GOD HAS BLESSED ME ABUNDANTLY
God has blessed me to be born in a country where I was free to learn about him, where I am free to serve him, where I'm free to pursue any vocation or ministry I choose.
God gave me a mom and a dad who are Christians and who provided a God-fearing home, took us to a godly church, and tried to live a life pleasing to God.
God gave me the chance to grow up in rural America and see the wonder of his creation all around me every day. I lived near our family farm and saw how things work when we follow the patterns that God implemented in nature.
God gave me good Christian men who prayed for me and showed me what it means to be a man.
God gave me a good wife that loves me and complements my ministry, sharing my burdens and who has a servant's heart.
God has given me two wonderful boys who are on their own spiritual journies, whom I try to disciple as they make their way in this world.
Pastor Mitchel DeYoung & Mrs. Lauri DeYoung
Pastor Mitchel DeYoung
Graduate of Christian Leaders College with a Bachelors of Divinity.
You can follow my education page here.
Ordained as a Deacon Servant to the Church, and as a Minister of the Gospel by The Christian Leaders Institute in 2019.
An IT Professional by trade, and previously the assistant pastor at The Gift of God Street Church in Kankakee. After six years of homeless ministry, I feel strongly that there is more we can do to help equip people who want to be taught in how to live to the fullest as God intended, to break the cycle of generational poverty and homelessness, to see how our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to walk every day, breaking addictions, and see broken lives renewed.
Mrs. Lauri DeYoung
Proud graduate of Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny Iowa with her Batchelor of Teaching degree.
Lauri has been teaching at Grace Christian Academy of Kankakee for over 20 years in their Junior High Bible, Mathematics, and History as well as High School Home Economics classes.
In addition to being a teacher, Lauri is also an accomplished seamstress and an artisan.
HOW COULD I NOT GIVE SOMETHING BACK?
I know that there are many people that never had the privilege of all the things that God has blessed me with.
I think about people who have been stuck in the cities where trees grow in big flower pots, the grass is made out of plastic, the sky is obstructed by buildings and smog, and God's creation is blotted out by concrete, brick, steel, and the ugliness of man.
I think about little boys and girls who never went to Sunday school each week, who are told in school that they came from an amoeba in some far-off lake millions of years ago and that they are no better than a fish or a monkey. Some of these children don't have both parents, have to live under the abuses of an alcoholic or drug-abusing parent or live-in boyfriend.
I think about people who wander up and down the streets of my town who were told that they will never amount to anything, and never shown what it takes to thrive in the greatest nation in the world.
I think about people who could walk into any bookstore and get a Bible, or could walk into any church and probably find the gospel, and yet they don't know that Jesus knows their name and that He thought enough about them to die for their sins.
These things make me weep. It's for these people that we have dedicated our lives to bringing the good news of Jesus to people through the simple and ordinary everyday things that we take for granted.
THAT'S WHY WE NEED
THE DISCIPLESHIP CENTER
I want people who are hurting, who are lost, who have no sense of direction, I want these people to have a taste of what I've been blessed with. I want them to meet the real Jesus who cares about their every day lives, the everyday ordinary people, the Jesus who has paid our ransom so we can have peace.
But before we can help to break the chains of addictions, rebuild broken lives, and give direction to the lost, the first step in discipleship is teaching repentance. If we miss this primary step in discipleship, everything else would be like pushing somebody down the stairs in the dark.
Have you ever looked around your church and wondered why there are so many empty seats? Now consider what would happen if all the sudden you had 10 new believers who wanted to follow Christ and they want to know what steps they should take. What would YOU tell them?
From a very early age I was given the impression by my dad that the most important thing we could do for younger believers is to teach them in a way that they could understand. No need for fancy words, or eloquent speech, but for regular people to bring the truths of the Bible to light using the language of ordinary people.
It was our RESPONSIBILITY.
Responsibility is a compound word derived from Response and Ability. God has blessed my wife and me with the ability to teach and counsel. The Discipleship Center is our response to what God has given us?
In the summer of 2017 we started thinking about how we want to live in our retirement years. We are both country folk and we thought about moving out of Illinois and settling down somewhere in the country and spend our days sitting on the porch in rocking chairs, reading books and sipping ice tea. However, God changed our heart and we have decided to forgo a traditional retirement and instead work at our mission until the time where we are too feeble to be of any use and then hope God takes us home at that point.
We want to use our home as a retreat for others to pause and consider how we follow Jesus. Maybe by showing others how we follow Jesus, we can help those who are struggling in their marriage, with their finances, with addictions, with depression, with life choices...
Maybe by calling others to follow us as we follow Jesus we can help lead them out of where they are struggling and down a path towards where they should have been all along.