Over the last week of February we were invited to spend time with the church body of Shades Mountain Baptist Church during their Global Impact Celebration. Each year around this time, Shades brings in the different missionaries from all around the world that they support and partner with for a time of encouragement, care, and fellowship. There were missionaries from India, the Middle East, New York City Africa, Eastern Europe, Miami, and Birmingham, Alabama.
Throughout this conference, there are multiple services that encourage church members to get involved in missions anywhere and any way you can. One of the most impactful nights is called “Stories and Songs.” On this night, each missionary is given 60 seconds to share a quick glimpse of what the Lord is doing in their part of the world.
Check out our video below of Urban Purpose’s 60-second story on what the Lord is doing through our ministry.
Urban Purpose has been blessed to work alongside the staff and members of Shades Mountain Baptist Church as we go out to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. While our ends of the earth look extremely different than some, we know that God has created these people in His image and they are crying out for love and affection from someone. We, as believers, are called to be those people.
We are so thankful for the investment that many of our volunteers have made with the people we see on a weekly basis. Emily Herring, a graduate from Auburn University, is one of those. Over the past year, we have seen Emily love people well and build deep relationships with those people that allow them to trust her a great deal! Urban Purpose has been extremely blessed by the role she now plays in this ministry. Read below to hear more about why she chooses to take time out of her week to love on the people we serve downtown!
Name: Emily Herring
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Occupation: Social Worker with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham
How did you find out about Urban Purpose: I found out about Urban Purpose through Rachel Coleman. Rachel and I had become close friends, and I was looking for a ministry to serve with soon after moving to Birmingham. Rachel told me all about Urban Purpose, and I started serving weekly at the downtown meal.
How long have you been serving with UP: I have been serving with Urban Purpose for just over a year.
Why do you continue to serve downtown: I love to see the way that the Lord uses the mealtime downtown each week. God has brought about some precious friendships with some of the people downtown over the past year, and I want to serve and love these friends just as Jesus has done for us. Serving downtown each week has become one of my very favorite parts of the week, and I love to bring along my family members, friends, small group, and other members of my church to be a part of serving through this ministry.
Tell us about your most memorable moment of the Sunday meals: My most memorable moments while serving downtown have been with a friend named Melissa. Melissa and I met a couple of months after I started serving downtown, and she began sharing with me the many difficult things in her life. As we were together nearly every Sunday, we grew closer and she began calling me her sister. I walked through many hard things with Melissa in the months that followed, and God brought about many opportunities to share about the hope we have through Christ in these times. Melissa had seen love that was twisted by addiction and domestic violence, so I was overjoyed that the Lord provided the opportunity to love her with His love!
Have you ever wondered what Urban Purpose does on a daily basis? Are our days filled with meeting peoples needs, having meetings that revolve around coffee at Seeds, making incredibly tough and life altering decisions for people, attempting to improve and better our strategy of working with the broken? The best answer is- Yes. All of these items are critical components of our work on a weekly basis.
For the next 30 days, our challenge is to give an in-depth look at just what exactly we do and how we do it. Follow us on this journey as we show the many ways God is moving among the people we’re working with.
This morning looks like cleaning up the office after busily making 100 snack packs for our friends downtown this past Sunday. Having these food items that can be saved for weeks to come are always beneficial for some people who will not know where there next meal is coming from. Keep following us on social media to check out where the rest of our day will be heading!
- Instagram: urbanpurpose
- Twitter: urbanpurpose
- Facebook: Urban Purpose
A big, big thank you to Grandbridge Real Estate for providing all of these wonderful snacks that our friends were sure to enjoy.
Some really exciting steps are being taken with our partners this week. We cannot wait to see how the Lord will move in this setting and with this man!
Sometimes the process of bettering oneself can be a very, very slow process. Although a person might know in his or her mind what the right steps to take might be, it always takes more time for that head knowledge to translate into their heart and their very being. And in most cases these are taken one slow step at a time.
Recently we’ve been spending a great deal of time with one of our friends that we’ve known for almost five years now. This man is easy to love and fun to hang out with, but frustrating when it comes to him making decisions. He is one who knows what to do but has a hard time doing it. So what is different this time you might ask? This man has started to open his heart to us and tell us what is actually going on inside his head. *Hint- THIS IS A BIG DEAL*. We have seen him open up more than he ever has in the past. This is something that he has never felt comfortable to do because of a few different reasons: the fear of disappointment, failure, shame, guilt and more. You name it- he felt it. Although it is just one of many steps that he needs to take, we know this is a big step! We believe this is showing how much progress he has made and hopefully, will continue to make.
We are excited about the direction this man is heading and what God continues to do in his life. Please pray for patience as we continue to walk with him, step by step.
Urban Purpose is based on developing genuine, long-term relationships centered on the gospel. God has blessed us financially and as Urban Purpose grows, so do our expenses. We need you to join us in ministering to Birmingham’s broken and needy by being a monthly donor. Will you support our ministry?
Your monthly support helps us provide people in our city with:
- temporary and long-term housing
- medical care
- mental healthcare
- drug and alcohol recovery
- employment opportunities
Current monthly donors give from $10-$325 a month. Any amount you commit to give helps us to meet our goal of 40 donors in 40 days, averaging $40 each.
We ask you to consider joining us in ministering to the homeless and needy in Birmingham by supporting us on a monthly basis.
Here’s how you can give:
- Set up monthly recurring payments through your bank
- Click here to set up monthly online payments through our secure PayPal account
- Mail us a monthly check at: Urban Purpose, PO Box 660373, Vestavia, AL 35266