After a fire destroyed their old building in 2015, B Light Restoration Center (BLRC) has been working to restore a dilapidated building. Local CMC churches and the surrounding community have worked to install a new roof and floor, plumbing and electric systems, and much more.
When this center opens on October 6, 2019, BLRC will continue carrying out its mission “to provide holistic services, tools, and resources which empower individuals to exchange old, self-destructive ways of surviving for new, self-sustaining ways of thriving.” While the center will provide a warm place to stay, food, clothing, educational opportunities, and community empowerment, it will also be a place where people can encounter the love of God and participate in discipleship.
In 2011, I started B Light Restoration Center (BLRC) in Flint, Michigan, as a ministry of Shammah Outreach and Consulting Services. My background in nonprofit work and seeing so many broken neighborhoods and individuals led me to start BLRC as a way to bring Jesus, discipleship, and relational healing to this brokenness.
A woman who lived across the street in a multi-unit home known for prostitution and drugs had come to my home three times within two weeks between 3 and 4 am, knocking on the door and crying for help. The first two times I opened the door, called 911 for the woman, and then watched her go back across the street. The third time this happened I stayed in bed, somewhat irritated that the woman ran back so quickly the other times. In the morning, irritation turned to conviction when I opened my door and saw drops of blood on the porch. I never saw the woman again. My heart burned with sadness that I had not ever offered the woman the hope found in Jesus, assured her that God had greater purpose for her life, or even offered practical help of telling her of the local resources for safe housing. I determined to continue working within my own community to provide programs to meet the needs of my neighbors.
That was eight years ago. Today, with the help of many CMC churches, individuals, youth groups, and REACH teams, BLRC is close to re-opening its doors, filling in gaps in services at a location ideal for multiplying the Kingdom.
“The vision defined the purpose and plan for a facility that was useless, turning it into a place of introducing others to the love and hope found in Jesus.”
As I began preparing presentations for various churches about what BLRC is and does, I found it strange that when looking at old pictures of the beginning of this project, I began missing the familiarity of the mess and rough stage that the facility once was. Even though the center was not functional then, I found myself wistful for that time. I immediately found myself praising God for vision that he had given. Without the vision and plan that was instilled within me, I would have been content remaining in the state of familiarity, the state of nonfunctional. The vision defined the purpose and plan for a facility that was useless, turning it into a place of introducing others to the love and hope found in Jesus.
When complete, BLRC will continue to serve neighbors breakfast with encouragement from the Bible. It will provide structured activities during the day for neighbors who are homeless, struggling with addiction and mental illness, unemployed, and in other unfortunate situations. The activities are designed to foster discipleship, provide practical tools for overcoming life’s obstacles, and empower them to thrive. Grace Fellowship, a CMC church in Flint, will also call BLRC home.
To find out more about BLRC and the mission in Flint, please feel free to contact Lynette at (810) 513-2710 or visit socs.yolasite.com. Shammah Outreach looks forward to completing the project and could use volunteers during the month of September to make completion possible.