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July 11

The People of Praise Responds to Recent Press

Over the past few weeks the People of Praise has received a great deal of attention in the press. Here, we aim to correct the record and provide clarity on a few important points.

In Allendale, A Busy Season Begins

by Chris Meehan

Patti Deakin with one of her neighbors.

In Allendale, members of the Christians in Mission team are taking on new jobs, new responsibilities and preparing for new members. "Every member of the team is doing more than ever. It's a busy time," says David Zimmel, the mission coordinator responsible for Allendale.

Nathan Barrett, who leads the Christians in Mission team, recently accepted a full-time job working with MBI, a Shreveport-based manufacturer of blast-resistant buildings. Nathan and Genevieve are expecting their third child in May. Genevieve, a part-time physical therapist, recently volunteered to cook dinner each week for the single women's household so that they are free to run an after-school group for neighborhood children.

Ben Reinhardt, a 2011 graduate of the University of Minnesota, has taken over responsibility for day-to-day administration of the Allendale work. He coordinates the work of visiting Action teams. He also makes himself available to respond to calls and visits from neighbors: a young man who needs a ride to a job interview or a neighbor who needs a ride to the hospital.

Kathleen Mehaffey recently became the leader of the single women's household. The change freed up some time for former leader Joan Pingel, a special education teacher, so she can study more effective ways to work with the children of the neighborhood. Joan and Kathleen also make time for regular visits to a young single mother, Susanna Howard, who lives a few blocks away. "We are reading through the Gospels together," Kathleen says. "She invited us to her baby shower and recently told us that we should start inviting more people to join us when we get together."

Laura Brummer, a phone operator for a group medical practice, runs one of three weekly after-school groups for neighborhood girls. She also enjoys driving neighborhood children to church each week. When the number of regulars grew to four, she asked for help from Colleen Murray and Ben. Three of the children have asked to be baptized, so Laura, Colleen and Ben are teaching them about the 10 Commandments and other Christian basics so that they can be baptized in their respective church congregations.

Gerry Deakin, a sales rep for LaSalle Company in South Bend, also acts as neighborhood bike repairman and landscaper for the CIM team. Lately, he has also helped with administrative tasks related to the community's purchase of some nearby properties. His wife, Patti, meanwhile, talks with neighborhood women who drop by, and runs a weekly exercise group for some of the women.

Ruthanne Seitz (Shreveport) continues leading a weekly Bible study for a group of older neighborhood women. Ron Seitz, her husband, a retired Lutheran pastor, walks over to the women's houses and escorts them to the Bible study. Claudia Stephens, one of the regulars, recently ran into some family problems on her birthday. At one point in the day she thought, O Lord, if only I had some help with this situation. Just then there was a knock at the door. It was Ruthanne and Patti bringing a birthday dessert. The three of them were able to pray about the situation together, a great comfort to Claudia.

Thomas Duddy has finished his first year as a nurse at Shreveport’s VA hospital. He keeps up a friendship with Ed Allison, a retired neighbor who has come to prayer meetings and has helped with Action projects in the summer.

1442 Yale Avenue will become home for Pat and Edna Malone (South Bend) beginning in June.

What’s next for the CIM team?  A volunteer crew comprised of about 30 women from campus and mission divisions will arrive for a work trip in early May. In late May, Edna Malone will move in, ahead of her husband, Pat, who is coming in mid-June after wrapping up his 25-year teaching career at Trinity School at Greenlawn. The Malones are excited to be joining the CIM team in Allendale. John Bowar (Servant Branch) will also be joining the team this summer, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota.

Action teams will begin arriving in June and will get right to work repairing neighbors' homes and organizing the summer camp. After record attendance at last year's camp (57 campers at its peak), this year's camp will be divided into seven different groups along age and gender lines. At the end of the summer, long-time team member Josh Caneff, a remote employee of the Healy Group in South Bend, and Mary Claire Busk (Indianapolis) will be getting married. (The wedding will take place in South Bend.) Mary Claire recently moved from Indianapolis to Allendale and is living in household with the Barretts.

"The Lord is doing so much with us that it is sometimes hard to keep track of it all," David says. "We are especially grateful that he is giving us new CIM team members so that we can continue to grow and expand his work in Allendale."

Responses

  1. Jim Reinhardt says:

    Good work you servants of God!

  2. John Boughton says:

    Thanks for sharing so many details, so those of us not so familiar with the work can get an idea of what you all are doing. May your light shine ever brighter, and may many more neighbors come into deeper unity with you.

  3. Lisa Ficker says:

    Thanks for the update! I especially like seeing the house that the Malones are moving into.
    God bless y'all!

  4. Carol Ehemann says:

    So good to follow the every day life of our brothers and sisters in Allendale.

  5. Nancy Grams says:

    All this news is so exciting and encouraging for both our present and future mission work in Allendale. Thanks to all who are working and praying for the upcoming changes and success of the summer programs. God bless you!

  6. Carolyn Hornbuckle says:

    Thanks for the update on all the activities in Allendale.
    Sounds like an exciting summer. Praise God for all your work.

  7. Mary Duddy says:

    Thank you for the newsy update....we love you all in Allendale and keep up the good work!

  8. Linda coney says:

    I'm very excited about what you and the Lord are doing in Allendale! We hope to see some of you there soon. God bless you!

  9. Anne Brewer says:

    Praise God. So excited for the Malone's to be joining y'all. Watch out down there! The Malone/Deakin shenanigans will keep you laughing!

  10. Shelley Gilliam says:

    PRAISE THE LORD!!! So exciting to know, see, and hear all that the Lord is doing through you all. Looking forward to even more of the Kingdom being built. Glory His Light is shining sooooooo Bright!! Come Holy Spirit, continue preparing the hearts and minds of your flock.

  11. Charlie Fraga says:

    Great to hear the details of how Allendale is continuing to develop with new team members, and expanded engagement with your neighbors and the neighborhood. You are an inspiring example to all of us in the community. Keep leaning forward and staying in tune with the Holy Spirit's leadings! Thanks for your hard work and willingness to live a life of simplicity, openness to the Lord, and detachment from superfuous things. You set the pace for us!

  12. Jo Zimmel says:

    I enjoyed catching up on what is going on with all my friends in Allendale. Praise God for all the work he has done and will do this summer.

  13. Donald Busekrus says:

    Let your light shine before men and they will see your good works and give glory to God. Thank's to each of you in Allendale, God's light is shinning bright for all to see. May the Lords abundant blessing and grace fall on Allendale this summer.

  14. Tom Duddy sr says:

    Thanks to all Allendale members for your steadfast service and enduring love for one another and the people of Allendale. May God's grace be abundant and provide all you need. We are all inspired by your hard work and dedication.

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