At the heart of PraiseFest is people coming together to raise money for a charity in need. This year’s charity is The House—a non-profit café seeking to holistically minister to the community of Ogden. You can learn more about The House by checking out their blog.
Donations of any amount are always accepted. Thank you for your gift and belief in the message of Flint Hills PraiseFest!
Letter From The House Co-Founder
My name is Chris Jacobs. My wife, Quinn, and I both accepted Christ about seven years ago. I was deployed in Iraq and she was here in the states. We were friends at the time, but didn’t realize God was working in both of our hearts half a world away. After accepting Christ we moved to Manhattan, KS to finish our degree programs and while here we found a small Southern Baptist church outside of Ogden, KS. This is where we currently live and attend.
When we first showed up on the scene in Ogden we didn’t know much about our faith or this community. We started volunteering at a “Teen night” at the local community center. It consisted of 10 teens or less, and we played basketball or kickball with them for a couple of hours every Wednesday night. Within six months the person who led this “Teen night” left, and Quinn and I took over. We incorporated snacks and a short devotional about Christ into the game night. What we quickly learned about the kids is that they are surrounded by a high number of drugs, alcohol, and violent crimes in the community and that many adults have come in and out of their lives. In fact, they told us flat out that they expected us to leave them as well.
Now, six years later, we have no less than sixty kids and teens coming to the Community Center once a week hearing the Gospel. It was during the time of this expansion that the Lord laid a new vision on our hearts. Over the years we have seen so many kids, teens, and parents fall into a cycle of poverty, government dependence, drug abuse, violent crimes, and other generational sins. Our hearts are heavy over the cycle that has not been broken. We have watched as kids we love end up as young adults in the RCPD reports. It breaks our hearts to see many of our teens not further their academic career, struggle to find employment, or become involved in illegal activities. Through a series of conversations, quiet times, and circumstances we have been given the vision of starting a not-for-profit café in Ogden to combat the cycle of poverty.
The café is going to be the way which we will holistically minister to our community, addressing physical needs and spiritual needs simultaneously. The physical needs are going to be the easy ones to address. We will re-invest profits into our community. We will build a teen center to get the kids off the street, provide paid internships, GED classes, English Second Language classes, Budget classes, provide mock interviews with local companies, provide resume building tools, offer short term biblical based financial assistance, and eventually employ community members to utilize talents they already have (mechanics, bakers, cleaners, etc.).
We will be addressing the spiritual needs of the community as well. We will staff the café with volunteers, and the teens we work with have already committed to work alongside us. We will bring adults into the café as the managers who will also mentor the teens while working the café. This mentorship in a business environment will provide an unprecedented opportunity for discipleship. Not only will the teens hear the Gospel, but they will see it lived out by the adults at the café. We are passionate about the idea of raising up the next generation of leaders in Ogden, and to prepare them to take over what God has allowed us to start.
I pray that all that I have said has excited your heart to support this ministry, either through either a financial donation or commitment to prayer. It is taking a lot of work and perseverance to get this vision going, but God has shown me that He has a plan for this town—and it starts with a café.
Blessings to you and your church.