Friday, June 30, 2006

Daytona Beach Ministry

June 29-July 4 @ Daytona Beach, Florida
(Above) The RAVEN "Jesus" Bus is on-the-move this week as we transport the team around the city for this years "Beach Reach" (Insert) Pastor Troy Bohn with Evang. Mark Johnson of Forerunner Ministries (Minneapolis, Minn.) out ministering during the first day of the event.

(Above) Some of the team begin sitting up one of the ministry tents on the beach in preparation for the first day of outreach.

(Above) Kayla praying with a group of teenagers out on the beach during the first day of Beach Reach 2006 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

We are blessed to join Pastor Frank Greshem and the host church, Jesus Centre Ministries, for Raven's first Daytona Beach Outreach. There are about 50-60 people here in the city for the next week of outreach and they are all excited and ready to "win some people to Jesus."

We kicked off last night with an awesome time of worship and an introductory word from Pastor Frank before getting into full swing on Friday morning. The teams broke into two main groups and set up two main "ministry bases" along the beach line. These ministry tents provided a meeting place for the teams, a place to give out free water to those on the beach, a prayer-stop, give-a-ways, and Bible and tract distribution site.

Our teams then went off to witness to and pray for the crowds that gather this weekend for the 4th of July Holiday and for the Firecracker 400 NASCAR race held at the Daytona International Speedway.

Mark Johnson and myself quickly found ourselves witnessing to an off duty police officer and were able to share the Word with him and pray for him there on the beach. After we finished ministering to him we continued down the shore and then made our way back. A lady approached Kayla and I and asked, "Did I see you praying for a man a minute ago?" We answered in the affirmative and she said, "Wow, I have never seen anyone doing that out here before."

We were able to share with here and also pray for her mom, Claire, how had just gone through back surgery.

Later, as we were up near Atlantic Avenue, Mark approached a woman in front of the Starbuck's and asked if she needed anything. He went inside and bought here a cup of coffee. I was then able to talk with her and found that she had been homeless here in the city for the past month. She had lived in NYC, but had left after the breakup of an abusive marriage.

Pastor Frank and I then prayed for her and directed her to a place where she could get off the streets and gave her our numbers to reach us as well. Please keep her in prayer!

I was blessed to be able to share the Word of God with the group in the evening ministry/equipping time before the team loaded up to go to the ocean front and minister to the crowd gathered for the open air Alabama concert being held there at the amphitheater.

I'll get you more updates as the week progresses!


Pastor Troy D. Bohn- Raven Ministries Int'l

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Skid Row Outreach: Los Angeles, California

On June 24th, Raven Ministries and StreetWise Ministries joined together for the "Skid Row Super-Saturday." It was an incredible time in JESUS as the team came from Northern California, Southern California, Florida (!), and several churches including; Hope Chapel, Christian Community Center, and The Living Well.

I was especially blessed to see many "families" out working together to feed and minister JESUS to the hundreds of homeless that came to the outreach location in downtown Los Angeles. These "families" included- Rudy & Lori Gonzales and their daughters, Frank and Angie Blondina and their son and two daughters, Brian Bennett and his son, Bobby & Don Chance and their grandson and Pastor Ron Smedley and his wife and son. THAT is what the Lord Jesus desires: Families coming together as a unit to reach "other" families!
The people on "Skid Row" represent someone else's sons, daughters, nephews, dads, moms, or grandparent and someone is PRAYING that Jesus would send someone reach out in love, compassion and truth to them.

A BIG THANKS to Ron & Judy Radachy of the Oasis of Hollywood who hosted some of our team at their Hollywood outreach center.

(Above) This was an AWESOME team for the Skid Row Outreach and they all had such servants hearts and a desire to see people ministered to for Jesus Christ! THANK YOU all who came to lend such a tremendous hand.

(Above) Someone's "Grandmother" comes through the line and gets a "homemade" cookie made available through the ministry of Christian Community Center Church in Sunland, California.

(Above) Dot Chance and CeCe Gonzales serve someone's "Mom or Sister" lunch during our Skid Row Outreach. Many thanks to Dot for serving as the food preparation/organization coordinator for this event. There is so much work that goes into putting these things together and Dot always does a fantastic job.

(Above) My flight into Los Angeles arrived "just in time" to join Bobby & Dot along with their oldest grandson, Dakota, in shopping for many of the food items served at the Skid Row Super Saturday Outreach. *Notice that we are not at a local "Food Bank" purchasing surplus food for this event. While food banks provide a great service (at a bargain price) for many events, food pantries, and benevolence ministry--we feel that during times like this, it is necessary to "pull out all the stops" and serve the ABSOLUTE BEST to people in the ABSOLUTE WORST of situations.

When you give financially to the work of RAVEN Ministries International, you can rest assured that we are determined to represent Christ Jesus and His Word at the highest level possible.

(Above) It doesn't take long for the lines to begin forming once the teams beging their set up. There is no need for "fliers" or "invitaions" out where people are hurting. Bring the solution (food for the hungry, and salvation to the lost) and they will come out in mass.

(Above) The fresh cut watermelon was a great big hit out in the street! One man said, "YES! I haven't had watermelon in a month of sundays!" We forget sometimes that the "menu" of the homeless seldom contains fresh fruit and vegetables.

(Above) The "Young Guns" getting the melons ready for the hundreds who would join us on this day for lunch and a whole lot more!

"Ron" The All-Too-Common Skid Row Story

The REAL Ministry on Skid Row

While RAVEN Ministries is all about meeting the practical needs of people wherever they are in such ways as food, clothing, etc.., out primary objective is to minister to their spiritual well-being.
Food, clothing and other things are merely temporary, but the GOSPEL MESSAGE is what changes lives FOR ETERNITY. We always make it our top priority to share the message of the Cross and to take the time to minister salvation, deliverance, healing and restoration to those that we encounter in some of America's most desperate and daunting localities.

The Children of Skid Row

Matt 18:1010 "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."

I remember my first trip to Los Angeles' "Skid Row" years ago. I had a team of about twenty or so people with me from Texas me and we all wanted to see this place that we had heard of. It was about 2:00 AM when we broke loose from witnessing on Hollywood Blvd. and I loaded up the rental van with about 12-15 of our team members.
When I asks some "locals" the easiest way down to Skid Row, they immediately told me that it was not a good idea to go out there at night. They refused to even condsider going with us themselves and thought us crazy for even entertaining the idea.
Well, as you might guess, I more than "entertained" the idea, I took them down there where we had heard an estimated 25,000 people slept on the filthy streets of Los Angeles.
As we made our way into this darkened corridor of seedy motels, neon-flickering lights, padlocked business, and rat infested sidewalks--the first thing that caught our eye was a woman laying on a piece of cardboard with two small children held tightly under each arm--while 15 to 20 rats scurried within feet of them.
One of the passengers in my van said, "She doesn't HAVE to be out here in this." I quickly responded, "DO YOU THINK FOR ONE MINUTE THAT SHE WOULD BE OUT HERE WITH HER BABIES IF THERE WAS A SAFER PLACE FOR HER TO BE!"
This woman had "fallen through the cracks" of the system. Perhaps she had been the victim of domestic vilolence and had fled her home and ended up out there with the thousands of other "walking wounded" just trying to stay alive and keep her precious babies as safe as she possibly could.
When most think about "Skid Row" they think of middle-aged alcoholics or lazy drug addicts that have chosen this life. Seldom do people even imagine the thought that there are babies and toddlers who have taken their first steps down "Skid Row" or who have cut their first tooth on a dirty piece of something retrieved from the street or whose standard diet is not warm milk, but instead the luke warm last sip from a discarded soda can.
There are thousands of homeless children in cities across This Nation. One doesn't have to venture to the war ravaged villages of some third world nation to discover the swollen bellies of the malnourished---no, they are just outside of our front doors.

(Above) These are all pictures of some of the beautiful children that we were blessed to feed, love on and pray for at our recent "Skid Row" outreach in Los Angeles. Friends what we do in regards for ministry is not glamorous and does not promise our supporters a great financial windfall for contributing to it with their love offerings---but one thing is for sure---at the end of the day, we know that we have "Seen it like HE saw in and have did it like HE did it" to the very best of our limited abilities and resources.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Skid Row Pix

(Above) A man laid down near where we were feeding in the hopes of getting some rest in a "safe" place for a few hours--if you can call anywhere in Skid Row safe!

(Above) Maddie, Cece and Dakota where some of our best help during the Skid Row outreach!

(Above) Pastor Troy stands with some of "guys" out on Skid Row before we started serving the meal during the Super Satruday event this past weekend!

(Above) Pastor Troy, Matt, and Rudy getting ready to take the team out to the streets of LA.

(Above) This is an absolute amazing story; this is Bobby Chance with a man that he met on Skid Row in Los Angeles that is from the same hometown as him. Now get this...their hometown in Mt. Pleasant, Texas (East Texas) and they went to the same school, knew some of the same people and are just a couple years apart in age. Here they are about 1500 miles away and they meet on Skid Row in Los Angeles and Bobby was able to love on and minister to this guy!

(Above) Here Maddie serves up some fresh sliced watermelon out on the streets. The young people that came to help us where such a blessing to us all. They really got after it and never stopped, complained or backed down one time!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Skid Row Pix

(Above) Team serves up a awesome meal to the hundreds that gathered on LA's Skid Row

(Above) Rudy Gonzales ministers to "Sarge", one of the thousands of veterans that call Skid Row home. It is estimated that as many as 40% of the homeless in LA are veterans of the United States Armed Forces. They fought for and sacrificed for our freedom--shouldn't we fight and sacrfice so that they too can be set free?
(Above) Frank & Angie Blondia were an awesome addition to our LA team. I originally met the Blondina's in Tijuana, Mexico while we were working to build on to a church there. Since then Frank has teamed up again with Streetwise Ministry and Angie came to NewOrleans following Hurricane Katrina and again helped us during the Mardi Gras outreach as well.

(Above) Sophie and Dominique Blondina (Fank and Angie's kids) cook up the bbq beans for the outreach.

(Above) A homeless woman finds joy in the ministry, prayer and conversation of one of our team members during the outreach.

(Above) Brian Bennet with a young homeless man he shared with out in Skid Row.

(Above) Pastor Ron Smedley of Christian Community Center Church (Sunland, Calf) and Debbie of Raven West Coast minister to a man on Skid Row.

(Above) Homeless man smiles broadly as he finishes up his BBQ lunch and visits with one of our Skid Row Outreach team members.

(Above) Homeless men bow their heads as we pray for the meal prior to serving the food.

(Above) Brian Bennett and his son, Joe prepare to head out to the streets for the outreach.

RAVEN San Francisco Outreach

San Francisco, California
Outreach Team

"Otis" in San Francisco

(Above L-R) Rudy Gonzales, "Otis" and Pastor Troy. We had the blessing to witness and minister at length to Otis who was not only homeless, but also bound by alcohol and drug addiction. He was convicted by the Word of God and the moving of the Holy Sprit and knelt down in the street and cried out to Jesus to save and deliver him during our San Francisco Outreach.
(Below) This is the "Audio" of part of the ministry time with Otis. You will hear him praying and then Rudy and Pastor Troy ministering to him as well.

Monday, June 26, 2006

San Francisco Outreach

(Above) Pastor Troy & Rudy Gonzales (Raven West Coast Director) walk along Golden Gate Dr. in San Francisco's "Tenderloin District" which is the home to rampant drug abuse, prostitution, and homelessness.
(Above) Gloria, Pastor Troy and Lori stand with two homeless men that they were able to minister to during the street ministry outreach in San Francisco.

(Above) Pastor Troy prays with a homeless drug addicted man. This man had a Bible College degree and had once been in the ministry before falling away from the Lord Jesus.

(Above) Pastor Troy lays hand on the man and prays that God would break the bondage of sin and restore his mind to him.

(Above) Pastor Troy embraces the former minister after ministering to him on the street.

(Above) Debbie (Raven West Coast) prays with a young homeless man in San Francisco.

(Above) Anthony Gonzales (Raven West Coast) with a homeless man "Rawsheekie" in San Fran

(Above) Brian Bennet (Hope Chapel) out in the "Tenderloin." Brian has such a heart for the homeless, hurting and downcast.

(Above) John (Hope Chapel) sits with a homeless man during the outreach.

(Above) the team was able to bring food and drinks to the homeless out for the San Fran outreach.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Ocean Baptism!

One of the highlights of my recent trip to the San Francisco area was having the privilege of water baptizing Rudy Gonzales (Director of Raven West Coast) and another young lady named Katie.
Rudy's local pastor had mentioned baptizing Rudy there at their church on several occassions, but Rudy continued to tell him, "No, Pastor Troy is coming out and I want him to baptize me in the ocean!"
Well we did just that! Now, this is the Northern Pacific ocean (North of San Francisco) and it circulates from the coasts of Alaska. The area that we were at has a stream feeding into it call "Salmon Creek" where the salmon go to spawn! This is COLD WATER! PTL
(Above) The Gonzales Family (L-R) Maddie, Rudy, Lori, Anthony, and CeCe
(Above) The team prays for Katie before we entered the water to baptize her.
(Above) Pastor Troy and the team lay hands on Rudy and pray for him prior to the baptism.

(Above L-R) Pastor Russ Clifford (The Living Well Church of Santa Rosa, Calf.), Brian Bennett (Hope Chapel of Santa Rosa), Rudy and Pastor Troy make their way into the choppy waters.
(Above) Rudy rejoices as Pastor Troy grabs ahold of Katie as they are all slammed by a wave.
(Above) Pastor Troy and Rudy embrace on the beach following the baptism.
(Above) Pastor Troy, Rudy and Katie...there is ONE WAY and that way is JESUS!

(Above) Rudy kneels to worship the Lord Jesus as he rejoices in what God has done for him.
(Above) The "Team" on the beach!