Did YOU have a #JesusSummer? This brudder did.
One of our own, Andy Bowersox, did indeed have a #JesusSummer…if only for a few hours. But his brief time with this remarkable group of volunteers and pastors made a big impression on him.
Bowersox’s experience with Jesus Summer happened as he was passing through Chicago during the kickoff for the movement on July 14. This movement can be best described as a collective effort – collaboration – of many organizations and individuals who care about the people of Chicago and want to be a part of creating a holistic transformation.
Jesus Summer: Loving Your Neighbors and Neighborhoods Towards the Transformation of Chicagoland consists of 40 days of outreach in the city of Chicago. What started with pastors, believers and city leaders praying on street corners evolved into action with volunteers across many denominations hitting the streets in ministry opportunities. By leading, loving, serving, and living among the people of Chicago, volunteers ministered to the needs of people in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city.
Bowersox got connected with one of the directors of the movement, Pastor Dimas Salaberrios of Concerts of Prayer Greater New York, who came to Chicago to lead the project. Just a few weeks prior, Salaberrios has been at the lodge sharing his story and heart for the crime filled, violent and tragedy ridden urban areas of our nation.
In the ministry that Bowersox leads, Energize Ministries, he does a three-week bus tour every summer as part of his mission to provide support and inspiration for folks doing the work of God. While Bowersox’s tour only allowed him to experience the first day of this amazing ministry, he was impressed and humbled by the more than 160 events scheduled over the 40-day period.
“With Energize Ministries, we provide unique forms of encouragement for our nation’s pastors and other Kingdom leaders - with a focus on preventive care and prayer support. This summer we rather last-minute and on behalf of NCS added a brief stop in Chicago to show our support for Pastor Dimas and his team. We were fortunate to be a part of the kickoff event…and have enjoyed seeing their work unfold as they completed projects around the city,” shared Bowersox.
These pastors and volunteers, representing multiple cultures and diverse areas of impact, led thousands of people in continual prayer and tangible acts of service, ultimately showing Jesus' love without borders. While the #JesusSummer ended officially on August 26, Salaberrios and his team plan to continue pushing for change.
And Bowersox has a special request for those reading this article. “Please join us as we continue to unite with them in prayer and expectation of God showing His transforming love and power through perhaps one of the most unlikeliest of places...but of course, isn't that what He always does?”
He adds, "While our purpose there was to encourage and support those pastors, I was the one that left feeling energized, encouraged and reminded again that God is always at work, and He always has the invitation out for us to join Him...all we have to do is look. Thank you #JesusSummer - for that, and all the rest."
Bowersox hopes that next summer, more NCS “brudders” can spend time with the Jesus Summer group. Sounds like a road trip – who’s game?