Category Archives: Uncategorized

Early Morning Heartbreak

I love early mornings. The quiet, the calm, the crazy dog who wakes up even more energetic than I. One of the most productive and rewarding times for me.

Except, not this morning.

Wide awake, getting things done. Things that should not need to be done.

Not here, not now, not with living in such a wealthy community.

For the 6th time in less than two weeks, we’re working with a young person desperately in need of the Barnabas House. 16 years old, abandoned by her family. CPS has been contacted, repeatedly, for more than 3 years.

Late last night and early this morning, they’re no help.

She’s resilient, focused on her goals, wanting desperately to break the cycle of chaos she’s been forced into. Spent last night with “the friend of a friend…” A Barnabas mentor picked her up about 6:30am, gathered her belongings. Breakfast at the McD’s drive through. Deliver to the Barnabas office.

As I type this, she’s asleep in one of our back rooms. Not much sleep last night, need to rest because her next Driver’s Ed class is this afternoon. Willing to work around the office if needed.

Her eyes were a mixture of exhaustion, pain, uncertainty.

“Thanks for the safe place”.

A backpack contains her clothes. The box she travels with contains her food.

Her heart holds far too many memories of abuse, abandonment, words of ‘we don’t want you here’, and an increasing sense of despair that this cycle will never end.

If only the Barnabas House was already built.

If only the other cabins were also completed, for those like this young lady who will need the time & teaching of independent living to become successful. Because for her, there is no family to teach her. No family to support her efforts to break the cycle. Except the Barnabas family.

And right now, the best we have to give her is some sleep in our storage room.

Absolutely unacceptable.

We keep following the strategic steps of those who say we need to keep educating the community, making people aware of the need, keeping the ‘cause’ in front of their ears and eyes.

Surely, once they know the need, they’ll contribute to the solution.

In the most polite way possible, I want to shout to the entire community just how sick and tired I am of spending money to make people aware of the need, to get better numbers, better photos, more professional presentations, attend this, talk here, serve there….

…and the best place I have, today, for my young friend to sleep is on an air mattress in my storage room.

Absolutely unacceptable in this community.

We need the cash NOW to build the House. And then, the next house. And the next…

$10 million over 5 years to provide the housing we need, the educational & recreational facility, and all the support services they need to either be reunited with a solid family, or learn how to live on their own.

It all starts with the first House. We need $1.2 million to build it.

Then another $1million for the additional houses (room for 5 on our property).

Then the community / recreational / life skills / office building, and all the supporting programs.

The solution starts with you.

You can start by texting the word ‘barnabas’ to 20222. That’ll provide a $10 donation directly toward the Barnabas House Project.

You can go on-line and donate any amount at

Maybe you’re “the one” who is supposed to be our million dollar donor. Or two…

Call me at 616.748.8435. Let’s talk.

Let’s do better for our kids who are trying desperately to make the right choices in a world that’s gone all wrong.

Let’s get my friend out of the storage room, away from the unsafe offers of predators, and into a safe place.

Let’s build the Barnabas House, now.


LoriJo Schepers, Executive Director

Barnabas Ministries, Inc.

His Name, Not Ours

Perfect harmony, flawless technology.

Emotions touched deeply, satisfied briefly.

Was it successful?

Our measures of ‘a good church service’ need to be kept in check with what He considers fulfilling His mission in our world.

All show, with no fruit –  no real food  –  leads to no life change.

Dangerously close to being all about us, so little about Him.


We’re perfecting our craft.

He wants to break our hearts.

For the lost, hurting, broken, abandoned.

If we refuse to be broken, we cannot identify with the hurting in their pain.


What if we stop judging our services by how well we performed, how effectively the technology worked.

Consider judging it by how much the Name of Jesus was lifted up.

The Cross was clearly communicated as the pathway to redemption.

How equipped the hearers were to impact their world, their day-to-day living.

The neighborhood.

The school.

The grocery store, shopping mall, traffic jam…


Did Jesus change you?

Did you change your environment as a result?


Use the best gifts you have, refine them often.

Take advantage of the best technology you have available to you.

Just, don’t let them be the measuring tool of success.


If the message on Sunday doesn’t change how we act on Monday, we’ve missed it.


An emotional high for a day, with no life change, is like a fig tree full of beautiful leaves that has no fruit, no food for the spiritually hungry.


It’s not about us, it’s about Him.

Lift up His Name, not ours.