Jean Priest, a member of the Minnesota NE Area Team and the Duluth Community Lighthouse began an outreach to the Police Department several years ago. Each year it has grown to include all first responders and their families! Last year there were so many in attendance that they ran out of food and had to hustle to bring in extra.
Jean reports that there were between 50-70 in attendance this year with a Mardi Gras theme. The menu included Cajun food and mac and cheese. Jean said, "I wasn't sure how the Louisiana cooking would go over with a community that is still largely Scandinavian. I needn't have been concerned."
Jean said that as they arrived that morning, the double doors were wide open. "I felt this was indicative of what was happening in the Spirit. There is a trust level of the department that we have not had before as we have been providing these luncheons for at least 3 years. Most every other time we've come I have had to ask the person at the desk to get someone to unlock it. This is a new day. Who knows what God might do in our relationships with law enforcement?"
One of the dreams that Jean has carried in her heart is for each officer to be connected with their own personal intercessor. They face so many issues today and having a trusting relationship would enable them to be able to call wherever they felt they needed prayer. Jean was so excited when an opportunity was presented for her to have a personal conversation with the Chief of Police about this very dream.
Sue Enebak, President of the Duluth Community Lighthouse, also serves as photographer of the events. Jean said that an amazing connection has taken place between Sue and the Superior, WI Police Department's chaplain who subsequently contacted that police chief with the idea Aglow would do the same kind of outreach for them. The next day Jean happened to run into the same Chaplain that was with a few Hermantown Police officers. I talked to him about an outreach to that law enforcement agency. The Chaplain has spoken with the Hermantown Police Chief. Hermantown is the town right next to Duluth.
Jean said, "After I rest up I believe I will feel the excitement of this expanding opportunity to reach into another Police Department. I feel we are just beginning to see the special assignment God has entrusted to our Lighthouse."
Jean has the support of her Church in this community outreach too. The Sunday before the date to bless the first responders, friends from Church were handing money to Jean so that every cost could be covered. Many offered to come and physically help set up, serve, and clean up.
Jean used the opportunity to show her Church that the Body of Christ extends outside the four walls. Asking her Pastor for permission to share with the congregation on Sunday, Jean was able to cast the vision that they could be involved in sharing the love of the Kingdom to the community. The response was overwhelming.
Jean said that the Duluth Aglow group has risen to the challenge each year. They are ready and willing to serve fully understanding that if God has told them to do something, go for it and they are in for the long haul.
What is God assigning your Aglow group in your community? Where will He lead you and will you follow Him?