Saturday, December 1, 2012



It has been a long time since an update...mostly because we have been rather busy. Recently we had many friends and visitors in the Leadership Center helping out with all our work. One was the youth group from Ballwin Baptist Church. They came to the Leadership Center for their fall retreat. About 20 young men and women stayed overnight in our attic and spare couches. We shared teachings, testimonies and songs.

Youth leader Sam Tunnell (right) moves some cinder blocks
Youth leader Samuel Tunnell first met us three years ago as a student at Lindenwood University. He came with a group of students to help pick up trash. Now, as a youth leader, he's been bringing his youth group and friends down to volunteer in our work. They even helped us with the Hyde Park Festival.

They all arrived Friday evening. We hung out in the backyard around a fire and Dr. Terry Goodwin, our executive director, shared with them some teaching about spiritual disciplines. The next day, we all went over to the future Opportunity Garage, where they moved a massive amount of trash and did some tuckpointing.
Some kids remove staples from the used table tops that will go into the Sun Cafe

At lunch, some of our missionaries spoke about the importance of prayer in our work (prayer was their focus for this retreat), and then we went back to work for a few hours.  We also spoke to the kids about the opportunity to become an intern with Sun Ministries, and a few expressed interest.

We are grateful to receive so much help. Each time a group of workers comes through, it accelerates this work that God is doing. If you are interested in bringing a work group in, contact Mark Goodwin at

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hyde Park Festival: Sept 8 2012

We are all so excited about this year's Hyde Park Festival. It's so crazy that we first got involved by simply serving 3 years ago, and now this year we are organizing and sponsoring the Festival.  We've been planning since last year, and have been trying to get as many people on board as possible. We've got some great stuff lined up for the festival, including free kids' games, great music, door prizes, excellent food, and other fun stuff. The festival will be Saturday, September 8, 10am-8pm in Hyde Park, which is just 2 blocks off I-70 at the Salisbury exit. You can also check out the Hyde Park Festival website.  Here's a rundown of what to expect this year.

All day music!!!
We've got a great lineup, including bluegrass, hip-hop, soul, and acoustic. Headlining is GRITS, Dove Award-winning national hip-hop duo!

Performing at 10:30AM
Since the beginning Cumberland Gap has stayed true to its roots. Their acoustic renditions of classic folk, blues, and bluegrass along with their inspired list of original songs have gained a steadily growing enthusiastic audience. They were named as the best bluegrass band in St. Louis by the Riverfront Times in 2004 and again in 2009. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch named Cumberland Gap one of the "17 local bands you ought to know about" and had this to say about their live shows: "With their three-part harmonies soaring over strong, inspired string work, Cumberland Gap captures the soulful, upbeat side of American folk and bluegrass."

Performing at 1:00PM
This is our band. Made entirely of Sun Ministries missionaries, who are also all residents of Hyde Park. Features an interesting blend of guitar, banjo, hand drums, bass, dulcimer, and many voices. We write music to testify to what God is doing. Our sound is somewhere in the mix of folk, indie, rock, with occasionally a bit of blues.
Performing mid afternoon
Excellent jazz, soul, gospel, etc. Remarkable musicians, and great friends of us here at Sun Ministries. Andre can shred with the best of them, and has a fantastic falsetto.

Bingham Family
Performing mid afternoon
Soul and gospel

Commission Heirs
Performing mid afternoon
These guys are committed to using the gift that God gave them. They refer to it as "flip-hop", because they used to use it for the things of the world, but now they've turned it around and are preaching the gospel through rap. They are not full-time performers, as they are balancing their music in the midst of lives spent following God.

Performing at 6:00PM
A personal favorite of many of us at Sun Ministries. Fantastic hip-hop duo from Nashville, recording since 1995. They've won several Dove awards, have songs on many soundtracks, and have toured extensively.

Free Kids' Games provided by Life is Good
Last year, Jake's on Main in St. Charles, MO lent us the games used for the Life is Good festival. They're letting us use them again this year. The games are free, and we've got some great prizes.

Historic Walking Tour
historic Divoll branch Library
Hyde Park is a registered historic district.  There is fantastic brickwork and architecture.  Most of the buildings are over 100 years old.  And we have some notable places, such as Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, two stand-pipe water towers, a stop on the undergroung railroad, historic public school and library, old barracks, and of course, the Bremen Theater.

A version of baseball for the blind and visually impaired. The bases buzz and the ball beeps. There are some rule differences, which the website explains. They will be doing a demonstration. Sighted people are welcome to participate, but they have to wear a blindfold.

Attendance Prizes!
We will be raffling off several attendance prizes at the festival, all FOR FREE!
Here is a sampling of the prizes
    St. Louis Police and Fire Department
    The police will be bringing out the helicopter and swat vehicle. The fire department will have a hook and ladder. While you're at the festival, be sure to check out the historic firehouse at the corner of the park.

    Pottery Demonstration and Lesson
    Tim and Christy Sawyer have been making pottery for years.  They make a wide variety, from historic recreations to modern, artistic pieces.  Not only will they be selling their wares, but they will have a portable turning wheel and will be teaching kids, and whoever else is adventurous enough, some pottery basics.  And the kids get to take home their creations!

    Other Fun Activities
    3-on-3 Basketball
    Bounce Houses
    Sack Races
    FREE Face Painting
    Awesome Food!
    Jubilee Community Church - They will be selling fantastic, eclectic rice dishes, including Indian, Mexican, and Chinese
    Mi Hungry - Jamaican and American Barbecue
    La Mancha Coffeehouse - A local coffeehouse located just to the south of us in the Old North neighborhood. Serving tasty cafe sandwiches
    Faith Hope and Love Ministries - They will be serving some great grilled items as well as a few pasta dishes

    Our Partners
    ND Consulting
    Alderman Freeman Bosley, Sr.
    Third Ward Housing Corporation
    Jake's on Main/Life is Good
    Jubilee Community Church
    Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church
    Bethlehem Lutheran Church
    Ballwin Baptist Church
    Faith Hope and Love Ministries
    Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
    St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
    St. Louis Fire Department

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    More Pews

    The organic nature of our ministry offers some unique opportunities for creativity and collaboration. We heard that Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church had some old pews taking up space in their soon-to-be-demolished shed. The church has been in the neighborhood since 1848, and we've worked with them on the Hyde Park Festival and gardening. We already have some experience making furniture out of recycled pallets, so we were interested in getting the pews. So we called them up and checked them out, and they looked usable. Everyone agreed that the craftsmanship on the old pews was too good to waste. Plus, they were a great piece of history (although no one's sure on the exact age, they're at least 80 years old). But we didn't have a place to store them, or a product to make with them. Also, I was getting married and wanted to use the pews for my outdoor wedding in Hyde Park. So Holy Trinity held on to them for a few weeks. In that time, they also invited us to sell our products at their trivia night fundraiser. We decided to build a custom piece out of the recycled pews and sell them at the trivia night, giving half the cost to Holy Trinity (plus a portion of our other sales).

    After some thinking, we decided on a hall shelf; something a little more unique than a bench, and a little smaller, too. The construction is pretty basic, but sturdy, and retains the original, aged finish of the oak. So after the pews did their time at the wedding, we broke them down, denailed them, cut the seats to our shelf sizes, and assembled it. After scrubbing them down with some Murphy's oil soap, the wood shone wonderfully.

    The finished product.  The photo on the left shows it in action!
    What else have we made of pews? Well, we've made a conference table. One lady custom ordered a bench.

    Pretty much just a short pew, but with a shelf added to the bottom.

    I made a storage bench for my wife.

    The seat lifts up to reveal a storage area.

    And, we've made a pretty fantastic candle holder.

    Actually made from the same pews as the conference table.  It's the base of the end of the pews.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    B.U.M.P. Ministries Work Day

    In late July, we were contacted by our friend Donna Bradley at Jubilee Community Church about a group she had visiting that was looking for a chance to serve in the neighborhood. Of course we said yes and had the opportunity of serving with a group from B.U.M.P. Ministries along with some youth from Village Church in Dire Indiana. The group was able to come for two work days over the course of the week and was a huge blessing to us in their service.

    While they were here, the group was able to help us finish the final clean out of the remaining two units of our five family unit that will be turned into housing for our Narrow Gate project.

    They also helped us do some dirty work on what is going to become out Sun Market and the offices for our Sun Staffing agency.

    Without the help of groups like this, our lives would be much more hectic and a lot more work! If you would like to help us out or if you know somebody looking for an opportunity to serve, please feel free to contact us! or 636-544-2153 (Mark Goodwin)

    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    The Intern Report - Week One

    Hannah Groves - Internship Summary Week 1 - July 26, 2012

    The first chapter in John’s Gospel, talks about the Word, the Logos becoming flesh and making his dwelling among us. This same verse is said this way in the Message translation, “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14 Message). This verse came to my mind several times and serves as an encouraging, summative statement for my first week of interning with the group of missionaries that live and work in North St. Louis.

    Getting ‘into the neighborhood’ occurred in a variety of ways. First, it was important to learn, through conversations, videos, etc, some of the history of the area in which I was living and the dynamics and issues currently present because of that history. I learned briefly about the Pruitt-Igoe situation—where a literal road (named division) separated black and white people. I learned briefly about the effects of generational poverty and racism.

    One of the most helpful learning tools was the film “Second Chance” in which a rich, comfortable, white Christian struggles to learn about life in the inner city. I was reminded again of the complexity of many urban issues and that no formulaic process can ‘fix’ the problems, but only the power of Jesus Christ, many times working through his people— the Church. I was also reminded that often ‘issues’ don’t fit into neat, even categories (like suburban, urban, black or white), but rather that issues stem from broken relationships with Jesus in a fallen world.

    Another way that I ‘moved into the neighborhood’ was by spending time in various locations quite literally in the neighborhood. A Saturday evening concert (put on by the missionaries) and the Sunday morning church service were both held in the local park. I spent time most every morning working in a sewing center a couple blocks from the house. As we walked past neighbors we would stop to talk to them and hear how life was going. One evening we walked the streets, picking up trash and praying for the area. We witnessed a shooting and had the opportunity to walk kids home, report and discuss the incidence with the local police, talk to the nearby residents and share the story with others in the neighborhood.

    This specific incidence serves as a profound example of the final way that I got ‘into the neighborhood’—that being, through learning about and witnessing the lives of the missionaries themselves. Unlike many organizations or church groups that spend only short amounts of time with the people of this district, these missionaries are committed to living in this area and becoming part of the community. Unlike many organizations or church groups that try to provide immediate relief or care for what they see to be a ‘need’ in the community, these missionaries are committed to truly getting to know their neighbors and discover and provide for their actual needs. They do this through one-on-one discipleship and providing holistic resources that care for the whole person.

    I told the group from day one that I was there to be a learner and that is exactly how I would summarize my first week – one learning experience after another. Learning history and background, learning demographics and neighborhoods and finally learning about the people of the community and the missionaries themselves. I am excited to continue learning and to one day translate what I am experiencing now into ministry for my own life.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Refuge work day

    A few weeks ago, on July 7th, we had Refuge youth group from First Presbyterian Church of Hillsboro Illinois bring a group of very hard working young people to help us out for a day and to share in some good fellowship time as well. It was over 100 degrees outside, but that didn't even seem to phase these guys! They were all over the place doing anything and everything from tearing nasty sheetrock out of an apartment building that will be used to house missionaries and people who are homeless,

    We also had a group who helped us with some tuck pointing that was in really bad shape on one of out other buildings...

    It also just so happens that they brought a few professional carpenters with them who were able to brace the roof in our future Opportunity Garage to keep it from collapsing even further! This garage had been a great worry for us since none of us had the skill or knowledge to be able to deal with it in a safe way. It truly is amazing how God provides!

    A big thanks goes out to Refuge for all the work they helped with and the blessing they were to us. 
    If you would like to come be a part of what God is doing here, please feel free to get in touch with us. you can call Mark Goodwin @ 636-544-2153 or send an email to

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    New Pallet Products and Etsy!

    This past year has given us some opportunity to continue to experiment with recycled pallet wood. The Sun Cafe and Market is set to open sometime in early 2013, which will give us space to display our wood products. In the meantime, we have started an Etsy account and will be putting on one-of-a-kind items from time to time. In case you didn't know, our Products with Purpose are made in the Opportunity Center here in Hyde Park.  Our missionaries learn to work with their hands, and the sales (and skills) support the ministry.  It also gives us skills we can then teach to people ready to change their lives.

    Here are some of the things we've made in the last year or so:
    Recycled Pallet Candle Holders
    Candle Holders
    Simple, rustic, and artsy. A couple different styles. Sold pretty well at the Old North Christmas Bazaar.


    Recycled Pallet Night Stand Dresser

    Rustic Night Stand Dresser
    This was designed by our executive director. Has a rough finish and simple, rustic construction. The lap joints were nailed together.

    Recycled Pallet Hall Shelves
    Hall Shelves
    We tried to find something that would use some smaller pieces of wood. We made a sleek, modern one, and a more traditional/country one.

    Patio End Table
    Patio end table
    This was a custom order piece. Sort of a combination of two table designs we already had. The frame is mortise and tenon joinery, while the slats are simply screwed and glued. I really liked this design because it was sturdy and attractive, and matched our deck chairs perfectly.

    Crazy large sliding door
    Sliding Door
    This was another custom order. The door was two inches thick, 89 inches tall, and 40 inches wide. It weighed A LOT!  The mix of woods gave it lots of character.

    Recycled pallet picture frames, and Mark Goodwin Photography.
    Picture Frames
    Used best to house Mark Goodwin's photography.

    Recycled pallet stools with upholstered seats
    A custom order from someone in the community. The design was based off a really simple stool that was in the Opportunity Center when the building was donated. Mortise and tenon joinery. We tried to use oak as exclusively as we could in these.  Getting the stain color right was tricky, as the customers had a table we were supposed to match. The table was really really dark, so we didn't quite make it, but they compliment very well. Also, they were our first upholstery job.

    Recycled pallet bookshelf

    Book Shelf
    This thing is heavy! I tried to make something that really emphasized the material we use, which is recycled pallets. So it's chunky, there is quite a mix of woods, and plenty of character.  The sides are framed panels.

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    The Intern is Coming - Meet Hannah

    Hannah Ruth Groves

    I am the second born of four children in a family of seven (my brother recently got married). I have lived as a youth pastor's daughter my whole life in Greenville, IL. Growing up I had many 'typical' struggles with family, but can now honestly say that by the grace of God we have wonderful relationships with each other and thoroughly enjoy spending time together. I will be entering my senior year at Greenville College.
    My major is Urban/Cross Cultural Ministry and my minor is Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. I'm a dreamer--passionate (and many days simply striving to be passionate) about God's global church, social justice issues and growing in relationship with Jesus Christ. At school, I am a member of the volleyball team, our school's homeless outreach and work at our on-campus coffee shop.
    I love to do crafts, have one-on-one chats, journal, travel, read children's books and spend time being active outdoors. I might get competitive if you break out a board game, but I'd be put to shame in a drawing contest. I'll try just about any food you put in front of me and hope to someday own/make a hammock in which, over the years many will come to simply be.

    Sunday, July 1, 2012

    Visitors from Tulsa

    Visitors from Tulsa
    A few weeks ago we got a very unexpected call from David Casey, a leader at First United Methodist Church in Tulsa Oklahoma. David told us that the place they were planning on working and staying on the St. Louis leg of their summer Mission Tour had to cancel last minute and they needed somewhere to go. He asked us if we had enough work and enough space for 50-60 people in 2 separate groups. After we all picked our jaws up off the floor, we thought back to the summer of 2010 when David brought a group of very hard working youth to help us work on our Bremen Theater Project. We very promptly told him yes. He called us on a Wednesday night, and we returned his call the next morning to find out that the group would be arriving on Saturday. We scrambled to prepare places for everyone to stay and to make sure we had enough work ready for everyone to do, and barely finished getting the attic ready for the first group to stay in just a few hours before they got here!
    Over the next week we had the pleasure of working, eating, laughing and worshiping with them. They more than lived up to the reputation set by the group in 2010 doing anything from painting and clearing brush to pulling out drywall and carpet and hauling trash out of dirty old garages. No task seemed too big or too small as they rose to meet every challenge we put before them, and did it with a good heart no less.
    Along with a huge amount of work, we also got to spend plenty of time talking about scripture, ministry and all sorts of things about being a missionary to the inner city. We spent late nights around the fire pit sharing testimonies and singing worship songs.

    For us, having groups like this come in is a big part of what we love to do. It allows us to share in the work God has called us to do with young people who may have never experienced anything like it and pray that God might place the same call on their hearts as he has ours. If you would like to bring a group to serve with us or if you would like to just come by yourself, call Mark Goodwin (636)-544-2153  

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    Growing Again

    Amy hard at work turning the soil.

    We are gardening again. But this year it's a lot different. Last year we had 3 gardens with 32 beds. This year we have one 8 x 24 foot bed. So why did we change?

    In late 2010 we had an idea of utilizing the 300+ vacant lots in our neighborhood for growing food. City-owned lots are available for lease from the city for $5 for 5 years for gardening. The idea was that having residents grow food on the lots beautifies the neighborhood and gets fresh, healthy food available here. Also, it reveals the glory of God in creation and how He set us to rule over it. An added bonus is that the city no longer has to spend tax money to keep up the lots.

    So that was our idea, but we weren't sure where to go with it. Then we more or less stumbled into taking on three defunct community gardens. We were up for the task, and thought we would have another opportunity of selling the produce and paying neighborhood kids to work in the gardens. At that point we began the journey of learning how hard gardening is. The summer was one of the worst in St. Louis history, being incredibly hot and dry. Our gardens didn't produce much at all. But we were able to reward one youth for working in the garden with a donated laptop.

    By the end of the season, it became obvious that the method we were using was not the way to accomplish our goal, and not just because it was a lot of work. We were on other people's land, and the gardens were massive. The original vision was to come alongside families and teach them to garden. We were not leading the vision with our actions. So we let everyone know we were done with the gardens. They reverted to their previous organizations. Luckily, two of the three are still being utilized.

    We were left without a garden, but still had a vision with such real potential - not only for provision, but for teaching skills and revealing who God is. Then came the Leadership Center. The Leadership  
    Center is where missionaries transition into full-time ministry, shared resources, and living in their own housing. When we got the house, there was an 8 x 24 foot raised bed in the backyard. Now we could really engage the vision. We have a reasonably sized garden with the goal of supporting a family (or nine adult missionaries plus a baby).
    the bed before any work.  all grass!
    We ended up planting rather late in the season, due to a missionary wedding, but things are growing. We are also starting a medicinal herb garden, and there are plenty of flowers promising to pop up.

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

    Missionary Spotlight

    We are Jason and Amy Calahan. We were married in May of 2012, in Hyde Park, after working side by side in the ministry since late 2009. We have committed to being life-long, full-time Missionaries to America.

    After seeking to have a living faith and entering discipleship, Jason was moved by the enormity of the vision to reform the church and the inner cities of America. Amy was called through her passion to see people restored to what God made them to be. We are both program developers for the ministry, and have become skilled in many aspects, from woodshop and sewing center, to gardening and building rehab. In addition to all that, we are also a part of Reformation Sound, our band of missionaries.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Missionary Spotlight

    We are Mark and Jessica Sanford. We moved to Hyde Park as missionaries in September of 2011. Mark is currently in transition from full time employment to work as a full time missionary. Jessica is the supervisor of the sewing center in the Opportunity Center. We were married in 2009, after God brought us together through a pretty radical and unconventional love story, and we set forth together to follow the call that God has placed on our lives-- a call of reformation to reform the inner cities of America, the Church of America, and the arts as an expression of honesty, sincerity, and God's glory . Both of us are involved in Reformation Sound (a band formed from the missionaries of Sun Ministries), and Jessica is currently writing a novel, Unvoiced.

    We have been placed here, now, as stewards of God's grace and the gifts He has given to us. This means following the commands of Christ, pursuing a life of true religion (helping the widows and orphans in their distress, and remaining unstained by the world), and doing our part to bring God's Kingdom to Hyde Park.

    Monday, June 11, 2012

    Missionary Spotlight

    We are Christopher and Krissy Goodwin. We became missionaries with sun ministries in April of 2012 with our daughter, Madelyn, and another daughter on the way. Our heart is to see God's glory declared through the inner cities of America through the rebuilding of the neighborhood and the lives of those living in them.

    Spiritual restoration and respect of authority are very important to us and we hope to instill those values in the neighborhood we minister to. We are excited to see how God is teaching us to grow a family as well as pastor a community in the design He has outlined in His word.

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

    Missionary Spotlight

    My name is Mark Goodwin, and I am a missionary with Sun Ministries. I became a full time missionary in the summer of 2011. My heart began to move towards being a missionary while I was in college studying to be a youth minister at Missouri Baptist University. I graduated in 2008 and very quickly realized that several years of school and countless hours of study, debate and discussion among peers had done very little to prepare me to carry out Christ's commands to care for the widows and orphans and the poor.
    I began to work part of the time with Sun Ministries after college while spending most of my time doing what most college grads do, working at coffee shops. God began to pull on my heart more and more until finally He made a way for me to Give my whole life and all my time in full time ministry. I moved to Hyde Park and slept on a couch in an old warehouse for several months because I knew that no matter what my conditions were, I was here to serve the very people that God has charged all believers with serving. Hyde Park is a very beat up neighborhood with generations worth of attack and destruction from Satan. I look forward to my future of being a missionary and seeing where God will take me.

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    The Narrow Gate

    The Narrow Gate is our plan for addressing the needs of the homeless or those at risk of homelessness. We will take title to a 5 unit apartment building in early June. We will immediately begin the work needed to rehab this building. One of our trained ministry couples will become the host couple in this complex. They will keep watch over the building and be the first point of contact for anyone entering this project.

    The Narrow Gate home will be a place where we can house individuals or families that are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We will house them in trade for their labor and participation in the Narrow Gate Project. Our trained missionaries will come alongside the people in the project and help them through a variety of issues that may be keeping them on the streets or facing homelessness. These may include any or all of the following.

     Spiritual Health
    Each participant must profess Christ as their personal savior and agree to submit to discipleship and seek freedom from sinful behavior.

     Remedial Education
    Each participant must agree to seek his or her G.E.D. or equivalent. In some situations they may be required to enroll in college or technical training to improve their earning potential.

     Financial Training
    Each participant must agree to have a financial counselor during their stay and make all financial decisions with the consent of this person.

     Job Training
    Depending on the individual this may include interviewing, resume writing, computer skills, etc… 

     Social Skills
    Included in this training will be courses in manners and communication skills. These may include public speaking, conflict resolution, and interaction assessment and training.

    This building is just one of many tools our missionaries will have to work with as they seek to reach the lost and restore the inner city. The Narrow Gate participants will have every opportunity to have their lives restored and be placed in permanent housing. As a person progresses through the Narrow Gate we will seek to rehab a home for them and move them from being a Narrow Gate resident to being a home owner in the neighborhood.

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Imagine a Ministry

    Sun Ministries is working from a visionary directive. Everything we do is led by a vision to build a ministry that will have the ability to address the issues facing individuals in society today. First and foremost, we believe that Jesus is the solution to every problem that faces mankind. Without Christ at the center of everything we do, we would have no hope to offer to anyone. With Christ as our hope we are empowered to go and tackle the toughest problems we see in society today. That is why we are, above all else, a missionary organization. We work through people that have Christ at the center of their lives.

    We also see and understand that there are real problems that have real physical needs that must be addressed in order to empower others and bring them hope. We see God combining both of these together in a vision to bring hope, comfort, blessing, and empowerment to the area where He has called us to live.

    We have had as our vision a complete resource for missionaries to work through. It includes several key components. We need opportunity for people to grow and gain job skills or start a small business. This is done through the Opportunity Center. We need a place to train missionaries and house them in transition. We call this the Leadership Center. We need housing for the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless. We call this the Narrow Gate. Two of these tools are up and operating and the Narrow Gate will come online this summer.

    The rest of the plan includes a garage for automotive needs, appliance repair and recycling, housing rehab, small business development and artistic development. All of these projects are in the works. Once the pieces of the plan are in place and functioning we will have a unique ability as a ministry. We will be able to recruit, train and relocate missionaries to our area. We will be able to work with the neediest people because we will have the ability to take someone off the streets and house them, feed them, train them, and provide them with transportation, a home, furnishings, appliances, clothing, and a job. All of this will be done in a one-on-one approach that addresses the whole person and their needs. It will all be done with Christ at the center of our motivation.

    Many parts of this plan are in place and others are coming soon. You can help us build this ministry through donations of money, building materials, autos, or household goods. You can be a part of this ministry as a missionary if you feel called to the work. In a very short time you will begin to hear about how these other parts of the ministry are coming together. Stay tuned.

    Friday, April 13, 2012

    When God Gives a Vision ...

    In early 2009 God gave me a vision. Not the "hey I see an angel" vision but an outline of what He wanted me to do. The vision came to me quickly in one day. I wrote out a 5 year plan and it included 4 major elements. The plan was to go to the inner-cities of America, starting in North St. Louis, and bring renewal, reformation, and revival to these areas.

    The main components were for a church that operated outside the traditional church structures we see in America. This church is lead by missionaries and is not a part of Sun Ministries yet it is a part of the plan God gave me. The other 3 are under Sun Ministries and include an Opportunity Center to help bring income, jobs, and skill training. A Leadership Center to help recruit, train, and relocate young leaders to join the work. A new concept called the Narrow Gate that would address homelessness in a life-on-life way.

    In December of 2009 the Opportunity Center was donated to us by the Helbling family. It opened in May 2010. In December of 2011 we purchased the Leadership Center. It opened in March of 2012. In April of 2012 we are receiving a donation from First National Bank that will become our first Narrow Gate home. It is a 5-family unit across the park from the Leadership Center. All three facilities are within 2 blocks of each other.

    God is at work here doing something unique and His plan is going forward. If you would like to become a part of it we would love to have you. You can contact me directly to become a part of our church or to volunteer in our ministries. A major work has started here in North St. Louis and you have a chance to be a part of it.

    Terry - 636-544-2151

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    The Leadership Center

    The Leadership Center is a place where Sun Ministries' missionary recruits and candidates stay while deciding if they are called to this work. It will serve as temporary housing for those who are relocating to the area to join our work.

    Missionary Recruits are those who have heard of our work and are exploring it further. They may only stay for a day or a weekend. Candidates have answered the call to be a full time missionary and will stay here with us while permanent housing is prepared for them. The Leadership Center serves as the permanent housing for the Executive Director and his family.

    This house is an essential part of the plan God laid out for us in 2009. It was there from the beginning. God provided it for us in December of 2011. We completed it 2 weeks ago and it is already fully occupied.

    As we begin to move the current candidates into permanent housing we are sure God will keep the Leadership Center full of new missionaries.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Hyde Park Christmas Party 2011

    Sun Ministries again participated in the Hyde Park Christmas Party. This was our third year of involvement, and we hope to continue to help out each year. The Alderman has been throwing the party for many years, each year inviting some of the impoverished families of the area. Plenty of food is offered, and toys and bikes are raffled off for the kids. This year, we brought pies, helped set up and decorate, served food, and helped families with young children get their plates filled.

    This party is a great chance for our missionaries to be servants to the neighborhood. We also get to work side-by-side with other people active in the area. We distributed our first issue of 3rd Ward STL, a community newsletter we published at the beginning of December. One of our missionaries, Mark Goodwin, is incubating a photography business and took photos of the party, which he shared with the Alderman.

    This coming year we hope to continue to expand our skills and product line, and to expand the ministry. Becoming a missionary and learning to pastor a community More missionaries are moving into the area, and we continue to make more connections throughout the city.

    If you'd like to volunteer or donate to events like the Hyde Park Christmas Party, sign up as a volunteer or contact us.

    To learn more about Mark Goodwin Photography, find him on facebook.