{ the dwelling place

The Dwelling Place

The Dwelling Place is just that: a place where many people in need will come and dwell. It is the 75,000 sq ft. Christian Hospital given to New Jerusalem Missions in 1994 (shortly after I moved to Kansas to open the first Group home).

The WorkersWe really felt that it was the Lord who gave us that building for a mere $27,000, that we were to take ownership and 'mothball' it until the Lord began to reveal His plans for its use. Upon taking ownership, a team of board members and staff (including a handy man, a worship leader and a prayer warrior) walked through the building with me. When we reached the area where the Helpershomeless shelter is now located, we became so overwhelmed that we fell to our knees and began to worship and pray. What on Earth were we doing with this huge building, nearly in ruins? The word we received was that it would be a physical example of what the Lord wanted to do in the lives of people: Clean us up from the inside out and restore us, take the ruins of our lives and clean us up and make us useful again. Thus the original name "The Nehemiah Project."

Youth groups, YWAM teams, college groups and individuals helped in the cleaning up process. We only worked on it when we had a large group, lest it overwhelm us. Many helped us do feasibility studies of rebuilding the edifice, and the young people helped us clean it up. We worked on it only occasionally, since the first ten years of owning it were spent learning how to care for AIDS patients at Someplace Else. The book of Nehemiah continued to compel us as we built NJM and worked on the building, trusting different parts of the body of Christ to come together; to rebuild the ruins of the building and the lives of the people we would reach, everyone doing their part.

Penny DuganIn 200l we relocated the NJM office into some of the vacant rooms and began praying. We would use this facility to host our training schools and soon to house a ministry to shelter the homeless in the building. It had always been our vision to tithe the back portion of the hospital to the community, for them to operate through. After 9/11 damaged the local aircraft industry, it became obvious a shelter was needed for those without a home. Over the years it has developed and more churches have come on board to operate it. It is an amazing model of everyone bringing their gifting and doing their part to care for the poor.

Although currently only a small portion of the building is being used for the shelter there is a bigger blueprint. We called it The Dwelling Place, much like the group home had the name Someplace Else, because His church is working through this building to reach people. We believe He dwells in us and therefore will be in that place. It will be a place for many to seek refuge, find love and support, and a place to DWELL.

The Dwelling PlaceThe basement now houses the Harvey County Homeless Shelter. And still to come: a commercial kitchen, thrift store and storage rooms. On the first floor: administrative offices for New Jerusalem Missions, ten rooms for transitional living (those who need longer assisted living until they can get placed or on their own - a step up from the shelter), a worship center and 'life skills' classrooms for training. The whole east side of the building will be home to six apartments for staff as well as private living quarters. On floor two: hospice for those with AIDS and temporary housing to those who are medically underserved and needing help until disability benifits are approved. On floor three: apartments that give hospitality to visitors of the ministry or of patients, a wing for more transitional living, a halfway house and/or medical treatment (whatever need is most crucial at the moment).

As you can see we need to construct and operate these next phases of care and discipleship. Please see Giving opportunities for ways you can help. If you or a group from your community are interested in being a part of rebuilding the ruins please contact us for details.