{ origins

Penny DuganNew Jerusalem Missions came to life in 1994, planted in America's heartland just a few miles north of Wichita, Kansas. NJM Director Penny Dugan's first acquaintance with AIDS was a bitter one: in 1987, her husband was diagnosed HIV positive. This led her to a Death & Dying course on the grief process and people affected by AIDS. When she interviewed a man living with AIDS, the loneliness and isolation he suffered broke Penny's heart. Nobody should have to go through something like this alone, she felt. AIDS is misnamed. It should be called AIDLESS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Lacking Emotional Support from Society). Penny felt the Lord saying, To respond is simple. Put yourself in his place and ask how would you want to be treated if you were sick and dying.

Between 1987 and 1990, Penny and her three children dealt with the hurts of her husband's choices and the unrelenting progression of his illness. They divorced after he left for an alternative lifestyle.

First New Jerusalem Missions boardNew Jerusalem Missions was birthed after Penny and her Children took a three month discipleship course in Kona, Hawaii at YWAM (Youth With a Mission)'s University of the Nations (Crossroads Discipleship Training School). They attended this course in the fall of 1990 hoping that God would call them to Russia or Africa, to some place of great need. Instead, they felt the call to serve people with AIDS back in mainland USA. This call led Penny to start New Jerusalem Missions. In 1992, Penny incorporated NJM and helped care for her husband until his death in April 1993. In August of that year, Penny and her family moved NJM to Kansas. A board of directors was formed. The street church she was a part of, Belleville Christian Center, and several friends rallied with Penny as she gave birth to the vision. The scripture Revelation 21:3-10 is what she felt New Jerusalem was to be: a place where people would find comfort and peace, a place where they would come to know Christ and His promise of eternal life, therefore fulfilling the words no more pain, no more tears, no more dying. The plan was to start a group home in a small Kansas town. But due to strong local opposition there, she relocated her efforts to Wichita and opened Someplace Else.

{ someplace else

As Penny and Co. were searching for a location, people would respond, What a wonderful idea, but do it someplace else! The name stuck. Located in the historic midtown of Wichita, Someplace Else was created to provide for and minister to those infected with AIDS.

Someplace ElseFor those who resided at Someplace Else, it was a place they could call home. A housing alternative where they could receive physical, emotional, and spiritual support 24 hours a day from the Christian missionary staff. The vision: to establish group homes like Someplace Else worldwide! With HIV infection spreading to epidemic proportions, these homes would give the Christian community the opportunity to minister the love of Christ to those affected by the virus.

Quiet signNew Jerusalem Missions raised the Word of God as the standard for Someplace Else. Provision came from fund-raisers, rents collected, and donations. Willing, loving people gave of their time, talents and finances to make Someplace Else a real home for those living with AIDS.Someplace Else closed in 2000 but what had been built there became the model for the expansion of New Jerusalem Missions on a global level.

{ ywam roots

New Jerusalem MissionsFrom 1995-2005 New Jerusalem Missions was also known as YWAM Kansas as we became a ministry of Youth with a Mission. Here we received some training from other YWAM bases and tried our hand at being a base. After a few Discipleship Training Schools we realized our call was to the HIV/AIDS community. We learned how to do schools but realized it wasn't really our calling. Out of this season however came many good relationships and an HIV/AIDS Short Course: four weeks of teaching to equip the church, missionaries in YWAM and others wanting to know more of God's heart and response to HIV/ AIDS. Wayne Jacobsen would teach on The Unconditional Love of Jesus, Penny Dugan would teach a week on God's compassion and heart for those dying with AIDS and how to reach them with His Love, and Jonathan Hunter of Embracing Life Ministries would teach on support to those with life defining illnesses, and How to Break Free from the Spirit of Death, a powerful revelation and support group material. The fourth week would be HIV/AIDS basic 101 education, transmissions, medications, dispelling judgements and care of the AIDS patients. This four week course was run annually in Kansas and once in South Africa. We are grateful for the teaching we received from YWAM on how to run a school. The course or portions of the course can still be brought to churches or YWAM schools to help with the equipping of the body for responding to the AIDS pandemic. In 2005 New Jerusalem Missions went back to its original vision but still remains relationally connected to YWAM.

{ the dwelling place

The Dwelling Place2002-2007 saw the development of another ministry. The Harvey County Homeless Shelter was pioneered by New Jerusalem Missions to respond to the homelessness seen in our community after 9/11 affected the aircraft industry and we saw more homeless coming to our doors. A space in our building (The Dwelling Place) was allocated and we built the shelter and began to engage the community in responding to the less fortunate in our midst by showing the love of Jesus and providing tempory, safe and secure housing to those finding themselves in need of such shelter. New Jerusalem Missions gave birth to the vision, mobilizing the community and giving them an arena in which to serve and bring their giftings, eventually turning it over to the community of believers in Harvey County to continue development and operations. It has been amazing to watch God knit the hearts of the community to Love, Nurture, and Minister to the Homeless and down-trodden in our community. An amazing group of people form the board of directors and oversee the operations of the shelter, still housed in The Dwelling Place.

{ africa and beyond

NtuzumaIn 2004 New Jerusalem Missions began building relationship and taking outreaches to Ntuzuma, (Durban), South Africa at the invitation of Good News Ministries to help them develop a hospice. In 2007 Ukukhanya Life Care Centre Penny Duganwas formed, to show the love of Jesus to those affected by AIDS through a hospice and homebased care, much like Someplace Else. The goal is for Ukukhanya to develop and become run by the local community of believers in South Africa, with New Jerusalem Missions being supportive care and advisory. In the future we plan to build similar centres in China and India, as those are the next countries that are predicted to surpase infection rates of Sub-saharian Africa. New Jerusalem Missions, in little Newton, Kansas at the Dwelling Place, will be the home base for the outreaches that began with our vision to Show the Love of Jesus to people affected by AIDS by providing Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Support.