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 my wife and I have decided to say no to our own retirement plans and dedicate the rest of our lives to showing Jesus to people through the simple 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.
The Discipleship Center will be a place to break the chains of addictions, rebuild broken lives, and give direction to the lost. How many times have I wished for a place like this to reboot my own life. So with all this in mind, I cannot with a clear conscience leave the people who need a hand up in life to fend for themselves when I could easily lend them some support and guidance and to move them along towards where they should be.
For this purpose our mission will be, Until Jesus returns for us or calls us home, we will continually strive to fulfill The Great Commandment, one life at a time.
BUT WHY THE FARM?
That is one of the questions we consistently get asked all the time.
Why would we leave town to live in the country?
Why would we take troubled people into our home?
Why go through all the hassle of counseling these people, of training them, of helping with job placement?
The answer is very simple. 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 are not just opening a homeless shelter to enable people to continue in an irresponsible lifestyle.
We are not just opening a rehab center to get people past their addictions.
We are not just opening a mental health center to counsel people with cognitive dysfunctions.
We are not just opening a training center for occupational training.
We are not just opening a work camp.
We are not just opening another church.
What we are doing is a little bit of each of those. We are fulfilling The Great Commission, one life at a time. We are taking the command to "go and make disciples", so seriously that we are dedicating the rest of our lives to this. Teaching people who God is, who we are in relation to him, the problem of sin that we find ourselves in, the temporal and eternal consequences of these sins, Jesus sacrifice to take away the power and penalty of these sins, and how God wants us to live a productive life as one of his ambassadors... this and much more is what it takes to make a disciple of Jesus Christ. This is a huge time commitment, financial commitment, and spiritual commitment.
How could two possibly do all this? We can't, but God can! We are trusting that if we throw everything we have into following God's command that He will reward us by making this possible.