Christmas on Colfax

I asked my daughter Sarah to share some reflections with you from a Christmas party we had recently on Colfax street.

The word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14


This Word is among us. Because of Jesus we get to experience light, hope, life, and love. Jesus says to each of us….Come, come and sit with me. Sit around a table; a table set for you my children. This table is set in the presence of your enemies, in the midst of your hurt, brokenness, pain, loss, chaos, your storm. The table is set and it is glorious table.


Over the last several months I’ve had the unique opportunity to enter into relationship with many who live off Colfax. Recently I witnessed The Word becoming flesh and dwelling in of all places a motel storage room. With some scrubbing this room was transformed into a beautiful Christmas gathering amongst friends. A delicious meal was shared with those who call motel rooms home and a few volunteers who weekly step into this world.


After putting the finishing touches on each table I walked around to welcome the guests- many who I recognized from knocking on their doors. Wilma* joyfully greeted me with a great big hug. She told me that she was feeling much better and couldn’t wait to eat the turkey and ham, which was about to be served. I turned around and saw Mary* who asked me how my final tests and exams went. She grabbed my hands, looked me right in the eye and said, “Sarah, the Lord is asking you to be present with Him here today.” She talked briefly about her day and said she was grateful to be celebrating Christmas and eating together tonight.


As I made my way to my seat there was a sense of acceptance, grace, and love in the room. We ate around the table. We shared around the table. Some shared about desiring permanent housing, finding a job or a better job, about family dysfunctions, and losses in their lives. I was struck by how many shared how grateful they were for being here tonight, for food, for life, for family, and then all of a sudden Mary broke out singing, Lord I Lift Your Name on High!


At our table of eight I shared how grad school had left me empty, how I desired to rest, felt I needed a breakthrough and time to sit with Jesus, to return to my childlike faith. At this moment Mary had another song. Most of us weren’t familiar with this gospel spiritual, nonetheless it was beautiful and revealed powerful truths! Mary smiled at me as she sang from the heart. As dessert was served and leftovers divvied up Mark,* an older gentlemen called me over to sit down next to him. He said, “young woman you have a call on your life, we all have a call on our life, but time is short. Sit with your Abba Father. Study His word. His word is alive and the powers of darkness cannot prevail. Hide His word in your heart.”


After a busy season of tests and papers, I needed to hear Mary’s singing and Mark’s words of encouragement. Here I was thinking that I was ministering to those I’ve met on Tuesday nights. But here I was receiving! Receiving His Word. This Word that is relevant for us as we pause and remember Jesus, the One who became flesh and dwelt among us. The Word is alive. Jesus calls us daily to His table. He prepares it for us. Do we come and enter in?


Jesus sets a table that will fill our cups to overflowing and give each of us the ability to take our next breath. He says….Come my child, come and spend time with Me around this table. This is the Lord’s Table, I am your Father, I am your Savior, and the Word of Life. Come and enter in.`

*names changed

Finding Love Among Abba’s Family

“Beautiful Gate has become my family.” Beautiful Gate welcomes volunteers and staff from all over the world and Lerato was a new volunteer at this well- known care facility. His journey to this safe haven is a special one.


At a young age Lerato’s father passed away however a caring mother raised him and his younger brother. As a boy he daily walked past Beautiful Gate on the way to school and for one reason or another he started to ask God for the opportunity to work there someday. In high school his mother became ill, and Lerato became the caregiver for his mother and brother. One day after school he came home to find out that his mother had passed away leaving Lerato and his younger brother orphaned.


For a while this teenage boy was employed at the local Chinese clothing factory but Lerato continued to feel a strong pull to help with the abandoned babies at Beautiful Gate. Following the prompting of the Spirit he applied to be a short term volunteer and was accepted and here we were together enjoying a bountiful Basotho feast. He told me how the staff and other volunteers have helped disciple him and how caring for the babies had opened his heart to the Father’s faithful love for him.


Spending time with Lerato truly blessed me. Soaking in the warm Africa sunshine at the grounds of Beautiful Gate I shared a bit of my story and gave him a copy of Journey to the Father’s Heart.” Fast forward to another trip to Lesotho. This time when I ran into Lerato at Beautiful Gate he came up to me with the book in hand and all the study questions filled out! We had a great conversation about the love of Abba Father from Roman 8:15. Lerato went on to share his desire to become a missionary to his own people.


I believe Lerato’s story of the Father’s hand in his life are a testimony worth sharing. I praise God for Beautiful Gate and the powerful tool it is! To think that Lerato daily walked by a few buildings and felt drawn by God’s Spirit to help out there one day is an amazing story. I love to hear how the community of believers at Beautiful Gate opened up their arms to this orphaned young man and invited him to be a part of Abba’s Family. I also love how the Holy Spirit stirred within Lerato’s heart a desire to be a missionary to spiritual and physical orphans in Lesotho.


By loving the least of these- lives are transformed for the glory of God the Father, (Matthew 25:31-46.) In the Sesotho language Lerato is translated “love.” Lerato has experienced the love of Christ despite being orphaned and now desires to share the love of Christ to others.


It is the passion of Oceans Ministries to share the love of the Father with spiritual and physical orphans around the world. That is why the board wholeheartedly decided to invest in Lerato and his calling to missions. In this New Year, Oceans will be a part of supporting Lerato in the discipleship-training program of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Cape Town, South Africa.


God used heartache and loss in Lerato’s life. He will be there for your heartaches and losses or perhaps you are the one to be there for others. God used a building that housed abandoned babies in Lerato’s life. May God minister to you in unexpected ways or perhaps you are the one to assist someone in need. God used His people and helpless little ones in Lerato’s life. May God reveal Himself to you in ways you would have never imagined or perhaps you are the one to speak truth into a coworker, friend, or family member.


This Christmas don’t miss the opportunity to receive and give love Abba’s love!










A Glorious Light that Overcomes the Darkest Night

A north wind brought a teeth chattering temperature to East Colfax as a group assembled for a memorial service. We huddled together in the parking lot of the Carriage Motel trying to light candles in the brisk wind. We were gathered to remember Linda* who unexpectedly passed away from a brain tumor a week ago.


Patty and I first met Linda and her husband Lyle* several weeks earlier as we knocked on their hotel door to offer some food, they immediately invited us into their hotel room and we heard their story. Linda had a deep New Jersey accent and loved to laugh and Lyle couldn’t brag enough about his wife of two years and the joy she brought him. Linda fondly joked, “that she had to come west to find her native.”


Over the course of the next several Tuesdays we spent time in their room talking about life and asking if there was anything we could specifically prayer for. I clearly remember one night right before one of those prayer times Linda declared, “I know Jesus!” and Lyle with a bright grin added, “me too!” Little did we know that would be the last time we would see them together.


As we patiently tried to get the candles lit Lyle shared some thoughts about Linda and read a poem one of the ladies from the motel had written. Next scripture verses were read and a few of us shared memories about Linda. The service concluded with all of us singing “Amazing Grace.” It was one of those surreal moments; I looked around at the group huddled together, residents of the motel, volunteers, and Lyle wiping away a few tears. We all held candles that shone brightly. We all sang about the amazing gift of grace given to sinners. This gift presented to us by a loving Father God and I thought to myself, “Thank you Jesus.”


Here we were in one of the roughest parts of the city with people wandering by, police sirens screaming in the background and yet the light of Jesus broke forth on a cold dark night. I believe such a night was what Isaiah’s prophecy meant:


Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60:1-3


There at the Carriage Motel in the midst of sadness and sorrow the light of Christ broke through the darkness declaring His Kingdom reign and rule. Not even the shadow of death can separate us from the love of God the Father in Christ Jesus. This area often described as having a dark, demonic stronghold had the glorious light of the Father’s Kingdom break forth as praises and prayers were lifted up in His name.


In Hebrew the words “Arise” and “Shine” are in the imperative tense, meaning we are commanded to get up and share the message of the glorious light of Christ. This Christmas season I challenge you to let the light of Christ shine through you as you go about your daily life. As you shop, sip a latte at Starbucks, serve someone in need, shovel your neighbor’s snowy walk, or sing Christmas songs of praise may you share the Light, the Light that shines gloriously over the darkness!


*Names changed to protect identity of residents.



Beautiful Cleats


In the midst of another dismal Denver Bronco defeat something Beautiful appeared on the TV screen. A close up of wide receiver Demaryius Thomas’s cleats gave us a reason to cheer. I can say with the utmost certainty the country of Lesotho has never been apart of an American Football game before -yet there it was written on DT’s cleats, truly amazing!

Why in the world would Demaryius Thomas run around the field Sunday with word Lesotho on his cleats? Here is the rest of the story! Several weeks ago my sister Cindy and her husband Paul went out to eat. Cindy in a rush to get ready put on Bronco jersey #88. As they were leaving the restaurant a man stopped her and said “nice jersey!” And guess who it was? You got it; DT was admiring his own number.

After some small talk, the subject of Africa entered the conversation and Cindy and Paul shared about Bountiful Hope Foundation and how over the years hundreds of teenage orphans have been given the opportunity to attend school in Lesotho. These words tugged on DT’s heart on a couple of levels. As this past summer DT spent some time in South Africa and witnessed the plight of orphans as he toured the country. On a more personal level DT understood the idea of being orphaned as he didn’t have a relationship with his father and his mother spent many years in prison.

So Sunday he wanted to tell the story with his feet about Lesotho and Bountiful Hope Foundation as well as a great ministry that works with families of prisoners called Forever Family. For our family and Oceans this was a beautiful moment watching DT run routes and catch passes knowing he was making these ministries known that are close to our hearts and vision for ministry.

The Scripture text that flashed before me as I saw these bright colored cleats was:

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! (Rom. 10:15)

The apostle Paul is referring to the prophecy in Isaiah where the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be brought to earth and carried all over the world by Beautiful Feet! These feet would share a message of hope and this message would reach out to the poor, the prisoner, and those without earthly parents. This message proclaims that all of us can be apart of a forever loving family by receiving the gift of the Father-His only Son Jesus Christ.

Sunday Demaryius Thomas used his Beautiful Feet. He used the gifts that he’d been given to share about ministries of hope and good news. If you have received the good news of the Gospel your feet are Beautiful Feet as well. Most of us will not have a platform to share like DT did Sunday, but we each have a unique path which the Father has placed before us. Each and every day we walk past people that need to see or hear the good news. We have the opportunity to share the reason for the great hope by both word and deed. I challenge you to use your beautiful feet in a beautiful way this week! Let your life radiate His love!

If you are interested in knowing more about DT’s cleats and Bountiful Hope Foundation go to Oceans’ website and click on partner ministries to find the link.