have the chance to be a healthy 33-year-old. I won’t have daily visits to the hospital and I will finally be able to go back to work or, better yet’’, school,” Reisa said.
Due to the clinic being outside of Reisa’s insurance network she will have to pay for housing, food transportation and medication. We love our longtime friend and because of you will help her as much as we can. Thanks for believing in what we do. If you feel the tug on you heart to do more go to www.gofundme/2cdkv62k for additional information. Reisa ends with, “Thank you to everyone at City Gates Ministries for all of your prayers and support over the last 7 years. Your ministry is a blessing to this community.”
Our new location at 400 State and Adams St. has been a blessing and we want to take the time to thank the LLC owners for allowing us to occupy their property. As we adjust to our new site, 2 new ministries have developed. Thanks to our friends and partners at the Korean Presbyterian Church we now have a full-time haircut ministry which is averaging 15 – 20 free haircuts every Thursday. Also, members of Capital Christian Center have started a book ministry that has been a huge success. Thank you for all that you do.
Thursday June 30, 6:00pm we will host Samaritans Feet from North Carolina accompanied with Pro-football player Jonathan Stewart. Together we will wash feet, pray and give out over 500 new pairs of shoes to people in need. The event will start at 6:00pm on the corner of State and Adams. Be sure you visit our web page and sign up to volunteer for this very unique event.
Thursday, August 11, 6:00pm will be our annual Back to School Backpack Giveaway which allows needy families to come to the street and receive new school backpacks, school supplies, clothes, haircuts and more. Look for Molina Health Care, Bright Smiles LLC, Walgreens, and other community resources who partner with City Gates at this event. These events happen because of you. Plenty of work to be done before the event so make sure you’re in touch with us on how YOU can help.
Saturday, October 29, will be our 7th annual fund raising auction hosted once again by our friends and partners at Westwood Baptist Church. Mark your calendars for an evening of fun and fellowship as we come together for dinner and share Gods Bountiful Blessings at our live and silent auction. We want to thank our early event sponsor, Smart Energy Today. For more details about our Annual Auction, visit our Website.
Finally, I’d like to share some exciting news. Fred Meyer has a new Rewards Program to help benefit nonprofit organizations. Shoppers can earn donations for their favorite nonprofit just by shopping with your Rewards Card. All you do is link your rewards card to City Gates Ministries #82919. This doesn’t take anything away from the rewards you earn, But it will help earn donations for City Gates Ministries. At the end of each quarter, Fred Meyer makes a donation to participating nonprofits based on the accumulated spending of the Rewards Customers linked to that nonprofit! For additional information, and to learn how to link your rewards account to City Gates Ministries #82919, Click Here.
Thank you for all that you do!
Phil Prietto • President/CEO
City Gates Ministries