Vanessa Silverman and Alicia Janzen
Hannah Heinzekehr
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

MIAMI, Fla. (Mennonite Mission Network) – A stressful change in location turned out to be a testimony to the power of prayer for the DOOR (Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection) program in Miami.

DOOR, one of Mennonite Mission Network’s Christian Service programs, offers organized urban experiences with service, worship and reflection for groups and individuals. Summer is the busiest season for DOOR.

In February, a few months before the busiest service season to date, Heidi Aspinwall, director of DOOR Miami, received news that her program would have to move. Aspinwall and three participants moved all of the DOOR materials to a local house and waited to see what opportunities would open up.

In the midst of the move, DOOR staff hosted an eighth grade service-learning trip from Sarasota (Fla.) Christian School. The students, led by teacher Diane Denisar, served at local agencies and got to know Aspinwall and other volunteers in Miami.

Before leaving, Denisar asked Aspinwall how, specifically, the class could pray for DOOR. Aspinwall e-mailed her prayer requests, many focusing on the relational nature of the program, the desire to serve in a community, and growth alongside local congregations.

Ten days after students at Sarasota began praying for the program, Aspinwall began to hear from congregations she had not contacted. After many conversations, the DOOR program was able to find two new program sites. Aspinwall has signed a partnership agreement with Iglesia Unida Metodista Wesley (Wesley Hispanic United Methodist Church) and has reached a verbal agreement with Buen Samaritano Cristiana Reforma (Good Samaritan Christian Reformed Church), two churches located within walking distance of the DOOR: Dwell program houses.

Aspinwall sees this solution as an answer to prayer and is excited for this new partnership with churches that share a common neighborhood.

“It is amazing. Both churches desire the energy and excitement that come with our DOOR participants,” said Aspinwall. “And both are excited about what this can and will do to their neighborhoods and congregational life.”

This summer, the DOOR program in Miami will host 400 youth and young adults who will visit the city to serve and see the face of God in the city.

Participants can also serve with DOOR in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Hollywood and San Antonio. For more information about DOOR, visit Service.MennoniteMission.net.

 

 

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