As I’ve been sharing over the past couple weeks, great things are happening in Oelwein. Our Community Night is happening there on Saturday night at 6:00pm at the Coliseum. We are praying for a great turnout. We hope you will consider making the trip with us. This will be such a great opportunity to meet some new friends in Oelwein, as we continue to press into the possibility of launching a church there very soon.

The caravan leaves from the church building at 5:00pm by the way. Come join us! We will be gathering at 4:45 for some simple directions and prayer.

In addition to Oelwein, Holy Spirit is also moving in the hearts of our HVC family in so many different ways. Mission trips are being taken and more are being planned; Jesus centered books are being written and published; Songs are being written and recorded; Groups designed to reach our Muslim neighbors are being scheduled; Ministries are being launched to women with all sorts of needs. Women who are needing authentic community, women who are broken from divorce and or abuse, and women who are hurting over their decision of aborting a baby are being loved on and ministered to with love and grace.

We are also working towards building a core team that will have a consistent presence in the strip clubs in our city. The heart of God is burning for the girls and the employees in these establishments. They need to know that they are loved and that their lives have value. We are called to these dark places. It is in our DNA. These are just a few of the many things that are happening and beginning to happen through you… Heartland Vineyard Church!

I feel so blessed to be serving alongside those of you are walking in your Christian calling and serving not only here within our four walls, but in our community. I love that you are hearing God’s voice and responding. The seeds that you are sowing are making eternal Kingdom impact.

And then there are the Life Centers. If you’re out of the loop on what God is doing in this space, here’s a quick recap and update.

For over a year, we’ve been talking about the idea of purchasing properties in strategic neighborhoods in Waterloo, and transforming them into safe places for kids to have fun, get after school tudoring and to experience a host of other activities and ministries. We also see these Life Centers as hubs for outreach into the specific neighborhoods they are located in. The love of Jesus will be at the center of everything we do!

The vision for Life Centers by the way came from Corey Peters who most of you know. Corey and his wife Michelle are on our staff. They lead our Youth Ministry and Corey also leads our Street Ministry efforts.

One day last spring while out praying, Corey spotted an old red brick building in a little neighborhood off of Parker and Broadway Street in Waterloo. He felt like the Lord spoke to him in that moment that this little building was going to be ours (HVC’s), and that this little neighborhood was to be the neighborhood where our First Life Center would be established.

This is where the story gets interesting.

While praying, Corey was able to meet the neighbor who lived next door to the red building. Corey felt like he was supposed to try and connect with the owner of the building right there in that moment. Most people including myself would have called this person to make an appointment. Corey is a little different breed of cat though and that is what I love about him. He jumped right into action!

He caught the building owner in her office. He painted a quick picture for her of how he saw the building being used if we were able to purchase. “Sorry… the building is not for sale”, was the answer he received.” The meeting was short and cordial.

Several months later, Corey and I were talking about this building. As Corey described the meeting that he had with this woman, it dawned on me that I had a strong connection to this person and to this building. One of the main reasons Steph and I moved back to the Cedar Valley was to start a business with the man who owned this building. For several years, my office was actually right next to the building God had highlighted to Corey. Our startup business failed, and Kyle my business partner actually died a few years after the business dissolved. Julia is now the owner of the large company that funded our startup. Julia owns the red building, and will be our direct contact as we move forward in this adventure.

Even though Corey had received the news that this building was not available to purchase months earlier, we continued to talk and pray about how perfect this building would be for us and how much we loved the neighborhood. We also talked about how wild it was that I had a connection to Julia and to this building. Our staff drove to this neighborhood one morning late last summer and walked and prayed. We talked to neighbors and dreamed about block parties and outreaches. It was a fun morning that stirred up even more excitement.

Several weeks after this little adventure, I decided to go to Julia again to ask the same question that Corey had asked several months before. Corey and I actually went together. To our surprise, the answer given to us this time was much different. Julie had changed her mind and was now willing to sell the building. Wild ehe?!

This was in November. Julia told us to check in with her after the holidays. We did and now have a date set in March to talk numbers and walk through the space.

God is at work and I can’t wait to see how this all unfolds. We will do our best to keep you posted. Please pray for favor and breakthrough and and for ears to hear the voice of Holy Spirit as he leads us through this great adventure.