In Memory of “Come Clean”

“Come Clean” was the street name of this man who died a few days ago behind a garbage dumpster alone, just across the street from Powerhouse Church. This is the picture of his memorial. A photo, a few plastic flowers, some candles, two booklets, and a white teddy bear on the spot where he was found.

“Come Clean” was one of the homeless people in our community. He used to come to our church all the time, for Community Day or during the Wednesday Dinner. Now we won’t see him anymore. He is no longer around. It is really sad. I talked to him last month and now he is gone.

I went to see his memorial yesterday together with one of his friends, and as we were going down the street, we did a Facebook live recording to give you an impression of what kind of area we are in. We are in a dark place, and God has put us here to shine his light!

In a few days “Come Clean” will be forgotten and another memorial will be raised for somebody else on the trail. Orange Blossom Trail, OBT, devours people and destroys families, only Jesus Christ is the answer.

Do you realize that all these people dying for nothing were kids once? Think about it, they were playing around, going to school, and they all had dreams – until some adult stole it away from them, they were abused before they started using, and as they grew up they suffered the consequences of iniquity and sin.

His Last Message on Video

One of the young guys from our church made a video with “Come Clean” recently. At this point, he thought he still had plenty of time left on this earth. He was free of cocaine, but not free of alcohol. This is what he said, not knowing that this would be his last message to us on OBT https://www.facebook.com/C.Hedegaard/videos/10217329688412424/

Are you ready to meet your Maker? Only one thing is sure in life and that is that we all will be leaving at one point. I wish we all be ready. I know where I am going. I have dedicated my life to give and to live a life worth dying for. I want to live life to the fullest, with Christ, in obedience to Him, as if each day was the last.

This is the live video that I made from the memorial of “Come Clean” https://www.facebook.com/C.Hedegaard/videos/10217326384969840/

“Come Clean” was a beautiful man, and I hope that one day I will see him again. In Powerhouse Church he is not forgotten. “Come clean, or don’t come at all”, that is what he used to say. God knows his heart, He knows every outspoken prayer, He even knows his last words and how he died …

Don’t You Ever Give Up Hope

This Christmas it has been seven years since we first came to America and started feeding the homeless people on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, Florida. Every Wednesday and Sunday after church, but also a lot in between. Even before the church was established, our family has served tens of thousands of people, and if somebody asks me if it has been worth it, I will always say “yes”.

Honestly, I don’t think about it, I just do it. If I start to think too deeply about what we are doing I might start to lose courage. Orange Blossom Trail needs a lot of change, and we all know that it’s not the food, that will change the community. It is Jesus Christ. My focus is so strong on Jesus Christ and the vision that I refuse to look back and faith in him keeps me alive and strong in all the daily problems.

I have many pastor friends now in America and sometimes I have to pinch myself in the arm when I hear about their problems, how I wish I sometimes could swab problems with them. Just last week alone, two of the people that come to our church regularly have died out in the street, but still, I am convinced that I am graced to do this job.

There is a Reason, Pastor!

Let me give you three fresh testimonies that kept me going this past week:

In our church we have this homeless man that I have fed for seven years, he always sticks to himself, he has a long beard and white wild hair, and not so long ago he told me why. “There is a reason, pastor. I want people to think that I am crazy so that they will stay away from me”, he explained. “I am not crazy, but I am so hurt by people, I just want to sit on an island alone and die”, he said. This man has been expelled many times because he has been drunk and aggressive, but last year he detoxed himself off one bottle of vodka a day and has been sober for a long time. Now he has decided to follow Jesus, and Sunday he was in our service for the first time ever and got baptized in front of everybody. Even I was astonished to see him take that turn. For many years it seemed like nothing was happening but now, all of a sudden, he is changing big time.

My Other Sheep

One of my other “sheep” have been coming to our Community Cafe for a long time. They are always around, and they are always high and drunk. They live in a different world of substance abuse and we have had many problems with one of them in particular. No matter what I say, they will never listen, so I must admit that I kind of wrote them off, still knowing that “nothing is impossible with God”.

This week I saw the impossible. I was outside the Community Cafe talking to one of the guys, and when I came into the building everybody was real quiet. I had to look twice when I saw my “case impossible” speak in front of everybody. “So many people have died out here, but this church has saved my life”, he said. “This is our street, and we must stand together to change our community. We can do it. If they could change me, you can change as well. But it takes faith in God and faith in the church”, he said.

I was stunned. This man has threatened me and my family and my volunteers over and over again. Recently we gave him the “last chance”, he has been asked to leave the facility several times, but now I am happy that we had faith, patience, and longsuffering enough to love him through. Now he is pulling people into the church.

We Saved his Life …

My last “case impossible” is a young man that I don’t remember “not high”. A few months ago he told me that he was starting in school, A young man that I do not remember “not high” on drugs told me a few months ago that he was starting to go to school. I took the time to talk to him but it looked like the word was just going in through one ear and out of the other. I also prayed with him, and next time I saw him around he was sitting down, talking to another young drug addict about Jesus Christ. “You know me from the streets”, he said, “but I have changed, ever since pastor prayed for me and I started listening to him, my life has changed. I am going back to school. This pastor saved my life!” he said.

I almost fell off my chair, I had not seen that one coming and I realized right there that our word is like a living seed. We must preach whether people like it or not. We must not stop speaking about Jesus Christ. The word is alive and has mighty power to save.

When I came home Friday I was still in awe. Two of the most impossible cases were testifying in front of other people that I had saved their lives and I did not even know it. The third “impossible” guy was baptized on his first Sunday in church. Wauv, I never get tired of serving Jesus Christ.

Happy New Years from all of us here in Orlando. We walk by faith, not by sight. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Don’t ever give up hope!

10 Years Blind and Homeless

A few days ago I was contacted by a Danish man on Facebook. He said that he had been in my meetings in Denmark many years ago and that he wanted to help me help people. He said “Christian Hedegaard, you are a man of God, we need you in our country. Why have you moved to America?”

I told him, that God had given me a call to help the poor people in Orlando and to build Him a church where his presence reigns and from where people will go to the whole world with the gospel.

I don’t care where I live, seriously Karen and I could live among the Eskimos in Greenland or among tribes in the Amazon jungle and be fulfilled in Gods calling, but I know that I know that I know we are in the right place right now, and there is no amount of money or position that can persuade me to leave. We are in Gods plan for our lives in this season, and it is very satisfactory. We are so hungry to see Gods plan for Powerhouse Church being fulfilled.

For the second time, the man wrote to me and asked how he could help me with the work. My answer was simple. “Money and prayers are much needed since we are feeding homeless people. We are in a very dangerous area and the needs here are endless”, I said.

I honestly thought that this man wanted to help us since he was the one contacting me, so I was very surprised when I got his reply. “ Why should I  give you anything, who do you think you are to ask me for money?”, he said, suggesting that I should go back to Denmark and help people there instead of being here in Orlando, Florida, where God has called me to be.

I  really don’t need “friends” like that, so I deleted him on Facebook, even though I couldn’t help thinking about his response.

Earlier this year a 59-year-old blind man came to our church. He had been blind and homeless for 10 years, and over the next few months, we got to know him very well. We found out that he had a severe cataract and that a simple surgery could give him his eyesight back.

Over the next months, I encouraged him to believe God for a miracle surgery. I taught him about Jesus Christ who gives blind their sight back and set captives free. One day a businessman visited our church and told Thomas that he would sponsor the surgery.  This was good news!

Not only did he get his physical eyesight restored to him, but God has also opened his spiritual eyes. He has seen Jesus as his Lord and Savior, like the one that cares for him and loves him so much, that he send a man he never met before to donate money for the surgery.

Now  Thomas can truly see. He stayed with us during the time of surgery, and my youngest son Noah followed him all the way, as he made this documentary. Thomas had no insurance, but somebody else paid the price. Jesus paid the price for all of us, and our job is to give what we have. It’s more blessed to give than to receive, Jesus says. With your little, you can help us do much. https://evangelistministries.international/contact/donations/

Our Vision For The Community

In this blog post, I want to share a video about Powerhouse Church and our vision for our OBT community in Orlando. In the video, I will explain to you how it all began, how we as a family started to feed the poor and needy, and how people came to support the vision. You will see our street, our building and you will meet some of the amazing people in our community.

Click on the link and enjoy.

I hope this will inspire you to do something in your community as well!

The Wages Of Sin …

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Today when I came to our church in downtown Orlando there was a woman outside the door. The woman was so skinny that you could see the bones in her face and she looked and smelled like a living dead. I would think that she had not showered for weeks. I can take a lot, but this was bad.  “Go away, go away”, she shouted. Honestly speaking, I got a little agitated over her behavior, but then I recognized her voice.

I called out her name and gave her a hug. “Is that really you?” I said,  asking her where she had been for so long. “Crack,” she said. She did not have to explain herself more, I already knew that crack had a lot of power over her and that she never got real free. It was obvious that she did not have a lot of time left to live on this earth.

This woman was one of the first people we met at our public feedings here in the USA She was a prostitute many years on OBT and one of the first ones from the street that we baptized on the beach. In the beginning, she came with us to church, but she always did it her way. She did not want to let go of her rebellion. Nobody could tell her anything, she knew the Bible, the law, the everything better than anybody else. It was hard to see when she floated back into her old lifestyle, and from that point, we would rarely see her.

I tried to reach out to her but she was partly there and partly not there. Most of the time she was talking to her self or sleeping on the bench. As I drove back home I sat with tears in my eyes begging God to intervene like I have done it hundreds of times. I have seen so many people die since I came to Orlando to start the church on the trail. Like life has no value. The people we work with here seem to have a death wish over their lives.

Let me give you an example. A few days ago a man came running, swearing and cursing. He was not drunk or high just so filled with rage and anger, he banged his fists into the wall and turned around looking at me with fiery eyes, screaming “Today I am going to kill somebody, I wanna leave this world and die, I swear today somebody is going to die”.  I was sitting outside but right there I saw Satan in his eyes, no doubt that it was a demon that was working hard to finish his life and the life of others as well.

Later on, I had another conversation with a man I have not met before. He was a widower and he told me that God had killed his wife with cancer. He was very bitter, and he believed that God would kill him as well.  I was really surprised by his beliefs and asked him where the devil was in his worldview. If God was to be blamed, at least the devil should have some as well, I suggested. Then I asked him if he had ever done anything wrong if he had no faults in the failures of his life, and slowly but surely the truth started shining and I was able to pray with him.

None of us can blame anybody for the outcome of our lives. You can’t live your whole life without God and then suddenly blame him for what you should have done a long time ago. We all have to live with the consequences of the choices we make. We are the ones who make decisions, and we all harvest what we sow.  The wages of sin is death, but Jesus paid the price for us so that we have the option to live in freedom from sin, surrendering our lives to Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;

Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Joh 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me”.

I Don’t Like Fundraisers but …

 

Right now our church is doing a fundraiser for the downpayment for our church building on 1025 S. OBT. We need a 100.000 dollars to secure our building before June 1st, if we do so, our landlord who is a Muslim will help us owner-finance the building. This is a God given opportunity that we don’t wanna miss!

100.000 dollars is a lot of money for us but not for God! All we need is people to participate and to support the vision. This is not about a building, it is about building the Kingdom of God, to let the light shine in the darkness, to let the people know that there is faith to be found in a place where fear is dominant. The Lord has told us to build his house on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, that we may see the street being transformed into a Highway of Holiness according to Isaiah 35.8.

The other day I got a phone call from a prophet. He said, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets so he may run who reads it” (Hab 2.2). I realized that I needed to do this, in order to let the herald run. So I took my tablet and began blogging to share the vision and the specific needs that we have as a church right now, being obedient to the word that was given to me by the prophet.

Honestly, I don’t like fundraisers. I don’t like talking to people about our needs, I will rather talk to God and let him talk to people. Do you understand what I am saying? I am a preacher, not a fundraiser!

So here I am, sharing this on Facebook. This is our heart, to reach out to the lost and the least, as we continue to serve and do what God has called us to do. When I said yes to the call, I left everything behind and came from Denmark with my wife and my sons and 200 dollars on the account. I did not feel qualified but I was obedient. When I asked God, “why me”, He said, “I asked 3 pastors before you but they didn’t want to go. I asked you because you don’t say “no”.

Please take time to watch the attached video, see the vision, share it and pray. We need the 100.000 dollars downpayment on June 1st. I know the people at Powerhouse Church are doing what they can in order to make this happen. We don’t have much but we have great faith. When we signed the contract on the building last year, people gave beyond and above, so that we were able to move in. We know, God gave us the building, and we will do what we can, to stay in the building!

The other day I talked to a police officer in our church parking lot. He had been an officer for 26 years and I told him about the vision. Obviously, he did not believe in change on Orange Blossom Trail. He had seen too much, he said. Over the years he had lost faith, but I told him that I had found it!

I don’t care if it is only one in a hundred that want to change. We will still be there for the one that wants to change. We will see them raise up one by one and we will send them out to reach all the other ones. We are here for the long haul. To build a culture and create a movement. We desire to see our community encounter Jesus Christ in a completely transformative way.

We have many plans for the building on Orange Blossom Trail. This is our Powerhouse, a place of empowerment, where people can come from near and far and experience the Power of God. If you want to know more about what we are doing, you can watch the video here on the blog. If you want to give, donate on this site or go to http://www.powerhouseflorida.com today. We need your prayers and support!

Building the Kingdom

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What does the Kingdom of God look like?

Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God is at Hand, so we know that it is within reach. It is not something that we will experience one day in Heaven, we can experience this in our everyday life as we pray Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

God’s Kingdom is where the will of God is manifested, where God reigns. It is not a matter of eating or drinking, not a bunch of rituals or regulations, but the presence of the Holy Spirit,  righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).

I was thinking about it this week as our church is planning a huge outreach on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. We will go out in the street every day and hand out 10.000 flyers and invite people to a party in our parking lot. We want to show people what the Kingdom looks like, how King Jesus can bring righteousness to a street of unrighteousness, peace in a place where there is no place to rest and joy, where depression and anger are present all the time.

This free event will be an effort to create a culture and build community in the heart of our beloved City Beautiful. It will be an amazing opportunity to give and show love to those who are less fortunate. There will be live music, food, and entertainment for all ages, including activities for the youth and a live musical performance. There will be raffle prizes given away to low-income individuals and families, including gift cards, bill pay (debt elimination), and even a free car!

We are open every day during the week, giving out breakfast and lunch, but this coming week we will do a special effort to reach out to the lost and the least. Our goal is to show them the Kingdom, to introduce them to our King. To show them a better way than the OBT way, where females and males prostitute themselves and overdose in the streets. The past two months nine people have overdosed in a house across from our church. People are dying out there, but Jesus wants them to come alive!

The other day we talked to a police officer. He had worked on our streets for 26 years and was telling us, that feeding the homeless is just enabling them in their abuse and crime. He admitted, he had lost faith. He said that only one in a 100 wants to change. We have heard that before, but we will still be there for the one! So far we have seen one, two, three, four and more come alive, and we are believing for a supernatural breakthrough.

We are here for ones. Jesus left the 99 sheep to find that one that was lost. We are here for the families, for the kids, for the next generation. He has called us to take up the cross, to follow in his footsteps, to partner with Heaven in bringing the Kingdom of God to Earth through faith in Jesus Christ and the empowerment of His Holy Spirit.

Our vision is to see Orange Blossom Trail being transformed into a Highway of Holiness and Great Joy. (Isaiah 35:8)