You are cordially invited to attend the launching of Hope Church in Anchorage, Alaska. The initial service will be conducted on Sunday, July 24 at 10 a.m. We will meet at the Downtown Soup Kitchen (DSK) / Hope Center located at 240 East 3rd Ave., Anchorage, Alaska 99501.
On March 24, the Executive Director of the Downtown Soup Kitchen (DSK) / Hope Center, Ms. Sherrie Laurie, was talking with me about the expanding ministry she oversees. They feed 300-500 people a lunch of soup, sandwich & dessert each Monday through Friday. They host 30 women every night of the week as a Women's Shelter. They also have a highly qualified and experienced baker who is training the women in baking skills and selling their creations to help support their ministry. Then she said, "But this building is sitting unused on Sunday mornings. We need to be having church in here for these dear people. But I don't know who would be a right fit for such a ministry." I could hardly believe my ears! Then I eagerly replied, "Are you serious? I would definitely be willing to do that!"
The next day she came to me after we finished the music. (My girls and I did the music & Scripture exhortations once a week during the 1-1/2 hours they served lunch. Now we do it 4 days a week.) She said, "James, I've been thinking more yesterday and this morning about having church here. I want to offer it to you if you and your children want to do it. I will just give you a key to the building, and it is all yours for free. I don't want to be over it. You can use the kitchen, feed the people, let them do showers -- whatever you want. I sense a different spirit about you and your children."
When I initially began to tell people of my calling to move to Anchorage, it was common for people to ask me, "Do you plan to start a church?" My reply was simply this, "I plan to reach out to the people for whom God has sent me there, and if he wants me to start a church, it will grow out of the relationships that He builds with those people." That is exactly what He has done!
The timing seems ideal. We were "outside" (an Alaskan term to describe when you leave Alaska) from late April until July 2 to help celebrate Jamin's graduation from OBI and Joanna's marriage to Derek Rich, as well as minister in a number of churches. Now that we are back to our new home, it's a good time for the DSK and for us.
Please pray for God's continued leadership coupled with our absolute sensitivity and obedience to His way. Most of all, we need the unhindered anointing of the Holy Ghost to empower us to preach Christ and Him crucified! He said, "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me."
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost" (Romans 15:13).
Thanks to each of you who so faithfully and sacrificially undergird our family and ministry with your support in prayer and finances. May God bless you with an eternal return for your investment.
Bro. James D. Martin