“There’s all kinds of things happening in this place!” This was a comment made by a customer who frequents Awake Café. Yes, it’s true! This summer has been busy with lots of work and renovation being completed! Thank you to those of you who have prayed for and supported these projects and the ministry that God is doing here in Detroit! Grab an iced coffee or lemonade and join us as we take you through these summer months.
Our goal was to have the fellowship hall completed for extra coffee shop seating by the beginning of July, but when you are working in an old building, there are often surprises. As our congregation began meeting in the fellowship hall for services, we started to notice that the increased usage of the bathroom facilities was causing a sewer backup. Once the ground thawed enough in May, we began digging. Jamie Roose, a local friend from our church, brought his excavating equipment, and we continued digging. Dale Reynolds also came to help with the project, and together they determined that besides needing to get the sewer cleaned out, we needed a much better drainage system in the back of the building. Thank the Lord, the main drain line was still in good condition and only needed about eight feet removed, so the work was minimal compared to what it could have been. This surprise set us back from our projected goal, but we now have a nice parking area behind the shop for employees as well as a good drainage system that hopefully won’t cause problems for the next while!
July came, and we felt the crunch on the calendar. Tonweya put in long hours running electric, finishing the carpentry work, building movable walls to section off the church area from the dining area, building bookshelves for the used book area, and getting the fireplace completed. Jonathan Gray helped with laying carpet, and Eric Himelick brought a group of young people that helped with small jobs that needed done and handed out coffee cards in anticipation of our opening the other side. On July 9, we extended our operating hours and opened our doors to Awake Café customers who have now been enjoying more space for study groups or just friendly coffee dates. Our church, New Beginnings Fellowship, also enjoys the dining area for Sunday dinners together. We could not have done it without the help of those who stepped up beside us, assisting in meeting the goal! Thank you to all who helped!
We are now focusing on the back kitchen that existed when we received the building but needed a lot of updating. There were openings (where daylight could be seen) that we’ve had to patch, and we’ve also rerun wiring and plumbing. Drywall is scheduled to be hung this week, so things are moving along. This space will be used for making a larger quantity of baked goods for Awake Café. We are excited!
Besides the work of renovation, we have been traveling some. July 10 we went to New York for our annual church conference and deputation services. Then we attended the IHCA Kids Camp in Indiana with a family from our church. Aiden and Krishana thoroughly enjoyed their time with all the other children! We also attended Bible Camp that is held here in a large city park. It is an endeavor to reach out to children and parents for a week of activities and ministry in the open air. It was a good week, and there were many different churches and diverse cultures represented.
Now, unbelievably, summer is coming to an end, and we’ll be starting school! Aiden will be in 1st grade, Krishana will be starting kindergarten, and Malia and Hadassah… well, Mom’s trying to figure out how to keep them busy. It all has happened so fast, but God has given us a good summer! There’ve been moments when we felt like we couldn’t catch our breath, and then times when God’s presence gave us a breath of fresh air. Your cards and notes of encouragement have been so helpful! As we travel and hear of all of you who pray for us often, it helps to fill our emotional “fuel tank.”