Six Months on the Ground
A few days ago, Clete reminded me of something I had not thought of – we (the Hanafees) have now been in central Detroit for six months! I was not aware of this, maybe due to the strep throat (ugh!) I have battled the last week, or maybe just because of how busy we have been. At any rate it has been a GREAT six months in so many ways! I thought I would take a few minutes to share just a bit of what has been going down.
- Tuesday we finished moving Clete’s shop from the outlying community, Hazel Park, to his Rosa Parks facility in our neighborhood – .8 miles from his house to be exact. Clete is now in central Detroit 24/7! Btw, his new warehouse was once a headquarters for the infamous purple gang.
- In terms of building friendships, we have far exceeded the goals we set in our 32:6 Initiative. Thanks for praying!
- We are holding informal weekly worship gatherings of 30-40 people, mostly locals. In a few weeks we are having a baptismal service.
- We just launched our first Missional Community! In a few weeks we will hold a commissioning service. We’ll do a blogpost in the near future & share our first missional community covenant with you.
- Last Saturday we began our Sports & Ultimate Story Outreach at a park 5 blocks from our house. Yesterday I learned that the Student Ministries at Riverview Church is launching a summer long bottle drive to help fund this ministry!
- I was recently elected to serve on the board of the Boston-Edison Neighborhood Association. This will be a fun, challenging, & effective way to continue to connect with and serve our community.
- Paradox Church (Fort Worth, Tx), Renovation Church (Buffalo, NY), Vision 360 & some others recently began supporting Restore Church. With things moving faster than we anticipated, the last push for completing our support is critical. Next week we have an important meeting about a solid partnership with a strong national denominational group.
- Thanks to the kindness of two young couples, I attended The Gospel Coalition Conference in Chicago. A few weeks later Clete & I attended a CCDA Regional Conference in Buffalo where we heard John Perkins speak & connected with friends in the Buffalo area.
- John, Kevin, Davonte, & I ran a 5k (& finished!) at a supporting church’s fundraiser for their Mexico Mission Team.
- We successfully stopped a robbery at a nearby house (using the firearm of an I-phone camera & some direct confrontation!).
- Monday nights this summer at my house, we will lead a ministry to evangelize & disciple young men (age 15-19) called “MAN-UP – Becoming men who take responsibility through the Gospel”. I am praying that these young guys become captured by grace & captivated by gospel ministry.
- The 9 Bontrager & Hanafee children are finishing out the school year well. Katie just won a leadership award for writing & communicating a freshmen transition program; Kellie is working hard, & Clete + Clay are finishing the school year at Glazer Elementary (where Clete said “lots of girls like me”). Kevin made all-city in the 4×800, Carolyn + Ian + Claire are enjoying no shortage of end of the year field trips, & Emma is still wide open.
- Both the Bontrager & Hanafee families hope to hear in the coming weeks about purchasing 2 great houses in the heart of our ministry area.
- In late June, Susan & I will be attending the A29 Pastors & Wives Retreat in Vail, Colorado!