In Luke 4, Jesus goes to Nazareth, enters the synagogue, opens the scroll of the prophet, Isaiah, and reads:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” Luke 4:18-19
At the beginning of his earthly ministry, Jesus highlights with historic intensity, the work of God. The amazing hope of the gospel is the good news that the Spirit anointed Jesus to accomplish liberty and renewal, so that people might experience the Lord’s great favor in their lives! And we know that Jesus has also sent his church (John 20:21) to do the same kingdom work.
We are committed to this work! In fact, ministry among the poor is one of the core commitments of our church. It’s an indispensable part of the disciple-making movement that we are establishing throughout Kansas City!
There are many types of “poor” people in the bible. In 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 There is a warning about being careful to not be drunk and an exhortation to soberness and self-control. The passage, in context, is talking about spiritual readiness and being prepared to build one another up. As to say that there is a real danger to addiction in this world and that the terrible cost it takes on human life and it is a real world example of a spiritual problem we all face, also.
We believe that the gospel frees both the addict, who is physically addicted, and the people who are addicted to self-fulfillment or escapism. Jesus offers us all to have faith in him, receive love from God, and experience the hope of salvation! We want to share with you how God is moving us to the cause of the physically-addicted people in our area.
Over the past several years we have heard stories from partner churches in other cities about an organization called Hope Is Alive. Hope Is Alive is an organization committed to “Radically changing the lives of drug addicts, alcoholics, and those who love them.” They do this primarily through men’s and women’s mentoring homes and support groups for the families of addicts.
Last year, when Hope Is Alive looked at expanding their ministry into Kansas City, they were surprised to learn that KC had a 600 bed shortage for addicts who wanted to receive treatment. As we considered partnering with HIA we also felt the very sad reality of what it means to a city when 600 addicts, who are at the most difficult moment of their lives, do not receive care. How does that impact domestic violence, suicide rates, crime, parenting, and neighborhoods? Our attention peaked as we’ve seen the toll that addiction has taken as cases have shot up throughout the pandemic.
As we’ve considered a church partnership with HIA, we’ve found that this isn’t just an organization looking for some donations or a few people to serve. It is an organization that truly wants to partner with Redeemer, to pioneer a work across Kansas City. This is not some start-up organization either. It is a well-established, extremely effective, Christian ministry with success rates that far exceed normal rates of recovery, to a miraculous degree! Hope is Alive is a like-minded organization that sees our partnership as an integral part of their mission in this area.
Last year, Hope Is Alive opened their 21st home, located in Overland Park, where they have 13 men in an 18-month recovery program. Several of our pastors and ministry leaders have visited, ministered, and evaluated the culture and ministry there. We are extremely impressed with the valuable, life-changing, and excellent work they are doing! We were so impressed that all three congregations decided to join this partnership to open, potentially, dozens of homes throughout the Kansas City area.
Thanks to the generosity of our members, we were able to release $50,000 of benevolence surplus to fully fund a new women’s home which will be opening on the Missouri side of the metro. this fall! This is pioneering work so, initially, there may not be places for everyone to serve. But as it grows, the needs and ministry opportunities will be everywhere.
Here are a few ways that you can get involved:
If you have any questions, please contact your Congregational Lead Pastor or reach out to Orion Berridge.
We exist to cultivate communities of transformed disciples who live for the glory of God and the good of the city.
Redeemer Fellowship is one church in three locations. Need help choosing? Contact us.
2406 S. State Route 291
9135 Haskins St
3921 Baltimore Avenue
Kansas City, MO