Growth + Expansion = Kingdom Opportunities

by Matt Freeman, Pastor Dude

Community First! Village is in expansion mode with Phase 2 construction in the works.  

Phase 2 will include: 

  • 100 RV/Park homes

  • 200 Micro-homes

  • Space for 300 more disabled, chronically homeless folks to be lifted off the streets (bringing the total population of CF! to 525)

  • 7 Laundry/Restroom/Shower Facilities

  • 7 Outdoor Kitchens

  • Community Gardens providing organic vegetable production and hundreds of fruit and nut-bearing trees

  • Community Works Building providing micro enterprise opportunities that enable our friends who have experienced homelessness to earn a dignified income

  • Wellness and Respite Center (20,000 sq. ft. facility) providing extensive primary and home healthcare

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HERE is more about Community First! Village

Q:  What does the growth and expansion mean for The Gathering?

A:  Growth + Expansion = Kingdom Opportunities. The current population of CF! is 200 folks. In the next 2-3 years, the overall population will increase to just over 500 folks. We anticipate needing additional volunteers involved to pray, care, serve and invest. We invite you to join us (see the link to serve and invest below).

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Your investment fuels our mission to compassionately serve friends like Tammy & Charles and create an environment for imperfect people to find and follow Christ … THANK YOU!


PRAY FOR THE MISSION:

  • That we would heed these challenging words of Jesus, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest.” (Matthew 9:27-38)  We need more folks involved in helping imperfect people find and follow Christ.  HERE are ways for churches, small groups and individuals to serve.

  • For Godly wisdom to grow our mission as we prepare to open Phase 2 at Community First! (including the opportunity to minister to an additional 300 neighbors being lifted off the streets).

  • For Matt & Chris Freeman as they serve the Lord and the folks at CF! Pray that they would sink their roots deeply into a personal, intimate, meaningful love relationship with Jesus (John 15:1-11).

INVEST IN THE MISSION:

The Gathering is a mission that is 100% donor-funded through generous, tax-deductible contributions. We are aiming to raise an additional $100,000 by year end for the purchase of a micro-home on Phase 2, to add a staff role in 2020 and make a gift to the ministry of CF! Thank you for your investment. Donations and special gifts can be made to The Gathering by clicking HERE.

PO Box 6211, Austin, TX 78762

512-587-5640

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Serving Up Goodness

The Lord God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and care for it.

(Genesis 2:15)


One of the many miracles of Community First! is watching the transformation take place from homelessness to home and from receiver to giver. It is similar to the progressive unfolding of Genesis 2:15. Our friends are lifted off the streets. They begin to settle. They then begin to cultivate their God-given gifts and talents. They begin to care for more than themselves.

Click on the video above for the story that unfolded this past weekend, when the generosity of Austin Ridge Bible Church empowered the team at Community First! Village to serve over 500 under-resourced students and parents in the Manor ISD as part of our annual "Back to School Bash."

Here are some additional photos from the event.

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PRAY FOR THE MISSION:

  • That God would open doors (hearts) to empower more neighbors at CF! with the desire to serve and bless others.

  • For Godly wisdom to grow our mission as we prepare to open Phase 2 at Community First! (including the opportunity to minister to an additional 300 neighbors being lifted off the streets).

  • That God would provide The Gathering more laborers, volunteers , partners, prayers, investors and and opportunities to advance the Good News of Jesus.

  • Also, thank God for the donors, supporters, and investors who were part of our annual Back to School Bash on Saturday, August 10th. We are beyond grateful for the ways the Lord meets our needs to mobilize folks to serve Christ.

INVEST IN THE MISSION:

The Gathering is a mission that is 100% donor-funded through generous, tax-deductible contributions. We have experienced a slight decrease in giving through the summer months and appreciate your investment and special gifts by clicking HERE.

COME SERVE THE MISSION:

Opportunities for large groups, small groups, and individuals can be found on our volunteer calendar.

PO Box 6211, Austin, TX 78762

512-587-5640

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Confessions of a Fault-Finding Pastor

The mission of The Gathering is to help imperfect people find and follow Jesus.
Our vision is to empower the greater body into a lifestyle of following Christ alongside the homeless.
Thank you for your investment and support that fuels our mission and facilitates pursuit of our vision.


by Matt Freeman, Pastor Dude, The Gathering

“Hi, my name is Matt. I am a believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with being critical and fault-finding and I am in recovery for sexual lust and discouragement.”

This is how I introduce myself in recovery circles. My identity is NOT in my sin struggle. My identity is in the finished work of Christ. I am, however, a work in progress. And the truth remains I frequently miss the mark of perfection. The early chapters of my relationship with Jessica are concrete evidence of my imperfection.  

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When Jessica moved into Community First! in June 2017 I quickly assessed her as a “troubled soul.”  I managed to keep my distance.  Boundaries. Discernment.  I justified the barrier.  Slowly God, through the relentless power of His Spirit, began chipping away at my self-centered, judgmental spirit.  Barriers faded.   Miraculously.  


If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
— Mother Teresa
Healthy people don’t need a doctor — sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.
— Jesus (Luke 5:31-32)

The disillusioning pain throughout Jessica’s life story was unspeakable.  A broken family.  No love.  Constant tension.  A nagging desire to run away from the emptiness of home.  “I was not a happy child.  I wanted to be on my own and deeply desired a loving, supportive family,” Jessica shared.  “When I think about my upbringing it is tough to process.  I don’t like to think about it!”  

“I was homeless on and off for about 15 years.  I lived in 14 different places in 6 states -- primarily homeless shelters and day rate hotels.  I was a vagabond trying to settle and find my way.  Being homeless sucks!” she shared.

We consider the mission of The Gathering at Community First! a God-sized opportunity.  May He continue to open doors to promote dignity and cultivate community to friends like Jessica.  She is learning the value of living in a Christ-centered community and now has a creative writing platform that facilitates the sharing of her story.  Thanks be to God!  And thank you for praying, investing and supporting this very unique expression of the greater body of Christ.

Our prayer is to help imperfect people find and follow Jesus … including a fault-finding Pastor. 

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PRAY FOR THE MISSION:

  • That God would open doors (hearts) to allow neighbors at CF! the opportunity to find and follow Christ.

  • That with the expansion of phase 2 at Community First! (and an additional 300 neighbors being lifted off the streets) that God would provide The Gathering more laborers, volunteers and opportunities to advance the Good News of Jesus.

  • For our annual Back to School Bash on Saturday, August 10th … we’ll be giving away hundreds of backpacks and school supplies to economically under-resourced students who attend elementary schools near Community First! We are trusting God’s provision for an additional $2,500 to cover the cost of providing breakfast and needed supplies.

INVEST IN THE MISSION:

The Gathering is a mission that is 100% donor-funded through generous, tax-deductible contributions. We have experienced a slight decrease in giving through the summer months and appreciate your investment and special gifts by clicking HERE.

COME SERVE THE MISSION:

Opportunities for large groups, small groups, and individuals can be found on our volunteer calendar.

PO Box 6211, Austin, TX 78762

512-587-5640

Follow The Gathering on: