Showing posts from May, 2012

Truck Love

Houston we have a problem. Belay Enterprises was in the midst of its biggest expansion of new faith ventures in several years to employ people rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison. Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, Bud's Warehouse lost both of it's trucks to major mechanical failures. And then to top it off, our forklift went down. Everyday Bud’s Warehouse relied on these trucks to pick up new and used doors, windows, cabinets and more from local homeowners and businesses.  Quite simply, we found ourselves dead in the water without our much relied on vehicles. Over the last month, our valued ministry partner Providence Network graciously allowed us to use their box truck to continue to make pickups. And thanks to the generosity of the community, we are happy to introduce everyone to our new donation pickup truck, complete with red stakes.  Over the course of 6 weeks, we were able to raise 91% of the funds we needed for a new truck to g

6 Thoughts on Handling the Messiness of Urban Business as Mission

Employing people rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison is a messy business. Running a faithventure has to be a calling from God or else the many problems you encounter will overwhelm your enthusiasm.  In Father Greg Boyle's fantastic book on the difficulties and rewards of employing ex-gang members, Tatoos on the Heart , he writes about the need to follow God to make the various businesses of Homeboy Industries work: Not much in my life makes any sense outside of God. Certainly, a place like Homeboy Industries is all folly and bad business unless the core of the endeavor seeks to imitate the kind of God one ought to believe in. In the end, I am helpless to explain why anyone would accompany those on the margins were it not for some anchored belief that the Ground of all Being thought this was a good idea. If you're thinking about starting a faithventure or employing people rebuilding lives a couple thoughts: Make sure it's a

The Widow and the Lottery Ticket

There's been so much going on at Belay the last month that I've been struggling with blogging. Today, I read Madison Chandler's blog post, The Widow and the Lottery Ticket and I had to share. I am very excited to watch Purple Door Coffee grow under Madison and Mark's leadership. I talked about how we are working to raise money to open Purple Door Coffee and that we are also raising our salaries and spoke briefly about the stresses that come along with raising money. After explaining these things, one of the ladies, Linda, quickly reached down into her purse and pulled out a small, square piece of paper. She handed it to me and said, “I don’t have any money to give, but I just won $25 on this lottery ticket and you should have it!” Read the whole post here .

Grace and New Beginnings Custom Woodworks

Tonight the Denver NBC affiliate 9News is running a story on our New Beginning's Custom Woodworks project.  As I've shared before, Mark Koebrich's support of Bud's Warehouse has been a big reason for our ability to create hundreds of transitional employment jobs over the last 13 years for people rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison.  I am excited to see this newest story. As I wait to see the final product, I pray the story successfully captures the heart of the various faith ventures of Belay Enterprises . Our Christian faith is a deep part of all we do at Belay. It's why 40-50% of our program participants with significant barriers to employability successfully transition into jobs in the community compared to other organizations that see lower success rates. I pray that New Beginnings Custom Woodworks presents an example of grace to a world where grace is sadly absent.  And I hope that the message of our faith comes thro