School Supplies – Pedal 4A Purpose – Kent on Radio

School Supplies:

So far, we have raised a little more than $1700 toward our goal of $3000 which will enable us to provide a back pack filled with school supplies to each of Crawford Elementary School’s 490 students. To donate toward this very practical need, click on this link to ROP’s website or just send a check to ROP, PO Box 632, Aurora CO 80040, and make sure to put “School Supplies” in the comment box on-line or on the memo line of your check.

Kent on 850 KOA Radio, 7 a.m. Sunday, July 8th:

Every Sunday morning from 7 to 7:30 a.m. on 850 KOA radio, Bo Mitchell interviews a leader of a local faith based non-profit on the program You Get the Blessing. I recently had the pleasure of being Bo’s interviewee and the result of that interview will be aired on the morning of Sunday, July 8th.  Bo spent a good portion of our time together asking about my experience with depression 20 years ago, so I did not have quite as much opportunity to talk about things currently going on at ROP as I might have liked. But hopefully, God will use it as He desires in the lives of those who listen. Tune in at your own risk :-).

Pedal 4A Purpose:

The date of this year’s Pedal 4A Purpose is still almost three months away on Saturday, September 22nd. Registration fees are $35 per individual and $80 per family of three or more. To register or for more information, click on this link to the P4AP Website.

That’s it for now. Thanks for your partnership and consideration of these opportunities.

P4AP Early Registration Deadline – Partner with ROP in Blessing Families with School Supplies

First a quick update:
I am very happy and thankful to report that several people responded to my eblast of a couple weeks ago and have volunteered to help transport food from the South Glen Whole Foods to ROP on Mondays. This is a big blessing to our Food Bank program and all those who enjoy the perishable food (fruit and veggies, dairy and baked goods) provided by Whole Foods. Thank you, Lord!
Next an update and reminder:
In the same eblast, I also mentioned the need to raise $2,500 in order that we could provide a Back Pack and school supplies to the 490 students at nearby Crawfor Elementary School. As of today, we have raised $1,180 toward this goal. So, we are hoping to raise at least another $1,300, and it’s actually $1,800 after the school asked last week if we could add a pack of 4 dry erase markers for each student. Many thanks to those who have chosen to partner with us in meeting this very practical need of the families in our community. If you are feeling led to join them, I encourage you to do so.
Finally, another reminder:
For anyone interested in having some fun while getting some exercise and helping ROP raise some much needed funding, I just want to remind you that the June 30 deadline for early registration for Pedal 4A Purpose 2018 is coming up soon. On Sunday July 1st, registration fees will go from $30 to $35 per individual and $70 to $80 perfamily of three or more.  So, if you want to save a few bucks by registering before prices go up or simply get more information about this year’s event, all you need to do is click on this link to the P4AP WebsiteThe date of this year’s event is Saturday, September 22nd.
That’s it for now. Thanks for your partnership and consideration of these opportunities.

Two Great Opportunities to Bless the Families of ROP’s Community

Opportunity No. 1

If you live in the Denver metro area, like to drive and enjoy seeing hungry people fed, then please consider joining our Food Bank team as a driver.  ROP’s Food Bank and its participants have been greatly blessed by the provision of food from Whole Foods beginning this past January. As a result, we have been able to offer many perishable items not previously available to our participants, including dairy, baked goods and fresh fruit and vegetables. Our biggest challenge with the Whole Foods donations has been transportation. We have had a couple very dedicated drivers moving the food from the South Glen Whole Foods to ROP, but they occasionally get sick or go out of town (can you believe it?), which requires us to scramble to make other arrangements.

So that is the purpose of this request, to mobilize 2-3 more volunteers – and their vehicles (the larger the better) – to join our Whole Foods transportation team. What does this specifically entail? Glad you asked. It entails picking up and helping to load food into your vehicle at the South Glen Whole Foods at around 11 a.m. on Monday mornings and driving it 15 miles to ROP where the Food Bank team will help you unload. Please note that this is a good time for driving without heavy traffic.

If this is something you think you may be interested in helping with or just have questions, please contact ROP’s awesome Food Bank Director, Tish Freeman, at [email protected] or 720.628.1256.

Opportunity No. 2

Whether you live in the Denver area or not, but like to putting a smile on the face of kids, parents and teachers, then please consider a donation in support of ROP’s school supplies drive for the kids of Crawford Elementary School. I highlighted this opportunity in the lead article of our Newsletter, Urban Voices – June 1, 2018 Edition,  and simply state here that ROP’s provision of back packs and school supplies to the children of Crawford Elementary is not only a blessing to everyone at the school, but also serves to strengthen one of ROP’s most strategic relationships. (Please note that we are asking for financial rather than in-kind donations for this. The article explains why and how to make a donation.)

Thanks for your consideration of these opportunities to partner with ROP in blessing the people of our underserved community.

Check Out the Latest Happenings at ROP

The latest bi-monthly edition of ROP’s eNewsletter – Urban Voices – is now available on ROP’s website.
This 2-page edition of Urban Voices includes the following articles:
  • Back Packs & School Supplies – Big Deal for Families & Teachers – Kent invites our supporters to partner with ROP in blessing the students, families and teachers of Crawford Elementary School with back packs and school supplies.
  • ESL through the Lens of God’s Faithfulness – Retiring ESL Director, Donna Godfrey, credits God’s faithfulness for eight plus years of blessing in and through ROP’s English as a Second Language ministry.
  • Save the Date – Pedal 4A Purpose 2018 is Saturday, 9/22 – Lots of good reasons to participate in Pedal 4A Purpose 2018, but the real purpose and best reason for Pedal(ing) 4A Purpose is helping people in need.
Click on this link – Urban Voices – June 1, 2018 Edition. (If you cannot see the embedded version, just click on the link below it to access the current and older editions of Urban Voices.)
Hope you enjoy this edition of Urban Voices.
If you are connected with a church or non-profit that would be interested in using P4AP 2018 to raise some funds, please get in touch with me at [email protected] or Tom Adams at [email protected].

P4AP 2018 Early Registration Deadline is June 30th

For the second year in a row, Pedal 4A Purpose will be held on the third Saturday of September – September 22nd. September may still be a few months off, but our early registration deadline  is coming up in just 5 weeks on June 30th.  So if you would like to get a date on your calendar to help motivate some training and save a few bucks in the process, I encourage you to think about registering now or at least before the registration fee goes up on July 1st (from $30 to $35 per individual and from $70 to $80 per family of 3 or more). 
Pedal 4A Purpose is an important part of ROP’s annual fundraising efforts. Last year, P4AP raised more the $21k in support of ROP and our partnering nonprofits, and this year our goal is $30k. But Pedal 4A Purpose is also much more…
  • P4AP provides a great opportunity for bike riders of all abilities to enjoy a supported ride with family and friends. It offers rides from as short as you like (5.5 miles to first aid station) to as long as 63 miles (with 4,522 feet of total elevation gain).
  • P4AP also offers a run/walk alternative along the beautiful Bear Creek Green Belt for those who prefer “pedding” to pedaling.
  • P4AP provides a yummy Chick-fil-A lunch and a great venue at The Bridge Church at Bear Creek (same location as last year 3101 S. Kipling St. – Name change only).
  • P4AP offers supporting churches and other nonprofits an opportunity to partner with ROP and share the funds raised by their teams up to 80/20 with ROP. (Youth groups and short-term mission teams please take note.)
  • Finally, P4AP offers a lot of great prizes for top fund-raisers and all participants. Our grand prize again this year is a $1,000 gift certificate from Schwab Cycles. Last year, all of our riders received a prize!
To register, donate or simply learn more about this fun event, click on this link.
Hope you can join us on September 22nd, have some fun and partner with us in meeting the real needs of a lot of under-privileged people.

If you are connected with a church or non-profit that would be interested in using P4AP 2018 to raise some funds, please get in touch with me at [email protected] or Tom Adams at [email protected]

Always Lots of Smiles and Hugs on ESL “Graduation Day”

It all began almost 9 years ago with a conversation with ROP’s Refugee Outreach and Resources Director, Lucy Bruser, in a parking lot outside a nearby apartment building. A couple weeks later, Donna Godfrey began teaching ESL classes in ROP’s building. Since that time Donna and more than a dozen teachers have partnered with her in teaching hundreds of immigrants in our community to speak better English.

Yesterday was “graduation/celebration day” for the students in ROP’s ESL program. It was a great time of celebration as each class received certificates of achievement, shared a song or reading and exchanged gifts. There was also a special time of recognition and affirmation for Donna because it appears as though it may have been Donna’s “graduation day” too.
After 9 years of faithful service as ROP’s ESL Director, Donna is feeling called to focus her skills and energy on helping refugee mom’s to learn how to be more effective in discipling there children. She is also feeling called to become a tutor in ROP’s after-school tutoring program which makes us very happy because this means some kids are going to be very blessed and Donna will remain an active member of the ROP family.
As far as ROP’s ESL program is concerned, things are a bit up in the air. At this point, I know a couple of our teachers plan to “retire” from the program along with Donna, but I also know a couple teachers plan to keep teaching. We will see what God will do, but if you or someone you know has any interest in teaching English as a Second language, point them in my direction.
To see more photos from Thursday’s ESL Celebration click on this link.
We have received several more donations from our Annual Dinner, $800 of which qualify for the $10k match, but that still leaves $2.4k remaining to receive the full $10k. For anyone who believes in and supports ROP’s ministry with an occasional donation but has not made monthly or quarterly commitment, this would be a great time to consider making that commitment. Its benefit to ROP and those we serve will be immediately doubled! Click here to make an on-line donation or simply send me an email confirming your commitment to give regularly for the next year. Thanks!

$3.1K in Qualifying Donations Needed to Maximize Matching Grant

In retrospect it was a wonderful 10th Anniversary celebration, but the evening got off to a “rocky” start when the main video system failed an hour before the dinner began – yikes!  With many elements of the program dependent on video (lyrics to praise songs, 4 ROP videos, a slideshow and a PowerPoint) it looked for a while like it could be a very short evening. But God answered our prayers and the church’s Audio-Visual technician managed to cobble together a solution which allowed most elements to work. Thank you, Lord, and thank you, Jeff.

Frankly, I admit to being more than a little stressed, but with the help of a wonderful time of worship, led by Christie Gerwinat and friends, and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, I think our 200+ attendees enjoyed a beautiful evening together and, I am glad to report, so did I :-).

Many thanks to all those who chose to celebrate God’s faithfulness with us last Friday, and to all those who helped to make it happen. I also want to give a special thanks to Jenny Passchier and Keely Rochford, Principal and Assistand Principal from Crawford Elementary School, who were kind to share the evening with us and share a few words of affirmation and support for ROP. Our partnership with Crawford is a very important and strategic part of ROP’s ministry.

Of course, I also want to thank all those who chose to make a financial donation in support of ROP’s ministry. I am thankful to report that to date we have received $23.6k in donations related to Friday’s dinner, not including the $10k matching grant. At this point, we have received $6.9k in donations and commitments that qualify for the match, but of course, we would like to take full advantage of the entire $10k match. And that is still possible, and a great opportunity to double your donation for anyone who was unable to attend Friday’s dinner.
Here are the four kinds of donations that qualify for the match:*
  • Any donation from someone who has not previously made a donation to ROP
  • Any donation from a donor who has not made a donation to ROP within the last two years
  • Any monthly/quarterly donation commitment from a donor who has not previously made such a commitment. (The amount of the commitment for one year will apply to the match.)
  • Any increase in monthly/quarterly commitment from a donor who is already giving on a monthly/quarterly basis.
Thanks for your consideration and support. Click on this link to make an on-line donation and remember to write “ROP Dinner” in the comment box.
In case you are interested, the four short videos shown for the first time at Friday’s dinner have now been loaded onto ROP’s website. I hope you will check them out at your convenience. Just click on this link to ROP’s website.
* Donations to staff support do not qualify for the match.

“This Gives Me Goose Bumps!” – Community Development Can Be Fun!

What a difference a week makes.  The previous Saturday it was snowing and raining, but yesterday the weather was perfect for a picnic. Thank you, Lord!

With the jumping castles arriving a little late, things got off to a bit of a slow start, but with the great weather and the smell of burgers in the air, a crowd slowly started to gather. It probably did not hurt that a few days earlier we distributed more than 800 fliers around the neighborhood or that our neighborhood elementary school stuffed 512 of our fliers in the back packs of all of their students.  Hard to count how many people came, but we know we served 370 hamburgers and 250 hotdogs, so maybe 300 plus. Part of the entertainment was also proved by street artist, Hector, who painted the attached painting in about 1 hour as we watched.  Last year, Hector painted the word “DREAM” for us. Can you read this year’s word? If you cannot read it and want to know, just email me. (No fun telling you without even trying :-).

But the best thing about this year’s Neighborhood Party was the opportunity it gave Flourish East Colfax (FEC) – in which ROP partners with Agape Missionary Church in our neighborhood and 4 other organizations more broadly – to engage more people in our Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) process. Gathering in the park, watching kids play and enjoying freshly grilled hamburgers and hotdogs was the perfect setting to talk about Flourish East Colfax’s mission of making our neighborhood a better place to live and work and to invite people to get involved and come to our next Neighborhood Meeting on May 10th.

Many participants responded quite positively to the invitation to get involved and all seemed thankful just to be there. My favorite reaction came from a lady who has lived on the western edge of the park for 8 years. She remembered seeing last year’s “Neighborhood Party”, but did not join us. This year, she chose to take a chance and see what we were up to. After experiencing the positive energy of the event and hearing why we were having the party, she told one of our FEC partners that she was so excited it gave her goose bumps.

Truly, it all made for a great day with a special shout out of thanks to the International Section from Cherry Hills Community Church who did much of the hard work of set-up, clean-up, food preparation and service and monitoring the games and jumping castles for the kids. This was a huge blessing as it freed up us FEC types to engage with our attendees, get to know them a little better and invite them to our May 10th Nieghborhood Meeting.

Of course, with ROP’s Annual Dinner comming up this Friday, May 4th, I also want to take this opportunity to make a “final” invitation for you to join us. In addition to celebrating the last 10 years of God’s faithfulness to ROP’s ministry, we will be anticipating some of the directions God is leading us as ROP moves forward and especially in the area of Community Development. See below for the time and place*. If you decide to come, please RSVP to [email protected] by Tuesday evening.

To see more photos from Saturday’s Neighborhood Party click on this link.

* ROP’s Celebrating God’s Faithfulness dinner is being held at Colorado Community Church’s Upper Room, 15445 E. Iliff Ave., Aurora 80013. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served promptly at 6 p.m.
** If you cannot attend, but would like to make a special gift in support of ROP’s ministry, click on this link, and remember gifts from first time donors, new monthly donation commiments and increases in monthly commitments all qualify for a $10k matching grant.

Stories Also the Center Piece of ROP’s Annual Dinner on May 4th

Every month, ROP staff are asked to prepare reports answering the following:
  • Please share a story of life change or Kingdom impact with your participants;
  • Please share a story of how volunteers grew spiritually or in the development of ministry skills;
  • Please share a story of something really cool that a volunteer did this month;
  • Is there anything else you would like to share about something that happened in your ministry this month (negative or positive)? and
  • Please share a couple prayer requests (ministry or personal)
Most of the answers are very encouraging and poigant reminders of why ROP exists.  Of course, answers to the last couple questions are often not as encouraging, but are needed reminders of where prayer and other actions may be needed.
On Friday, May 4th, ROP will be holding our Annual Dinner at Colorado Community Church where we will be celebrating God’s Faithfulness over the first 10 years of ROP’s ministry.  The evening will begin with some awesome worship, expressing our thankfulness to God for His faithfulness. Most of the rest of the evening participants, volunteers and staff will be sharing some of our favorite stories over the last year and last 10 years. But you should now that wonderful  stories are happening every month.  Here’s a brief glimpse of a few of the stories shared by our staff just last month (March).
  • The students in one of our ESL classes decided to pray for one of their fellow students struggling with vision issues.
  • The husband of a student in another ESL class was tragically killed in a work related accident. Several ROP staff and volunteers attended the funeral and ROP was able to provide our building for the reception.
  • A Work Readiness student is working hard to improve his reading skills.
  • A regular participant in our Wednesday lunch outreach to the homeless asked for prayer from several volunteers that God would help her leave her life of addiction and bad decisions. Another participant was convicted of his need to return to Jesus and a good church.
  • Refugee Outreach Director, Lucy Bruser, had the privilege of leading 3 ladies into a relationship with Jesus at a TUMI related Resurrection Day evangelistic outreach. (TUMI is a seminary level program for urban church leaders.)
  • Work Readiness had an Easter Party in which 2 Mormons, 1 Muslim and 2 Christian students chose to participate.
  • Another ESL teacher reports that more of her students are coming to class twice each week because she is helping them work on gaining their US citizenship.
  • A Work Readiness volunteer blessed the Director and the program by preparing solution keys for new curriculum.
  • A Wednesday Lunch Outreach volunteer is considering expanding the program by leading a similar outreach on another day of the week.
  • Numbers are decreasing in our ESL program mostly because students are getting day jobs.
  • One of our strong male volunteers in the food bank is moving out of town. We are praying for a replacement or two.
  • One week, several teens decided to play soccer which gave Teen Ministries Director, Matt Smith, and lead volunteer, Rick Randall an opportunity to spend more time in prayer and then work with one student and teach him a Bible story which he was able to share back.
  • Kids who earned enough stars in our children’s ministries were able to go ice-skating, many for the first time
I love reading these stories every month and hope you too are encouraged by these brief snap shots from ROP’s ministry. At our dinner on Friday May 4th, attendees will be able to hear directly from volunteers, participants and staff about how God has used their involment with ROP to impact their lives. It promises to be a great evening of celebration. Hope you will consider joining us. To RSVP simply send a quick email to [email protected]*.
* ROP’s Celebrating God’s Faithfulness dinner is being held at Colorado Community Church’s Upper Room, 15445 E. Iliff Ave., Aurora 80013. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served promptly at 6 p.m.
** If you cannot attend, but would like to make a special gift in support of ROP’s ministry, click on this link, and remember gifts from first time donors, new monthly donation commiments and increases in monthly commitments all qualify for a $10k matching grant.

Check Out the Latest Happenings at ROP

The latest bi-monthly edition of ROP’s eNewsletter – Urban Voices – is now available on ROP’s website. 
This 2-page edition of Urban Voices includes the following articles:
  • ROP’s May 4th Dinner – A Celebration of God’s Faithfulness – I, Kent, provide a brief preview of why the appropriate response to reflecting on the first 10 years of ROP’s ministry is Thankfulness*.
  • Youth Ministry Pursuing Its Own ABCD Process – ROP’s Youth Ministries Director, Matt Smith, shares how a very diverse group of teens is coming together to address the issue of violence in their schools.
  • Story of a Christian Paradox – We are the Ones Most Blessed – ESL student from Central African Republic, Joel, comes to ROP for help with English, and teaches us about blessing others.
Click on this link – Urban Voices – April 1, 2018 Edition. (If you cannot see the embedded version, just click on the link below it to access the current and older editions of Urban Voices.)

Hope you enjoy this edition of Urban Voices.
*By the way, we would love to have you join us for our May 4th Dinner as we celebrate 10 years of God’s faithfulness. Please RSVP to [email protected]