eNewsletter December 2020

Last Day of 2020

Just a quick note about today being the last day of 2020.  If you would like to make one final donation for the year to the Metanoia Center you can do so via your cell phone, at not extra cost to you, and it will be processed and receipted for today ensuring that it qualifies for consideration as a tax deduction in 2020.  The Metanoia Center is considered by the IRS as a 501c3 charitable giving organization.

Send a text to 513-586-7113 to process your donation using your cell phone or visit our website at www.metanoiacenter.net and click on the “Donate” menu option.

God’s Story

On the back side, and between, the Metanoia Center’s buildings at 113 and 115 N. Wayne is an alley.   If you look at the front of the buildings from Wayne Avenue the alley is not obvious.  But from the back-side driveway you can see that the alley is about six to seven feet wide.

The owner from whom we purchased 115 N. Wayne had a locking door and tin roof installed on the alley literally connecting both buildings together with this now covered alley way between them.  He shared with us that he had this done because he found people sleeping off a drug hit in the alley, so he closed it off.   In closing the alley, he installed steel shelving inside of it where he stored long sections of tree cuts that he, and his father, used in their woodworking business and hobby.

After we purchased the building, we tasked a father-son team, who had volunteered on one of our Saturday workdays, to remove the contents of the alley, demo the shelving and pull it out so we could toss it into a dumpster.  They found all kinds of wood and other materials along with the remains of racoon markings.   It was a huge, dirty job that they took on with joy and completed.

Some of the wood we gave away to wood workers, others in the neighborhood took some for their fire pits and the remaining wood lumber we cut up with a saw, filled a truck and dropped it off at another volunteer’s house for their fire pit.

Little did we know, as the father-son team worked to clean up the alley that they found some wood that looked like it had value and took it home.

Pictured here is a cross, hand made from quality lumber found in the alley way.   We have this cross in our home for safe keeping for now.  Eventually, when one of the buildings is open for occupancy, we will take the cross from our house, back down to the Metanoia Center.

This handmade cross was presented to us months after the Saturday workday just before Christmas from that find by the father-son team.   Seeing some wood that looked redeemable, they took it home.   The old wood was transformed by their handiwork into a cross – the symbol of Christ’s sacrifice for all mankind.

As God continues to write His story for the Metanoia Center and the surrounding community this cross will help serve as a tangible reminder of our Lord’s redemption for all mankind.  We often say, “transforming people and place”.   This cross is a transformation story of something, most would consider unusable.  But a father-son saw potential in something that had been cast aside and transformed it into something beautiful with meaning as part of the story God is writing at the corner of Wayne and Walnut.

Warm, Dry and Safe

Warm, dry and safe have been key words for us after we discovered that the roof was leaking around the perimeter of 115 N. Wayne.  And. as a result of donations received towards replacing the roof, in the amount of $22,110 we now have a new roof on the building (pictured here)!   But we didn’t stop there!  We had received sufficient funds to tuck point the alley way cinder blocks between 113 and 115 AND to completely tuck point around 115.  If you drive by 115 today it’ll look just a bit weird from the cross-hatching due to the tuck pointing of the concrete blocks.

Now that it is warm, dry and safe we’ve begun using it for small group gatherings and have also invited the after school groups and ESL group to consider how they can make use of this building – while we turn our attention back to working in 113 N. Wayne!

As the calendar moves into 2021 we are praying for restarts for the ESL classes, after school clubs and other groups to begin utilizing the space in 115 N. Wayne. Pictured below is the space setup socially-distanced for a Bible study group to use.

Focusing on 113

We’re turning our focus back to 113 N. Wayne as we work towards having professional construction help to work with volunteers to get the joists replaced.   We are, at this time, being held up in the rehab of the building until we have this project completed.   Continue to pray with us about this!   We’re having some difficulty with schedules and time so that we can press ahead!

In the meantime, during the Christmas / New Years break Ken Popham had several visits at the Metanoia Center with college students home for the holidays and began putting up some stud framing (pictured here).   It is very exciting to see this happen as a signal that we are moving from tearing things out – to putting things back together!

Once the floor joists are replaced we can turn more focus towards moving the bottom floor forward!

And, while we continue to work on “transforming place” we also continue to look for opportunities to enable and help “transform people” by connecting with them in a variety of ways making it possible to talk to them about God’s goodness and His shalom!   We’ve recently been gifted with a huge donation from a Village of Lockland business where a portion of it has been designated to help people in the community and another portion to Help Make a Home for the Metanoia Center.   We are preparing a plan to accomplish using the gift portion to further reach out to those who have needs as a way of telling them about God’s gift to all through Jesus.

End of 2020

As 2020 comes to an end we’ve heard many saying things like “I can’t wait till it’s over”, “what a horrible year”.  Recently we met with the CPA of the Metanoia Center, and when leaving she said “I hope 2021 will be a better year for you than 2020!”.  We responded with “2020 was awesome!  Better hold onto your hat as we move into 2021 with great anticipation of what God is going to do!”.   She was caught a bit off guard by our enthusiasm for 2020.  But for us, and the Metanoia Center, it was an amazing year!  More than 170 volunteers to help us in ministry, significant financial gifts to push things forward, other gifts such as architectural design work, and furnace fixing, doors installed, electrical addressed, food, clothing, paper towels and toilet paper to distribute, nearly $3000 in Kroger gift cards to give to community members door-to-door.  It’s been an amazing year!

When December arrived it seemed like a whale of craziness arrived attempting to steal our joy.   We began a bathroom remodel so that Phyllis mother had a bathroom space easily accessible, Phyllis mom moved in with us (she is 88 and has just come out of rehab and required full assist for most things),  the hot water heater went out (thank you Faith Bible deacons for replacing it), the timing belt broke in our green car, the washing machine started a leak (that was pretty simple to fix), Jim began recovering from the mild stroke, Phyllis mom was taken to the ER and admitted for stomach/digestive concerns.   We are very grateful for how the body of Christ ministered to us during the first three weeks of December.  Though we didn’t get the house decorated for Christmas we found great joy in the confidence that He is always in charge of all things and that nothing escapes Him.   That circumstances of life don’t erase or weaken His love nor care.

Prayer List

  • We appreciate your prayers as we learn to adjust to the needs of Phyllis mom.  Her name is Roberta so that you can pray specifically for her health needs, and for our care for her, especially for Phyllis as her primary care giver.  Within the first week of Roberta moving in we began to see a huge transformation as medication was reduced, better food to eat, and time spent talking and sitting together.
  • Pray for the floor joists to be repaired in the Metanoia Center by the end of February!
  • Praise God for the financial gifts that the Metanoia Center received in the month of December – join us in asking for blessings upon the givers!
  • Thank you God for those who are providing financial giving towards our personal ministry!
  • Pray for the after school clubs and ESL – for wisdom on how to restart and for their leaders and those will be meeting with them in our building at 115 N. Wayne.
  • We are thanking God for Jim’s recovery to date from the stroke and continuing to pray about the cause and continued recovery in full.
  • We are majorly grateful for our volunteers and miss seeing them in these colder winter months!   Thank you God for the many who have labored and sweat, been covered with dust and dirt and insulation, had scratches, bumps and bruises and showed up and brought joy to the corner of Wayne and Walnut!


Serving With You Because of Him,

Jim and Phyllis
Galatians 2:20

About Us: Jim and Phyllis are faith-based independent missionaries commissioned by Faith Bible Church, Cincinnati, Ohio serving with the Metanoia Center. Donations to their ministry may be made through the Metanoia Center, Business Office, 316 Home Ave., Lockland, OH, 45215 or online by visiting https://www.metanoiacenter.net/donate.php. If sent by postal mail, please include a note with your donation indicating your desire to direct it to Jim and Phyllis Null’s Ministry Area.  The Metanoia Center is recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 organization, thus your donation can be considered for tax exemption – please consult with your tax professional for details.

Contact Us: our contact information is: Jim and Phyllis Null, 316 Home Ave., Lockland, Oh, 45215 – Telephone: 502-235-7005.