By the Power of the Spirit
by Keary Kincannon
Before Jesus ascended into heaven he made a promise to all who would follow him when he said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8). And we know that the power of the Holy Spirit came upon the early church for “…many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles” (Acts 2:43).
This past summer at Rising Hope, we have been praying for the Holy Spirit to come upon us in a powerful way so that great works, wonders, and signs can be done for Christ in our community. I am reminded that Jesus said, “… the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these.” (John 14:12). Yet I am keenly aware that we face constant trials: 1) food deliveries and pickups have been difficult since our 7-passenger van was totaled in an accident; 2) the vigilance required in walking that tight rope of welcoming the stranger but not allowing negative behavior is challenging; 3) the need for seasoned Christians to carry the load is a challenge for every congregation but even more so when working among people who have been so deprived.
As I was praying and preparing my report for District Conference, I was reminded that the reason the early church was so empowered by the Spirit was because the “…whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul…” (Acts 4:32). Their unity in Christ and with each other is why they did such great things for the Kingdom.
As I continued to reflect, I was struck by how many churches and organizations are of one heart and soul with Rising Hope in our mission “to bring the power of Christ and the support of the church to the least, the lost, the lonely, and the left out in our community.” The attached report lists over 100 churches and organizations, representing thousands of individuals who partner with us in bringing a rising hope to the community. This past year, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we were able to:
- Leverage $1,200,000 dollars of food donations that were distributed to those suffering from hunger and food insecurity. This provided for nearly 200,000 meals in our community;
- Provide 2,705 hypothermia bed nights to the homeless in our community;
- Serve nearly 16,000 hot meals from our soup kitchen;
- Provide clothing to the needy 19,000 times;
- Serve Wesley Theological Seminary as teaching partner, training 2 students during the academic year and 10 students in a two-week immersion class;
- Hold two “Tent Revivals” in our parking lot partnering with another storefront church and their gospel band;
- Provide a path to recovery for many; and
- Bring the Good News that the Kingdom of God is at hand to hundreds in our community.
Jesus created the church to continue his ministry of proclaiming and manifesting the Good News. With the support and unity of many, Rising Hope is on a mission to demonstrate the presence of the Kingdom of God. It is our fervent hope and prayer that God’s Kingdom will come and God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.