2020 came with its own unique challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic hit. All non-essential businesses, schools, and places of worship, including our programs, were shut down. My staff all scrambled to support the then 65 men on campus. As summer started, we felt the effects from the city’s social unrest. The rioting that occurred left a wave of destruction around most of the campus and surrounding communities. The devastation from both the pandemic and unrest was unlike anything most of us had seen in our lifetimes. Our energy was focused on raising the funds needed to complete the renovation projects, getting through countless city inspections and hurdles, finding and training the right staff, learning how we would occupy the new buildings, and reaching out to 65 men without our core volunteer base.

In chapter 3 of Lamentations, Jeremiah not only looked at the devastation of current Jerusalem but reminded himself of God’s spoken promises: “His Mercies are renewed morning by morning” and “Great is His Faithfulness”.  I found myself reflecting on those same promises and knew God would not leave nor forsake FreedomWorks. God will change the hearts of prisoners, to having a new Heart and Life in Christ. God provided His vision for this campus, and no matter how adverse the effects of the pandemic or civil unrest, we knew God would accomplish what He set us out to do.

2020 Testaments of God’s Mercies & Faithfulness (To name a few)

  • Reached our budgetary goals to meet our monthly operating expenses
  • Completed renovations required to occupy the independent living units in the Achievement Center
  • We reduced the estimated $2.7 million needed for renovations to less than $1 million in 2020 by completing the necessary capital projects ourselves
  • Installed a $550,000 new boiler heating and hot water systems
  • Completed the new parking lot and lighting
  • Developed the framework to support the three new independent living programs
  • Hired and trained multiple new staff members to support administrative, program and maintenance teams
  • Launched the addiction, mental health and cognitive treatment programs through partnering with (Partners In Recovery), programs that will serve hundreds of men each year directly on campus
  • Hired our onsite caterer, Chef Jeff, to serve 3 meals a day to men in our new Supportive Living/Life Skill Programs
  • Outfitted our smaller commercial kitchen (better known as Rhonda’s Kitchen) that serves over 200 program meals to the men weekly. This kitchen supported 1000’s of meals to all participants during the COVID-19 shut down
  • Increased the FreedomWorks Board to 12 members
  • Outfitted the majority of the rooms in the AC building
  • Increased our impact as we are currently serving 110 men in the five individual program areas

Opposition cannot stop God’s Promise

It should not surprise any of us that the enemy has tried to hinder the advancement of His Promises that support the vision of FreedomWorks. As we look to scripture, we find the same opposition to the promised Messiah.  Have you ever stopped and thought that Joseph, Mary and Jesus were homeless, on the run?  Herod tried to kill the promised Messiah, King of Israel.  But God warned them in a dream and they fled to Egypt, rescued from the hands of Herod. Your support of the new FreedomWorks campus has gone directly to provide a home for the homeless and rescue lives for generations to come.

Did you catch in the above bullet points that your past support is currently serving 110 men? Just two years ago we moved over six men on campus. Yes, God is at work in breaking the cycles of incarceration and addiction and fulfilling our mission in “Reconciling men to God, Family and Community”.