Many years ago, God gave me a vision of a place where people who were running from the struggles of this life could come and be equipped to live victoriously. I put it in the back of my mind and figured because of the scope of it, it would likely never happen. In 2010, John and Leann Starne had a vision to open a recovery center for men coming out of drug rehab who would likely end up homeless. The Lords Hands and Hearts Ministry was able to purchase this run down old crack house with a riddled past and redeem it for ministry. John Starne gained his heavenly promotion in 2013 and the ministry has continued to thrive in South Dallas under Leann’s leadership. Over the past few years, while the church and food ministry has thrived, they have struggled to find the volunteer power and skilled labor necessary to fully restore and maintain the building. In 2013, God brought my vision back to the forefront of my mind and it has been there ever since. By divine appointment, I met Leann Starne Rice one day under a bridge in Dallas and our lives would intersect from time to time over the next 4 years. Our vision for the South Dallas Community is the same and just as God tends to do, when her ministry is coming to a place where transition needs to happen to ensure future growth, Runner’s Refuge is at a place where we were looking for a building to launch a recovery program. Leann and I share the same vision, the same passion, the same belief that people must be treated holistically, not just with shelter and food, first with love and acceptance and the power of God, then on all levels of humanity – mind, body, and soul.
Through much prayer and several meetings, we have agreed that Runner’s Refuge will take ownership of the apartment complex and continue the vision of the Nehemiah House. We will begin remodeling the facility in April and create a place where through relationship and discipleship, homeless men are being redeemed, trained, and relaunched into society with the tools they need to live a victorious life.
This project is going to take much financial and labor support. It is a kingdom investment. The North Texas District Assemblies of God Project Manager, Mark Chapman, is currently working on getting contractor bids so we can have a full understanding of what the financial need is. We will work with as much volunteer skilled labor and teams as possible to keep the cost down. We’ve written the vision down, and made it clear. Who is going to run with us? In the coming days, we will share how you can be a big part of what God is doing in South Dallas.
Habakkuk 2: 2-3 says “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay”