After a long time, lots of prayer, community support and the grace of God, the Philadelphia Zoning Board has unanimously approved the Rock's Nehemiah House for homeless and struggling young men. We are thrilled and so grateful to God that this last administrative hurdle is over! This approval means we can move ahead with final renovations. The home will hold 14 men and will provide mentoring, life skills, job skills, and Biblical discipleship. Our goal is to reach young men whose backgrounds never properly prepared them for life, or life in Christ. We are excited to see what God will do! For those who have prayed, thank you so much. We know prayer has been the engine driving this project. Continue to lift up Nehemiah House as we finish renovations and begin to screen young men for entrance. God is so good!
Dozens of Rock Ministries friends came out to support the Nehemiah House, our future young men's discipleship home, at a neighborhood zoning hearing. We presented the project to our local zoning committee and they loved it. It was unanimously approved for recommendation to the City's Zoning Board. We are thrilled at the show of support from our community. They are behind Nehemiah House all the way! Please pray that our next hurdle, the Zoning Board meeting itself on March 21, will go just as smoothly. Praise God for His faithfulness in seeing Nehemiah House through! A packed house for the zoning hearing Celebrating a unanimous approval
The Rock was honored this year to host the regional Silver Gloves boxing tournament. This is an important tournament for younger boxers, ages 10-15. Winners go on to compete for the national championship in Kansas City, MO. The Rock is excited to have one of our youngest boxers, Izaac Rivera, heading to the nationals! The tournament showcased boxers from six states. It received tremendous support and promotion from the Philadelphia Trade Unions. The venue featured two boxing rings with simultaneous bouts taking place over a three day period. It was a great success! We thank God for the many opportunities like this that He provides for the Rock!
Every couple of weeks, a very generous wholesaler sends a truckload of donated goods to the Rock. We receive pallets of canned goods and other foods, household supplies, infant care items, etc., etc. We never know what we'll get! But it's always a blessing. These donations not only help those served directly by the Rock, but are made available to select ministries in the Kensington area. Upon arrival, the donations are sorted and laid out on the Rock's sidewalk, ready for pickup by the other ministries. Our distribution system has turned out to be very efficient. It ensures that these items get to people who can really use them. It's quite a sight to see all these goods lined up on our sidewalk. The only word that describes it is "Abundance!" God is so faithful in sending what is needed to those in need. Praise Him for supplying all our needs!
These are two of our seasoned grappling coaches going over last minute instruction before they compete in the "Good Fight Worlds" this weekend. We have an amazing group of young men who have developed some life long bonds of friendship with each other while training on the mats at Rock Ministries! Our two coaches are working their way up to a black belt in Brazilian jujitsu grappling. Please pray for our team to become the best at this sport, for the sole purpose of glorifying the Lord!
Earlier this summer, the Rock hosted its first ever 5K run/1 mile walk. Called Rock Run, it was a huge success! Over a hundred people turned out to run a course through the streets of Kensington. We're pretty sure there's never been a race in our inner city neighborhood before! After the racers completed the course, awards were presented at a Rock-sponsored block party complete with food, music, kids games and fun. It was a great day in the 'hood! Neighbors commented that they were delighted to see something so positive in this otherwise dark area. Praise God for the light of Jesus in Kensington!
Today we were blessed to have over 30 young missionaries visit us from Ground Zero Master's Commission discipleship program and Bible college in New Jersey. They brought all their energy to the 'hood, running a coffee house and clothing giveaway for the needy and homeless on the Avenue. They met many of the locals, hearing their often tragic stories, praying with them, and sharing the love of Jesus. Here they are sorting piles of donated clothes,and preparing snacks and coffee for our Kensington neighbors. And here's a view of the sidewalk clothing giveaway.
What a wonderful Thanksgiving we had at the Rock! As we do each year, we opened our doors to hundreds of our Kensington neighbors for a feast to remember. God was faithful to bring all we needed to make it a beautiful day. Over 260 volunteers registered to serve some of our city's most needy. We received over 150 donated turkeys; tons of pre-cooked ham, stuffing and side dishes; and every kind of dessert imaginable. Most of all, there was lots of opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus. We are so grateful to God for supplying so abundantly! It truly was a day to give thanks.
Sinners and tax collectors are definitely welcome to our Thursday night Whosoever Bible Study. Believers and seekers straight off the street pack in to spend a long time in prayer and worship. One recent study was focused on thanking and praising The Lord. Our teacher Nick Gaeta broke down Psalm 104 and led an interactive study filled with questions and praise. Please continue to pray, as we act as God's hands to tend to His sheep in Kensington.
The Rock recently had a mission team here from Annapolis. Among their many activities, they hosted a movie night for our Women's Ministry. The movie was "Do You Believe?" and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. The night was filled with pizza, fellowship, and a chance for our God to take the solitary and put them into flocks. Praising Him for the fellowship of the saints and the blessing of the mission team pouring out their time and love!
On Martin Luther King Day, the Rock received a wonderful blessing from the New Kensington Community Develpment Corporation. This neighborhood-improvement organziation mobilized a team of volunteers to serve at our ministry, helping us to spruce up our facilities. It was their way of recognizing the work that the Rock has done in their 'hood. We have certainly been planted here to serve Kensington, but this time Kensington served us! And as a special treat, the Sister Cities Girlchoir paid the volunteers a visit and sang their hearts out right here in our gym! This special music program provides musical training to young women in impoverished local neighborhoods, while encouraging their leadership skills and educational advancement. They were truly inspiring! They had us mesmerized with their high energy and foot-stomping music. We are so grateful to be a part of Kensington community where we see God's light shine in the darkest places! Volunteers at work! Painting! Cleaning up the Avenue A boxing demonstration for our volunteers Sister Cities Girlchoir Sister Cities Girlchoir
Once again this year, the Rock was blessed to host a Thanksgiving meal for the needy of Kensington. And what an event it was! We transformed our church into a comfortable dining room where all were welcome for a delicious meal and good company. The day featured live praise music, a Gospel drama, and a family testimony of salvation and miraculous healing. Over 150 volunteers signed up to serve more than 500 people from the neighborhood! And the Gospel went forth, with folks making professions of faith in Christ. One man came in wanting to end his life on this very day, but received Christ instead! For years, the Rock has been holding this Thanksgiving event. Volunteers from all over have generously donated their time. One thing special about this year, however, was that so many of our volunteers were folks from our own church. By God’s grace, Kensington saints are being raised up to serve their neighbors in the name of Christ! What a joy to see God work through his people here in the inner city. Praying your Thanksgiving was as blessed as ours here at the Rock!
For a decade now, Jimmy "Gator" Sherman has been serving at the Rock. He's an old-school boxing coach, whose training style harkens back to the days when Philadelphia was turning out more champions than any city in the world. Under his coaching, our kids have racked up a sizable number of championships themselves! Gator is not only a fixture at the Rock but is well known by nearly everyone in Kensington. He can't walk the streets without folks calling his name and giving him a wave. He's trusted and respected, especially by those who are still living the way he used to. You see, Gator has typical Kensington story -- a life in bondage to "the world, the flesh and the devil." But Jesus miraculously delivered him and truly made him a new creation. Those who know the old Gator can best attest to the radical difference Christ has made in his life. Now Gator serves as a role model for the hopeless, the addicted and the downtrodden ... a true example of the power of God in a life. Last week, Gator celebrated his ___th birthday (we'll keep his age a secret!). And he can still do more pushups than most men half his age! Happy birthday, Gator. Wishing you many more years of service to our Lord!
Our premier boxing & grappling tournament of the year! Right here at the Rock! Saturday October 19th @ 2pm 2755 Kensington Avenue, Philadelphia Tickets $20 at the door All proceeds support our work of reaching youth at-risk in the inner city of Philadelphia.
We just want to give a huge shout of praise to the Lord for He is good! Our God surely does supply all of our needs according to His great riches in Christ Jesus. With just two weeks to plan and prepare, we were able to make up over 70 back packs filled with school supplies, and bless our Rock Kids and church children. The best part was that each notebook was stapled with memory verses and a letter from Jesus for the kids to think about during the year. We thank our God upon every remembrance of you for your prayers and support!