Colleen Brinkmeier: “Only God Brought Me Through”

Stories • June 27th, 2018
Around 7:30 a.m., inside a brick house on the corner of Kimbark and Kenwood Avenues on the far South Side of Chicago, Colleen Brinkmeier gathers at a table with Debra on a recent Tuesday, just as they do every morning.   They pull out their Bibles, and each has brought with them a devotional, from which they’ll share a passage with one another.   A block away, 87th...
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James Kang: A Heart for Asia

Stories • June 4th, 2018
  James Kang moves through Southeast Asia with alacrity and aplomb, wearing flip flops and weaving through the streets without fear, stepping in front of the ever-present motorbikes weaving past him—often hopping on one himself—and greeting longtime friends in just about every country.   James had grown a silver-flecked, ebony mustache for the first time just before a...
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Nikki Janes: Seeking Light Through the Layers

Stories • March 21st, 2018
When some people see an expo atmosphere, with swaths of tables set up by companies and organizations giving away free pens or t-shirts or other swag, they gravitate toward the freebies.   Not Nikki Janes.   Tables filled with freebies hardly ever appeal to her.   But one day at the start of her freshman year, she wandered the green space at the University of...
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James Brooks: Meeting God on the Concrete

Stories • February 23rd, 2018
  Six years ago, James Brooks fell to the concrete floor of his prison cell. His “cellie,” or cellmate, usually never left during yard time. But that day felt different—and it was. That day, when the call came to exercise, his cellmate jumped up from his bed and threw on jogging pants.     “Where you going, cellie?” James asked him.   “I’m going...
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Laborers Celebration Gathering | 2.3.18

Events • January 26th, 2018
We are having our first Laborer's Celebration Gathering of the year on February 3rd 2018.   When we gather for these Laborer's Celebrations, we gather with a goal in mind- that we would unify and catalyze a group of believers across the city of Chicago, empowering them to take the Gospel to all corners.   Consider this quote: "Praying together is one of the single most...
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Sonja Sampson: Escaping the Darkness

Stories • January 24th, 2018
Sonja Sampson stood at a bus stop in Englewood and closed her eyes.   When she did, she tried to envision her future. She saw nothing. Just darkness. Just a blanket of black.   She tried again. She wanted to see something, to envision anything.   “You know, when you close your eyes, you might see somebody running past?” she says now, 15 years later. “It...
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Protected: Acting Like Jesus

Stories • December 22nd, 2017
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A Professional Big Sister

Stories • October 27th, 2017
            On a recent Nav Night, in a room at the student center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Alejandra Villa raised her hand during an icebreaker game in which everyone had to describe something interesting about their footwear.   “This is Johnny,” she says, gesturing to the student standing next to her, “and his shoes have taken him across the...
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From Asia to Ames to Chicago: How God Uses a Global Identity to Impact 20-Somethings

Stories • September 21st, 2017
Matt* wears a silver ring on his right hand etched with five ancient characters that means “citizen of heaven.”   Designed and given to him by his parents when he turned 21 years old and taken from Philippians 3:20, the ring in many ways symbolizes the intersections of his life. Born in East Asia, Matt spent 18 of his 22 years shaped by the Asian continent, both in surroundings...
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A Home Away from Home

Stories • August 11th, 2017
Aaron and Amy Lee* treat their home in Chicago’s northern suburbs a little like they did their home in Africa: with openness. The backyard, suited for their three boys (and another little guy due in August), shouts invitation.   And that’s just how the refugee families they meet see it, too.     Not long ago, a refugee family they had met from Afghanistan...
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