When you drive around the city that you live in, or when you interact with those in the emerging generation, or even when you just watch television, what are the issues that come to mind for t his current generation? Drug use? Promiscuity? Irresponsibility?
What if we had an opportunity to change the lives of those youth?
That’s been my pursuit, since I graduated from college. I’ve personally taught hundreds of children in public and private schools and ministered to many more in my spare time. But instead of feeling satisfied, this only showed me that the need is so much greater than I ever realized. I have become convinced that Jesus is the only hope for this generation, and I can’t believe anything else. I have a two-fold opportunity in front of me to impact our world and I would love if you would pray about partnering with me in affecting the lives of these kids for the better?
For the past ten years, I’ve been ministering as much as possible, while “keeping my day job.” I have traveled abroad praying for and ministering to missionaries as well as volunteering at an inner-city ministry here in Tacoma. I have been both global and local. I have an opportunity to continue to do both local and global ministry full time.
Sozo is a ministry that is pursuing the poorest, most under-privileged population in Tacoma. Through Sozo I have met a twelve year old girl who’s older brother is in jail, older sister lives at home with her year-old baby and whose mom is no where to be found. The pressures and temptations that this girl faces at nine are unimaginable.
I also know of another girl, she’s sixteen years old and her family founded the largest gang here in Tacoma. She has been in and out of our juvenile detention center here in Tacoma. Yet, in the last few years her life has been radically changed by the love of Christ. She is now completely out of the gang her family started, has been clean for months now and has even been regularly evangelizing and discipling members still in the gang life she’s left behind.
But now, the Lord has impressed us with the need to reach even younger kids before they experience the injustices that Lala, TT and Destiny are facing. This is why there is a newer ministry to the younger brothers and sisters of these teens called Sozo Kids. The goal is the same: get kids out of the life they have been accustomed to and into life eternal. This ministry meets on Friday nights and is a place for elementary-aged kids to come and be loved on, hear truth, and understand just who Jesus is. I have been serving in this ministry on Friday nights for the last seven months.Simultaneously several of the young adults from Sozo are at a spot where there is a need for them to begin giving THEIR lives away. Some of these teens/young adults have turned around and now serve at Kids Sozo, but there are others who are destined for more.
We are starting a new ministry in which small groups of these young-adult women will begin taking short-term missions. We know that Jesus will lift them out of self-focus into the revelation that they have a purpose…that they are not worthless, but can be ambassadors of Christ with eternal fruit.
Our first trip is tentatively planned for May. We are taking a small group of women to Nakuru, Kenya to serve in an orphanage for 8-10 days. Imagine the affect on these young women to be able to see the world through a different lens! Imagine what these women could do armed with the knowledge and experiences gained serving the truly poorest of the poor? They could be wrecking balls for the Lord!
For the last few years my church has also had an opportunity to train and equip young adults here in Tacoma at a 10-12 week school called “Catalyst.” Young adults from all over the US and the world have come to Tacoma to learn and grow in their relationship with Christ and then be sent back to their home towns to apply all that they have learned. I will also be involved with this school through teaching, as well as taking some of these young adults with me to minister at Kids Sozo here in Tacoma.
But while my roots are planted in Tacoma, my heart’s also been captured by something bigger. For the last two months, I’ve been volunteering my professional abilities to an organization named Call2All. Over the past several years, I’ve traveled to places like Korea, Germany, Norway, and England to minister and pray for missionaries, and my heart was gripped by the incredible need to see a generation of believers rise up and be sent out to reap a harvest of new believers. If you haven’t heard about Call2all, please take a moment to read about it here: www.call2all.org. Their vision to bring cooperation between all the parts of the Body of Christ to finish the Great Commission so resonated in my heart that I had to donate my time over these past months, to help move this forward.
So after these years of teaching and administration, I have become convinced that I need to give all my time and effort to the work the Lord has pressed on my heart. Jesus said, “GO!” and it is time for me to go! I am going to continue to “GO!” into Tacoma, but I believe it is time for me to give and be ministering full-time. What a unique opportunity to minister both locally as well as globally!
So, what does all of this mean? I am currently working on building a base of friends to partner with me. By this I mean spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and if you are led, physically through giving monetarily or services. I will need about $2,000 for the trip to Kenya, am hoping to raise $2,000 per month monthly support to be free to work with Kids Sozo and at elementary schools here as well as continuing to work with organizations like Call2All. You have been important to my life, and are someone I know shares my passions and so I am asking you to partner with me in what the Lord has asked me to do in this city and in the world that we could advance the kingdom together! I never thought I’d be writing a support letter, but “…the love of Christ compels [me]…” and I know I must obey the Lord by giving everything I have to seeing this generation come to know the living Jesus, who can make them new!
Would you consider being one of my partners? I would love to meet with you personally one-on-one or chat with you over the phone to share the vision of what I feel the Lord is calling me to do. If you feel led to give already , you can send monthly donations to City Central 1414 S. Adams, Tacoma, WA 98405. All donations are tax-deductible.
I look forward to being in contact with you! And, THANK YOU for all of your support for me! May the Lord BLESS you abundantly!Erin