Greetings from Vegas!
What a day! This trip has been awesome, this team rocks, and our leader Tara is amazing. Verve has a special place in her heart and it’s been awesome to be led by someone who has been out here several times because she believes in the importance of building and maintaining relationships and enjoys loving on the people of Verve. I know that after this trip Verve will hold a special place in all of our hearts.
Our first day here, Vince, pastor of Verve Church, said something very simple, very easy to comprehend, but not always easy to do or remember to do, and here it is : Lead with Love. Lead with love and the truth that others (or ourselves) need to hear may not always need to be spoken out loud, or spoken by us. You lead with love and your love can bring people in and keep people in church and this allows the Holy Spirit to work. I’ve started each day trying to keep my focus on this and have prayed the same for our team. We’ve seen how God has been moving in Las Vegas through Verve, and I’ll tell you about that and our day.
We started our morning with a team devotional and prayer. We then went to Verve for service and worked on making the front of the building shine with some cleaning, and then to help welcome their members and visitors. This church is very loving, and their service was very inviting. They are a “church for people who don’t like church.” The people of Verve love people well and are the hands and feet of Jesus all over Vegas. We felt very loved and welcomed.
We then went to the Refuge for Women house that is just now opening in Las Vegas. Refuge for Women is a 12 month journey for women wishing to leave the sex industry. The Las Vegas house opened officially today and you could feel the excitement everywhere. Their motto is “We Believe in Women” and their passion for this is palpable. We knew that the house we were going to was donated to this ministry that has already done so much in other states with rescuing girls out of the darkness. God has provided for this ministry from providing leaders and volunteers to leading people to donate their resources, like this beautiful, inviting house we went to. It seemed like such a peaceful place to heal. We loved hearing some of the stories of how God has used this ministry to rescue and change their lives for the better! One girl has gone into training to be in ministry. One girl has graduated from college. Another girl’s only prayer is that the very people who held her in the darkness will come to know Christ. I’ll be the first to say that painting doesn’t always seem like an important job, but God had us there for a reason, and we may not know its fullest extent yet. After meeting their leaders and volunteers and touring the house and hearing about the program these girls will be experiencing, we were just in awe at all that God has done. I know our prayers will be with them. Before we left, we took a group picture in front of “our wall” that we painted, and I think we all left a piece of our hearts there with them as well.
One of the staff members from Verve hosted us for dinner tonight and we enjoyed our time with Margaret, her husband Nathan, and also Mary and Alisha from Verve so much. There was a lot of laughter and we got to hear about what brought them to Verve. Mary said she’d heard Vince preach and after being out of church for 8 years she found her new home at Verve. She said that the people at Verve get it- they Lead with Love.
We can’t wait to see what God has in store for use tomorrow as we do various projects in and around the church.
Tiffanie on behalf of Team Vegas