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How do you Build an Outreach Center?

 Written by Dustin Swinehart, Project 658 Executive Director

The 658 Center before renovation

The 658 Center before renovation

For the past year we have prayed that God would bring together a centralized place for us to operate ministry out of, office in and be a constant presence for Jesus in community. God had an answer for us . . . an old roller skating rink. Sounds like a perfect plan. But we all know that God’s ways are not man’s ways.

At one point this building was a place of great laughter and joy for families and kids in Charlotte. But, over time it was abandoned and become empty. God opened the door for our team to step in and bring back to life a place that had died. So six weeks ago, through the incredible provision of donors and organizations, we were able to acquire this building on Central Avenue, and began a remodeling process to it. The process of rebuilding something takes a ton of time, energy, people and prayer. But the work is worth it. So we began rebuilding the place and just six weeks in we have seen life beginning to spring back up. New walls are built in place of old empty spaces. New lights are installed in place of dark corners of the building. New paint in place of dirt and grime on the walls. People are constantly in and out of a place that was abandoned. Much has happened in the past six weeks. We have demolished all the old, and have begun to rebuild the new. We have removed 18,000 square feet of ceramic tile by hand (I don’t recommend this process to anyone), built new walls, put in new electrical and HVAC and plumbing, and cleaned every inch of the 25,000 square feet. It is truly amazing to see the progress made in six weeks. The work is not done, but we have found the process to reflect that of the process Jesus takes us through.

The 658 Center artist rendering

The 658 Center artist rendering

Like the building, the community we serve and our own lives are often broken and abandoned. But through God’s provision, new life comes back to areas that were dead and forgotten. Light springs up in places that darkness once resided. Freshness comes to places that once were cold and empty. We are so thankful for the process that God has allowed our ministry to engage in bringing life back to a building, because we know that this will lead to Jesus bringing life back to many lives that will come through the front door. Thank you for praying, giving and serving with us as we continue the process of building the 658 Center.

To learn more about The 658 Center, visit this page on our website or to become a financial partner of the Center, you can donate here.

BrightFlow Web Team

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