Monday, July 1, 2013

Getting Online

We are finally getting our products online. Square recently opened the Square Market and made it easy for us. We will not sell everything online and we will not undercut our retail partners. The best place to purchase our products, when available, is through a retail partner. These are found on our web site.

The simple truth is that the majority of the country is not near a retail partner. We have no retail partners for our repurposed pallet wood products. Square Market will help us to expand our sales to areas we do not currently serve and through products we have never offered outside our local area.

Every purchase helps fund our work, bring employment and training to those who need it most, and is good for the environment as we make most things completely from repurposed materials.

Please take a few minutes and visit our market.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

CoffeeFest Chicago

A team from Sun Ministries recently attended the CoffeeFest show in Chicago. We went to display our products and improve our distribution. We were able to meet a lot of really nice people that are very interested in using their businesses as tools to help those who may be less fortunate. We came away from the show with several new retail partners.

One of the most exciting things for us is finally getting exposure for our Coffee Bean jewelry. This item has the potential to change lives. As we increase our sales on these stylish pieces, we can offer hope to single moms that are stuck in the welfare trap. We can train a person in a few hours. We can supply them with the tools and materials for about $100.00. They can work at home from their kitchen table and make extra money while the kids are in bed. This requires no daycare, no transportation, and brings an extra source of income that will offer them choices for their future.

We are excited to have made the step up to promoting at this type of trade show. We have already booked our booth space for the next show in Seattle this October. We also reserved space for the show in St. Louis next June.

If you would like more information on how to partner with us you can call us at 636-544-2151.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Firming Up the Foundation

2013 has been all about firming up the foundation. We have located help for construction and a couple to run the opportunity Center. We have hired our first Narrow Gate participants and a neighborhood teen. We are scheduled to attend CoffeeFest with our coffee bag products. We hope to gain national sales exposure at this event. We are nearing completion on the Narrow Gate apartments. We have the keys to the cafe and painting has begun. The plan continues to unfold before our eyes.

We have added 10 new disciples in March. We have interns coming for the summer. The wood shop is getting organized and our product lines are coming together. As we finish some of these projects we turn our attention to the next steps of building. We look to train the next generation of disciples. We focus on building more sales to support more jobs. We are ready to add housing support for those that wish to join this work.

We have already hosted over 30 people at the leadership center this year.We have over 75 more scheduled for April. As we continue to host work groups and mission camps we see them working together to complete the work and recruit more laborers. As these projects launch we can turn our attention to the Mission Store and Narrow Gate Training Center. We can complete the Opportunity Garage and Community Development Center. Our goal is to have houses under rehab for all of our existing missionaries by year end.

If we can accomplish our goals and God continues to bless the work of our hands we will set our sights on a major addition to our efforts that will take place out of the city. We plan to have a farm. This will allow us to raise food for our missionaries and cafe. We will use it to help us train, refresh, and relocate people in great need away from bad situations. We will also begin a phase of upgrades to our facilities. We are making plans to become energy self-sufficient in our buildings. It may not be possible to get completely off the grid but we will try our best. This challenge is huge as we sit in the urban core and have the extra restrictions of a historic district designation.

Our idea of a firm foundation is to lower our cost of operation so we can use our resources to rebuild lives and the community. If you would like to help in any way please contact us for more information.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Again, a long time has passed since an update. And again, it is because we have been busy. Christmas season was full of activity, and this year started out with a bang. So here is a bit of a summary.

Christmas Happenings
Our glad carolers, on the porch of the Leadership center
We enjoy serving our community around Christmas. This was our fourth Christmas season in the Hyde Park neighborhood. This year, we again volunteered at the Third Ward Christmas Party, helped bag up food for the needy, and helped deliver food to a retirement home. We also went caroling around the neighborhood and had a great time. We had a few people join us, including the alderman's family. We love caroling because it brings joy and hope to the area. So many people were surprised to see a bunch of people singing down the streets.

January Work Explosion
Dr. Terry Goodwin talks to a youth group from First Baptist O'Fallon about spiritual disciplines

Last year, we had over 250 volunteers, with work groups coming from Tulsa, Wichita, and various places in Missouri and Illinois. We hosted a mission tour, a fall retreat, and numerous youth groups. This year, we've already had nearly 40 volunteers come through, with 4 groups scheduled for March. All these workers have accelerated everything so much. Extra hands are always welcome and needed with so much work before us, and it was a special blessing to have some really skilled people come through, including a contractor, plumber, and electrician. Not only does that help us overcome tasks that seem daunting or impossible, it increases our skill set and understanding so we can continue plugging forward. So far this year, one of our buildings got plumbed, MUCH drywall got hung, and the attic at the Leadership Center is almost completely finished. That space will increase our capacity in so many ways. We'll be able to host groups more comfortably, we'll have room for training and teaching, and our band, Reformation Sound, will have a place to practice!

the attic, before

the attic, after drywall and painting.  Almost done!
We love hosting work groups. We usually take time to communicate to our visitors the importance of the work. We don't want them going away thinking they got dirty and moved heavy stuff. We want them to walk away knowing that they took part in a work that God is doing, that they accelerated everything going on here. We also share testimonies, sing songs, and usually present teaching for them to take back to their own communities.

Moving Forward
We have been in Hyde Park since 2009, and have had a working facility here since May of 2010. Today, we have 5 properties, including our original building, the Opportunity Center, and our house, the Leadership Center. We have tried different things and learned a bunch. We feel we are close to having a very good foundation for bringing real renewal to the inner-cities of America. With so much work being accomplished so quickly, and better tools and material goods being donated and acquired, we feel confident that 2013 will be a very dynamic year. In just the past two months, we have encountered exciting opportunities and have progressed greatly in our understanding of how to minister and let God build. Our new projects will be covered in more detail later on, but they include ways to increase our creativity and sustainability, our (re)use of resources, and our ability to bring empowerment, encouragement, and employment to those who need it.

So coming up in the next few months, besides hosting many work groups, we will be opening a cafe, developing new products, and having great opportunities to cast vision. We will be displaying products at 4 craft shows, and will continue to communicate the possibility of people becoming interns or missionaries.

If you are interested in volunteering or bringing a work group down, you can contact Mark at
If you are interested in becoming a summer intern or learning more about becoming a missionary, you can contact Dr. Terry Goodwin at
If you have tools or material goods that you'd like to donate, you can contact either one of them.