We moved to Central IL, in October, and Jennifer and I probably underestimated how much work it takes to move 600 miles north! A close friend called to “check on me” after we were here a couple of months. I was telling him how I felt “very out of sync” with everything. He said, “A good friend told me once that it takes about four months to feel settled after a big life transition.” I was trying to connect with area juvenile centers to see what kind of ministry needs and opportunities were there. Jennifer and I were trying to formulate a plan to remodel an older home we bought a few blocks from her parents. We were trying to find a church home that felt right for us. We were trying to figure out where to put our stuff that fit into the house we sold in Tennessee but didn’t exactly fit in the house in Illinois. We were dealing with missing our kids, who are now in other states, and even though we are close to Jennifer’s family, we were wrestling with the idea that we don’t have any other close friends here. But a lot has come together in four months.
We had many ministry supporters step up with donations in December, and we were able to provide Christmas gifts, Bibles, and spiritual growth resources to fatherless teens in the juvenile centers in Nashville, TN, Memphis, TN, Indianapolis, IN, Peoria, IL, Normal, IL, and Rockford, IL. Over 300 teens received the gospel message, and I pray God will use the seeds sown to bring many of them to Christ.
I have now met with the program director of the juvenile center in Normal, IL, and am starting a weekly Bible study with the youth there. I also met with the program director at the Peoria, IL, juvenile center, along with a few other friends I’ve been collaborating with in Peoria. I start our new ministry outreach in Peoria today. I’ll be teaching a group of teenage guys, most of them are fatherless, about God as a Father and about how to be a real dad in the future. I created a nine-week study a few years ago based on God’s role as a father in our life and His plan for us to embrace God as a father and prepare to follow His model as a Godly father to our own kids someday. This really is the path to reshaping the family tree and creating a spiritual generational shift. This Friday, I’ll be in the juvenile center in Galesburg, IL, and will be starting a regular Bible study there along with a friend of mine, Rob Skow.
While in the Peoria Juvenile Center last week, meeting with and getting to know some of the youth, a teenage boy spoke up and took his hand, and began patting himself on the chest as he repeated, “I need this, I need this… we all need this. I’m all in.” The program director at the Normal, IL juvenile center said, “It’s been such a struggle to get people here “post-Covid” to meet the spiritual needs of our youth… I’m glad you are here.” Another ministry leader in Peoria recently said, “I believe God brought you and Jennifer here at this specific time to meet some very specific needs of our youth.”
Thank you so much to all our prayer partners and ministry supporters. Please continue to pray for us as we are in the “start-up phase” in three juvenile centers at the same time. Moving and setting up a new office and outreach also brings a lot of expense. It’s much more expensive than we even realized. Your support and extra gifts are greatly appreciated as we try to navigate through this part of the process.
If you haven’t made a recent gift to help bring the hope of the gospel to fatherless youth, please consider a donation today.
Give at https://kenturnerministries.org/give/
Our new mailing address is:
Ken and Jennifer Turner
High Impact Ministries
PO Box 375
Benson, IL 61516
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