What happened at theWELL Nov 2010

November was a very busy month for us at theWELL. We were just begining to settle in to a rhythm of working together Darrick and I,and suddenly here we were on some of the biggest God things I had ever experienced in ministry.

At that point theWELL was meeting in a VFW post, but in just my first full week on staff  talks began about the possibility of theWELL already moving to another location.  Why? An Episcopal church in the area was closing it’s doors.  While we were sad to see a church closing God was opening an unbelievable opportunity for theWELL.  The building was still owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Western NY who was ere worried about losing the property to a commercial developer.

So, Darrick set up a meeting with the Comptroller named Howard and we dressed up in our nicest bluejeans to go and meet with him. God’s hand was clearly evident in every meeting Darrick and I had with him. In the initial meeting, Howard was trying to figure out from our website, and from our conversation with him who this church called theWELL really was. We explained some of doctrinal foundations to him, but ultimately hit it off with him really well right away on a personal level. The man is incredibly insightful, but doesn't get listened to very often I'm afraid. I think he was just glad to sit and talk with some people who would listen.

He asked us when we would like to get into the building. The former church would be leaving Nov 21st. Darrick asked if we could ge in Dec 1st. He asked how much we would be willing to pay. Darrick asked if we could pay $0 for rent, and just cover the out of pocket expenses. Howard agreed to both. Darrick kicked me under the table.

We serve an incredibly creative God.  The one stipulation to moving into our new building was that we allow the groups that met there throughout the week to continue meeting there.   We came to learn of a multitude of 12 step programs that use this building through-out the week, groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous and so on.  God laid this incredible ministry into theWELL’s lap. The name theHOPEcenter was birthed, and the goal for the building was that it could be used 7 days a week to meet the needs of these groups. Most of these groups met late at night so that no one can see them coming and going. Yet, there were more than 300 individuals struggling to be freed from addiction. The former church had less than 10 people in Sunday attendance, yet they had this untapped, incredible ministry opportunity right in front of them. Now we would have the opportunity to serve these same people.

Over the next few weeks, we had the opportunity to meet with the Bishop of western NY as well as the presiding Bishop of the United States, which was a real honor. Now we really had to get to work, not only did we have to be ready to move into a new facility in less than 30 days, we also had to be ready to renovate it, and continue to have meaningful services at our current VFW location.

We kicked off our 1st Journey group semester ever the 1st week of November. The response was incredible. Close to 50 people began to dig deeper into God's word at various locations throughout the city throughout the week. God was beginning to move, and we were just trying to be ready for it.


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