July 2020 Update: The Prayer Furnace, the Pandemic, and God’s Promises

 

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This is an update to an update… (and there may still be an update to this update and then a few more updates after that!)

I wrote the original post below in January.  Since then it seems like just about everything has changed. The global pandemic has left few of us unscathed. Our little nonprofit was no exception. Less than a month after opening our prayer room, we needed to close temporarily. During this time we learned that, sadly, our partners, Back Alley Coffee, shut their doors for good.  To say things have been uncertain and hard to pin down since then, is an understatement. I know in this particular season, many  can relate!

The good news is that after the dust has settled, our prayer room is still there and will still be a place set apart for communion with Him for the foreseeable future. Yay God! The bad news is the future of Upstairs Arts is uncertain at best. Without Back Alley (who was spearheading that part of the vision), we have no update on when, or if, that sweet upstairs space will function as the  artist’s studio and lounge area we poured so much energy (and prayer) into.  

Like so many things in life, the creation of our nonprofit, The Arising, and the establishment of our Prayer Furnace has been an unfolding process. Originally, we responded to a unique opportunity and need. However, things have shifted dramatically since that time.  Ironically, the part of the overall vision that I have personally carried and stewarded for what seems like forever (does decades count as forever?) is for a dedicated place of prayer and Presence in Redlands. And guess what? Through all the sorting and shifting and upheaval of the last year, miraculously, a dedicated place of prayer and Presence in Redlands is exactly what we are left with. 

Makes me think … maybe God is doing something?

I know He is, but I definitely don’t pretend to have it all figured out. Due to a variety of factors, we are very limited in the hours we are currently open ( click here for the schedule). But, the bottom line is we ARE still here. We are still here, in the alley, declaring the name of Jesus into the atmosphere over our city and nation. We are still here standing in the gap. We are still here calling the hidden ones into the light. We are still here calling His people up higher. 

Jesus is still here, too. As long as He is, this is where you’ll find us. 

We will continue update you as things continue to unfold….

Here is my original January update:

It has been a time of crazy extremes…

There have been incredible highs as we’ve watched God do amazing things, but we’ve also been stretched and challenged in ways we never imagined.

Yet here we are: Still standing. Still believing. Still waiting with great expectation.

Things are shifting, evolving, and becoming more focused since we established The Arising Global last summer. At that time we ran full speed ahead in response to a unique opportunity. Since then, things have unfolded in ways that have been both marvelous and challenging.

There is much to share and update, so I’ll jump right in…

1. Our Redlands Prayer Room (we are calling it the Prayer Furnace) will be opening in February!

In faith, we are planning an open house/dedication on 2/22/20. Originally, we expected to have a smallish room that was part of the Upstairs Arts space that we would use as a prayer room. Well, that is one of those shifts, and in true “only God” fashion, we are now taking over a MUCH larger dedicated space just downstairs.

There is still a lot of work to do (see #3 below)–I’m not sure we will even manage to get paint on the walls by 2/22–BUT we will be holding a low-key open house on that day and dedicating the space to Jesus regardless of how much is done. We want to put a stake in the ground and have others come dream and believe along with us. Look for more details soon.

We will be adding “soaking” hours to the prayer room schedule in March, and also have plans for various prayer team outreaches and prophetic ministry times, but for now we continue to hold our weekly Upstairs Worship night, have weekly prayer gatherings, as well as a few other meetings we’ve launched in recent months–you can check out the February schedule at the bottom of the page here.

2. Upstairs Arts is coming along…slowly.

We have continued to experience slow progress in getting the art studio/gallery part of of our overall vision going. We continue to take steps forward and believe we will be able to provide a more specific update on timing soon.

However, there is one important update regarding Upstairs Arts that we can share now. Initially Upstairs Arts was to be run as a DBA of The Arising Global. However, for a number of reasons that make sense from both a business and spiritual perspective, Upstairs Arts will instead be run by a partner business. Although we will still operate in close collaboration–there is still a key overlap of our vision and purpose, not to mention the fact that we share a building–Upstairs Arts will not be an “official” program of our nonprofit. This will make operation of our nonprofit simpler and more streamlined, and will also make its purposes clearer to communicate with supporters and partners. Once again, we’ll share more as things unfold.

3. Speaking of supporters and partners…we need you!

We are so amazingly grateful for the many people who have come alongside and supported us with their time, their resources, and their prayers. None of this would be possible without you–we thank God for you daily!! As we go forward, there are even more needs and we are believing God will provide abundantly. Here are some of the ways you can help (or continue to help) if you feel so inclined:

A. We still need a LOT of things for our prayer room, including a lot of physical labor stuff such as help moving stuff out of the space (which was previously used as storage), and help painting. It is a pretty big space so it is a pretty big job! We also need some other specific resources such as a small sound system, lighting, and various decor items (we are fine on furniture). If you can help with any of these things, please let us know! We will post specific things on social media as we get closer.

B. We have specific financial needs as well.  I’ve never been great at the whole fundraising side of running a nonprofit. Partly because I’ve usually seen God come through in non traditional ways (i.e. not in response to a direct fundraising appeal) and partly because my introverted personality just doesn’t like that side of things. But since I believe in what we are doing and know it will bear fruit (it already has) I would be remiss if I didn’t make the need known and offer the opportunity to others to partner with us in finances. The bottomline is we need to (consistently) raise a minimum of an additional $1000 per month to run the prayer room. A good chunk of that will help cover a small part-time salary for me since it is not possible for me to work full-time elsewhere and still do the things, including launching and running the Prayer Furnace, that God has invited me into.

This has been a challenging part of the journey for me personally, but I am grateful for the opportunity to trust Jesus as He continues to meet every need (even if some of them have been real nail-biters–ha!). If you feel led to partner with us on a one-time basis or–ESPECIALLY–as a monthly partner, I would be most grateful. You can click here to give via PayPal (one time or recurring) or mail a check to: The Arising Global, 113 N. Fifth Street, Redlands, CA 92373.

Since I continue to do what I’m reasonably able to do “on the side” to bring in additional income, I am also always grateful for any leads on appropriate part-time or temporary work. My background is primarily in human resources with a good dose of general admin and nonprofit startup experience thrown in. This has been a bit of an awkward dance. I want to trust Him to provide as He has promised and don’t want to busy myself with things that are ultimately a distraction–so I actually have time and energy for the primary things–but I also need to deal with the current facts and remain alert and open to doing whatever I need to do while we’re getting from here to there. Prayers appreciated!

3) While we’re on the topic of prayer … keep them coming! So many people have been praying and those prayers have been both felt and appreciated–thank you!! Please continue to pray as the Spirit leads!

God is up to something BIG. We can feel it.  We have even begun to see the beginnings of His plans and purposes breaking forth.  We know The Arising Global and Upstairs Arts are a strategic part of the expanding of His Kingdom in this region and beyond. None of this happens without resistance, so let’s continue to stand together and exalt His name until everyone finds their place in His heart and plans!

PS we are just starting to use The Arising Global’s FB page and will be posting communication updates there and on Instagram. Please check it out and “like” the FB page or follow us on Instagram to keep up!

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