Below is the support letter (minus the pictures) that Sarah and I have mailed out recently. It explains our heart for the ministry we are in, new opportunities coming up, and our need to raise support in order to keep ministering in this capacity. If you are interested in joining our support team send us a note and your address at Freibergjr@gmail.com.
Dear Friends and Family,
You have all been a part of our life in some meaningful way. It is our joy to share with you some of the new adventures God is taking us on.
What We’re all About:
Sarah and I (John) were married on July 22, 2007. We met each other while pursuing our passion, bringing Christ to the darkest parts of the earth. We were both attending the Master’s College and serving in the Nehemiah House, an internship house in the inner city of Los Angeles when we discovered that not only did we love serving Christ, we loved each other and wanted to serve Him together. Over the next few years of serving together in the youth ministry we knew that the Lord was calling both of us into full time ministry and that He was calling us to serve together as husband and wife.
Our ministry (or the ministry the Lord has graciously entrusted to us):
Since 2005 I (John) have been serving in the First Evangelical Free Church of Los Angeles as the High School Director. Our Youth Group consists of kids of church members as well as neighborhood kids who have received Christ through our outreaches. Some of the many responsibilities of being in this ministry include the normal youth group stuff: counseling, discipleship, staff development, running weekly meetings, preparing sermons, organizing trips and outreaches…etc. However, due to our inner city location there are many unique challenges to this ministry some of which include: poverty, generations of broken families, gang warfare, low education levels, language barriers, undocumented immigrants…etc.
Our Neighborhood: Pico Union
The following Wikkepedia entry gives a good overview of our neighborhood:
Pico Union is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles… it is now primarily populated by first-generation Hispanic immigrants, particularly Mexicans, Guatemalans, Salvadorans, and Hondurans. Nearly 50% of the population is believed to be living in the United States illegally, but due to Los Angeles being designated a sanctuary city, many of the undocumented are allowed to freely live there. Most of the district lies within the infamous Rampart Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, and is plagued with high crime. Several transnational gangs, most notably the 18th Street Gang and Mara Salvatrucha ("MS-13"), were started in the neighborhood and maintain a strong presence. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pico_Union
Now that I have finished seminary, the church has asked me to become a full time associate pastor. My three areas of focus will be overseeing spiritual development (discipleship, Bible studies, and encouraging members to be consistent with their devotionals...etc), facilitating and hosting outreach groups from other churches/schools, and (the big one!) starting, organizing, overseeing, and running a new service geared for the younger generation in our church and neighborhood. This last task has been on our hearts for years and it is so exciting to be given the freedom and authority to pursue it. This service also has the potential to become a church plant in itself. These tasks are God-sized in scope and only through His strength, power, sovereignty, and grace will it become a reality, but we are overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity and burning with excitement to start this new adventure.
One of the challenges of inner city ministry is the lack of resources in the face of such great need. This challenge can be your opportunity. There are many ways that you can support our ministry in one of the darkest yet strategic cities in the world.
Prayer Support: God has promised and proven throughout time that He listens to the prayers of His faithful. Please consider battling alongside us through committing to praying for us and the Lord’s work in Los Angeles.
Ministry Support: There are many ways to use the gifts and resources God has given you to help further His work in the inner city. Organizing missions trips from your home church to our church, sponsoring a youth to go to summer camp, donating basketballs for a sports outreach, hosting meetings to create partnerships between inner city and suburban churches, helping run health clinics for children without health insurance…the sky is really the limit for possible ministry opportunities.
Financial Support: Due to our church’s inner city location and situation, they cannot afford to pay me. We are taking steps to provide salaries for staff members but at this point it is just not a reality. According to our budget, Sarah and I will need $2,500 a month for living and ministry expenses. (This does not cover any of Sarah’s medical school costs, we took out a loan for that). We are sure of our call to this ministry and trust that the Lord will make it possible, yet the means by which He will make it possible are yet to be seen. We do not know whether God will provide through the financial gifts of supporters like you or if He desires me to commit to less time at the church and work a secular job as well. It is obviously our desire that I would be able to devote all of my time and energy to the ministry and we believe that if that is God’s will He will make it possible. In the meantime, I continue working a night job at the Staples Center to meet our monthly quota. In short, if we are able to raise our goal of $2,500 a month through outside support I will be able to work full-time (and more!) at the church. We are very committed to this ministry and we will do whatever it takes to keep our commitment but your support would enhance, enable, and expand it greatly! Ultimately, we joyfully trust in God’s perfect plan and never-changing faithfulness in providing what is needed to respond to His call.
In Christ’s Love,
John and Sarah Freiberg
For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:12-15)
“And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” (Hebrews 13:12-14)
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18)