This could potentially put some strain on the tight resources of the Centre, but the purchase of the building was approved. After appealing to the community for help, almost 30% in donations were raised. Another miracle was needed. And one came when someone informed Lisa that a friend of the ministry wanted to finish paying off the mortgage. Lisa's response? "I started crying."
There are other financial challenges that demand the attention of the board and staff, but they remain thankful for what they've seen unfold thus far. Lisa remarked, "(The mortgage is) paid off, but our donations over the year are down.
"But I do believe that God has given us that gift just to breathe a little easier for one year. We live by donations and volunteers, we have no government funding. We run a very tight ship. We hardly have any money. But God does provide."
Some other little moments of inspiration: when the lawn gets cut by a company that just shows up and cuts it. Or when a fence on the property, in disrepair, gets attended to even as an appeal to help repair it is being published in their newsletter. "Before the newsletter even went out, we got a call from somebody who said that their small group was going to fix (it).
"Every day you think, "OK Lord... what are you going to do today?"
Lisa has had opportunities to be a witness to non-Christians through her role. One time she was speaking to an unbeliever at a point when the ministry couldn't acquire a fan. Lisa recalled the moment. “I say, 'we need to find a fan or air conditioner or something. So I say, 'well, I'll pray about it.'"
The front door opened as she entered the foyer area. "It's a woman missionary on furlough, and she says, 'I was in Canadian Tire, and I don't know why, but I needed to pick up a fan.'" Lisa and her receptionist just stared at each other. When the unbeliever heard about the miracle, she turned white.
"When you're led by the Spirit," Lisa concluded, "it happens. You can have as many meetings and as many committees as you want. But if you really believe in Jesus Christ and his miracles, it happens. And it is such an honour to witness this."
Then there was the time when the staff was prepping for their fundraising banquet. About 500 people could fit into the hall— a number that representatives from the hall felt could not be attained. They were thinking about 200 people would attend.
Not only was the 500 person goal reached, they surpassed it. "I never saw a gentleman so stunned in my life. He couldn't believe it! But if it's of God, it will be."
On top of all the incidents of the Lord meeting tangible needs, spiritual needs are also addressed. "Usually about seven to ten people come to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour here a year."
Despite her business background, Lisa knows knows what the real priorities are. "At the end of the day, what's the most important, is the people. Not programs. If we love on people, it will just flourish.
"I worked in the private business sector for 23 years. I had a call from God to go into ministry, and I fought him for a good seven years." This despite the fact that people were continuously saying that she should go into ministry full time.
Everything changed one day while making a presentation in Ottawa. "There was about 250 people. I was selling the product I needed to sell." But she knew that she needed to be doing God's work.
"I flew back with one of our salespersons who asked, 'Lisa, what's wrong with you?' And I just said, 'I can't do this anymore.'" Lisa soon enrolled in a seminary, graduating in May with a Certificate of Christian Studies.
Lisa already has this year's banquet on her radar-- the date is set for Friday, October 30, and it will be held at Winona Vine Estates. All are welcome. For more information on the banquet, or any of the programmes operating at Grimsby Life Centre, contact them via their website, or by calling (905) 309-0944.
God's people help do God's work at Grimsby Life Centre
Grimsby Life Centre's Executive Director Lisa Heuving
Does God answer prayer? Do miracles happen today? Does God supernaturally meet needs?
As far as Lisa Heuving is concerned, the answer is a resounding yes. She's seen God do a lot since becoming the Executive Director at Grimsby Life Centre in 2007. And she believes more will happen as Christians learn about how they have had their needs met throughout its 20-year existence.
Originally starting as a ministry almost exclusively for expectant mothers, it has subsequently grown to cover family and
marital guidance, depression, anger management, and others over the years. The number of clients has continued to increase as they help more and more families and individuals struggling in life. "This year alone we have over 260 clients that come through our doors each month, looking for some sort of help," informed Lisa. Throughout the year about sixty volunteers work behind the scenes as well.
The ministry has expanded and now employs two full time and five part-time counsellors who provide spiritual and psychological aid to anyone looking for help in the community. Each counsellor brings a unique and God-given ability to connect with people in need. They have had several testimonies of clients who have received irreplaceable care and support.
The Centre's home at 18 Elm St. in Grimsby was a former tattoo shop, but ministry friends saw the potential in the rented facility. Renovations began in ernest on the downstairs area. In 2009, they wanted to expand upstairs, but it was occupied by other tenants. Despite this, the space soon became the subject of consistent, daily prayer.
It wasn't long afterward that the tenants relocated, and expansion plans were underway.
With the previous tenants moving, the building was put up for sale. Lisa remembered the conversation. "We have the best corner in town, it's so visible. So (the owner) asked if we would be able to purchase it.”
"Every day you think, 'OK Lord... what are you going to do today?'"
Grimsby Life Centre's Elm St. location in Grimsby
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