This is a heartfelt testimony of being compelled by love
JESUS SETS KITKAT FREE FROM PAIN AND DEPRESSION!!
Another journal entry from the front lines in Boston: We continue to see the goodness of God and the light of His Kingdom spreading on the streets where many are repenting and coming back to a walk with the Lord and others are coming to know Him for the first time. The harvest is ripe!
Blessed are the poor: ‘Funky Christmas Wishes’ granted for those in need
Carol Robidoux December 13, 2017
Members of the New Covenant Riders Christian motorcycle group huddle in prayer with a woman who just finished coming through the Funky Christmas Wishes event at First Baptist Church. Photo/Carol Robidoux
MANCHESTER, NH – Four years ago Henry Demers thought it would be a good idea to organize a Thanksgiving outreach for the city’s homeless. But God had a better idea, says Demers, and redirected him toward something much bigger, resulting in one of the city’s largest annual charitable day’s of giving.
This year’s event – renamed Funky Christmas Wishes in honor of longtime advocate for the homeless Joe Funk, who passed away in July – was the fourth such event. It provided essentials, food and gifts to 300 people in need, just for showing up Dec. 9 at 1st Baptist Church on Union Street. Attendees also got a free lunch, a $5 gift card of their choosing to Dunkins or Subway, and the offer of intercessory prayer.
All items – from brand new sweatshirts, blankets, socks and underwear, to hand-knit winter accessories, toys for kids and festive holiday hats for everyone – were donated by more than 70 local church communities and organizations.
Once inside the church, each person was given a ticket and was partnered with a volunteer “personal shopper” who stayed with them as they made their way around the tables inside the sanctuary, where they could choose one of each item they wanted or needed and stuff it into a bag. But first, attendees were invited upstairs for a church service until their number was called, for a time of prayer and singing.
Demers, founder and president of Harmony Home and lead organizer for the event, has a heart for the city’s homeless. His non-profit ministry is a place where the homeless can stop by during the day to have a meal, take a shower, wash their laundry, or pick up some clean used clothing and seek help from Demers and his staff with whatever they’re struggling with – including addiction.
Brad, left, a first-timer at the annual event, received many items through Funky Christmas Wishes, including a $5 gift card and a warm winter coat for his daughter, Aldiana, 4. Photo/Carol Robidoux
“I used to work at the city’s Mental Health Center,” says Demers, who acknowledges that the services provided through Harmony Home are similar to those the city’s Homeless Service Center on Central Street used to offer. It was closed for good in 2015 due to lack of funding.
“That’s why I quit my job and started Harmony Home. At the time they closed the day center, I knew winter was coming and I knew how important those services were to the homeless,” he says. “It’s been possible through my faith in God – I had faith that it would come together. It was something that was stirring in me anyway, but when they closed the day center, I knew what I had to do.”
Demers says almost every day in the 18-months he’s been in operation, someone comes to Harmony Home seeking a way to end their addiction. He’s been able to help anyone with a valid ID and a Social Security number to get treatment, usually through a California-based recovery center.
Scott Levesque, left, and Scott Spiewak, right, made themselves available at the exit for anyone in need of prayer.
“I’m in one of the most dangerous places in the city – we’re surrounded by drug dealers and prostitutes, there have been homicides and other crime,” Demers says. “I love being where the needs are. Harmony Home is gated, and people tell me once they come through the gates, they feel safe.”
Demers’ own story is inspiring. He was orphaned as a teenager, losing both his parents to cancer within a year of one another by the time he was 18. He was the youngest of five kids, so he still had family support and his parents left them financially secure, but he gives God all the credit for guiding his path.
“I was a partying teenager, but after losing both my parents so young, it sobered me up and changed me spiritually. I wanted to be able to look back one day at a life I could be proud of, and that’s been my mission ever since,” Demers says.
The name Harmony Home is based on a biblical verse, Romans 12:16, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”
Willie Johnson, pastor of the New Beginnings Church of God in Christ on Elm Street, has been involved with faith-based Christmas outreaches around the city for 16 years. He says it’s simply what he’s called to do as a Christian.
Partners in Christ: Henry Demers, left, of Harmony Home, and Pastor Willie Johnson, right, of New Beginnings Church of God in Christ. Photo/Carol Robidoux
“We’re doing what the Lord says to do,” says Johnson. “To see all these people getting served, it makes me feel good. Jesus said there’s always going to be poor and needy among us. The only way we can help is by doing what he calls us to do – if someone’s hungry, feed them; it
they’re thirsty, give them something to drink; if they’re in the hospital, visit them.”
While it doesn’t necessarily absolve a city from having resources in place, Johnson says outreach to the needy should be on everyone’s agenda.
“You have to want this. You have to want to be nice and good. That’s for each of us personally to decide. Christ died on the cross for our sins so that we can be a blessing to one another,” Johnson says.
1st Baptist Church on Union Street was a blessing to the city’s poor and a shelter from Saturday’s storm. Photo/Carol Robidoux
Near the exit Scott Levesque, of Imperishable Love Ministries, and Scott Spiewak who belongs to House of Prayer in Concord, gently asked people if they could pray with them before they left.
“It’s important to meet the needs of people where they are, but the most important thing is that they get to meet Jesus,” says Levesque. “There have been tons of healings and tons of miracles here.”
Many people accepted the offer of prayer, citing family members with cancer, or personal ailments. Volunteers from several area ministries, including a group of women from New Covenant Riders, part of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, quietly bowed their heads
and laid hands on people.
“I think this is a beautiful thing. I’d love to see it happen routinely in the city, not just at Christmastime,” Spiewak says.
“Not only is this a blessing for the community, but for the body of Christ to come together and work in unity, that’s a beautiful thing to see. People are laying down their lives for the Lord,” Levesque says.
More than 300 people received items at Funky Christmas Wishes on Dec. 9 at Faith Baptist Church. Photo/Carol Robidoux
Phil Haney of Merrimack volunteered his time as a personal shopper, and accompanied four people through the line.
“This is my second year. My wife knows Henry, and I got involved through her. It was a very humbling experience. For me, it’s a sort of resetting, just to feel blessed to help others in some small but positive way for Christ, and to reinforce how really blessed we are,” Haney says. “It reminds me not to take anything for granted.”
Henry Demers holds the whiteboard listing all the churches and organizations who pitched in to make Funky Christmas Wishes a reality. Photo/Carol Robidoux
He relayed an experience that confirmed to him that he was in the right place at the right time. “I had gone out earlier this week and the Lord’s been putting on my heart that the cold weather
is coming and that there are so many people who don’t have what they need. I had picked up a coat and it was in my car. About 10 minutes after I got here, I got to talking with an older gentleman, I’d say in his ’70s, who looked like he’d had a rough life. He said he wished he had a warm coat. They didn’t have any adult-size coats here, but I remembered the coat in my car. I gave it to him,” Haney says. “I feel like it was orchestrated.”
Miracles in Boston MA
We hit the streets every week, ministering to the homeless, praying for the sick, and blessing the poor and we see people touched by Jesus and healed every week. Not only are they healed, but seeds of hope are planted, and watered, as God gives increase as His goodness leads them to repentance. MANY hearts are turned back to the Father as they begin to see hope that they will indeed find their way out of the bonds of addiction and poverty.
Check out this interview with me, our friend Garth, and Brandt Gillespie formerly with the Christian Broadcast Network and now head of Media Productions at Lion of Judah church. See how it all started and where the Lord has lead our efforts these past three years!
May you be encouraged to step out in faith, be the light of the world, and see miracles, signs, and wonders in your everyday life!
Leg instantly Healed by Jesus! Yay God!
We were handing out food, supplies, and Bibles to the homeless in Lowell with our friend Laura. We came across this man laying down who couldn’t get up to come over to us and receive what he needed. He said his knee and leg was in so much pain that he couldn’t stand or walk. So we went to him and after a couple quick prayers I asked him to stand up – he was shocked he didn’t have pain and could freely move his knee again – He was so happy, that he said felt like running around the field! Jesus is Lord! ….only believe!
Scott & Laury Levesque
Imperishable Love Ministries
Spirit of Depression Cast Out!
We met this homeless man Jose on the streets of Springfield on Sunday. After speaking with him and giving him some food and supplies, our team with my wife Laury, Mike Ermold, and Pastor Bob Olmstead from Lighthouse Church asked if we could bless him through prayer.
As we we praying, all his depression left and he was filled with joy. Jesus is so real to us because He constantly reveals Himself like this when we pray. Holy Spirit who lives in us wants to demonstrate His Power and Love to the lost, and set the captives free.
This is the simplicity of the Gospel. When miracles like this happen, people are looking for real answers to their problems in life – we point them to Jesus, the only real solution to eternal peace, joy, and fulfillment in life. He is the way, the truth, and the life and worthy to follow. Do you know this man called Jesus? He’s amazing!
Blankets, Hats, Gloves for the Homeless
Many of you know that Laury and I along with a several other Christian friends, minister every week to the homeless in the poorest places of many major cities here in the northeast like Nashua, Manchester, Lowell, Lawrence, Worcester, Boston, Springfield, and others. It’s often a bit rough out there among the alcoholics, drug addicts, and mentally ill, but the Lord has stirred our hearts to reach the poor and the lost and it has become a lifestyle for us to reach those in dire need of help and freedom from oppression.
We bring food, water, socks, hats, gloves to any in need, plus blankets and sleeping bags to those who literally live outdoors all year. Some can’t even live in a shelter because of the alcohol, drugs, mental illness, or just because they have completely fallen off the social grid, so to speak.
We come to them with pure hearts and a message of God’s love and as a result, they let us pray for them and many have been completely physically and/or emotionally healed. It’s amazing how open most of the homeless are to the gospel when you have no agenda other than to bless them, love them, and share Jesus. We’ve seen Jesus heal cancer, COPD, arthritis, fibromyalgia, broken bones, pinched nerves, neuropathy, and broken hearts and most were instant healings. It’s truly amazing to see God do such great things, yet at times it can be overwhelming to see this level of spiritual and physical poverty in our own back yard.
There is so much need, and we want to do more. We’ve already purchased about 75 pairs of gloves, 75 hats, 15 winter coats, 50 pairs of socks, and already distributed many of these in the past two weeks alone. We only buy EXTREME bargains with the clothing in order to stretch our resources, but some of the items like the 30% wool blankets run $9-13 each and we are looking to buy 150 of these to distribute to those living outdoors in these cities.
I know it seems everywhere we look, many good causes are looking for money for their ministry and because of some scandals, many Americans are a bit weary to offer help. Even if the organization is on the up and up, we know that some have high administrative cost, salaries, utilities, and sizable marketing costs simply because of the institutional structure required with larger organizations. The bottom line is that often, less of what you donate actually goes to the poor.
But the Lord keeps telling me if we want to do more, then we need to invite our friends, brothers, and sisters to come along side of us in support. The good news is that 100% of what you donate, small or large, will go to the poor and help your local communities!
I know that some may never venture into these dark places we travel, (it’s not for the faint of heart, trust me!) but I also know that many of you have a heart’s desire to help the lost, and support those of us who are called to help the poor, especially in our own local neighborhoods.
We don’t have a 501-3c tax deduction status (not yet but we’ll get there someday!), but as I said 100% of what you help us with, will go directly to supplies for the poor. It’s that simple 🙂
For those of you who already supporting some great causes, please keep us in pray and pray for an abundance of resources to reach these struggling men, women and families. Statistics say that a 63% of Americans are only one paychecks away from living on the streets – thanks for prayerfully considering a one time or ongoing partnership to help bring them supplies, healing, and hope.
You can donate using paypal here, paypal.me/ImperishableLove or drop us a request at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you our mailing address to send a check.
Much thanks and love,
Scott & Laury Levesque
Imperishable Love Ministries
The pictures above are from a homeless “tent city” in one of our local towns. I was shocked to find out that there is a tent city like this in most of the larger cities here in the northeast, where the homeless live year round. Whether living with extreme heat and humidity and no electricity for a fan, or water, or a shower, or in the dead of winter at zero degrees with bone chilling winds, this is a reality for more Americans than ever before in modern history. I have to admit, it has been extremely humbling for us to see such need. Thanks for considering their need and your support.