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Project Shine 2016 – Awash In Provision

Project Shine B&W logo.jpg

Project Shine is a local missions organization in Akron, OH. You can visit the website here.

What follows represents some reflections of an amazing two week period of watching God do exactly what we believed He called us to do.

1. When God calls, He has plans.

I could easily give our organization a big pat on the back for obeying when God said to stretch our efforts from one week to two. Woe the day when obedience gains anyone recognition. What joy, though, when obedience glorifies God.

I’ve told the story many times: the Project Shine board voted to step out in faith and add a second week of ministry, a vote only made possible by many “yes” votes anticipating someone else would vote “no”. That’s right, we really thought others would vote no, so we just voted yes.

I remain grateful for Riverwood Church’s patience to explore God’s will together regarding the possibility of this second week. He planted the seeds for this week with their church years in advance.

God had big plans for big impact.

2. When God calls, God provides.

The list of ways God provided could stretch out into book chapter length. A few highlights:

  • More than enough work for over 90 teens and dozens of adults to complete over the course of two weeks.
  • A partnership with a local church we never saw coming, which included painting the exterior of their church.
  • A silent auction with less people in attendance than the previous year, yet a 40% higher yield in giving toward this year’s project.
  • Sacrificial leadership and service from our trustee board and from many present and past supporters of the ministry.
  • Great opportunities to minister to our residents. We truly built great relationships with many of the homeowners we served.
  • Servants with servant hearts. Sometimes putting a bunch of people together to accomplish something can prove frustrating as miscommunication and frustration set in. My memory of this year’s project will be flooded with memories of so many selfless volunteers who both executed the planning for the work weeks and got neck deep in helping the ministry come off almost entirely without a hitch.

3. Praising God for 15 summers!

Check out this snippet of God’s provision over the past 15 summers:

  • Part of the blessing for me personally involved seeing and reflecting on many people who have given so much in service to God through this organization in the past fifteen summers. Some examples:
  • Our two key second week cooks started as teens in the program.
  • One young man has had some role in all fifteen summers of Project Shine.
  • Many different churches and organizations have financially supported the work of Project Shine.
  • Some of the people who return to serve year after year have served well over half of the summers God has worked through Shine.
  • Some of our donors have had involvement with the organization since its inception. Many others have maintained long term supports.
  • God has used many great musicians and speakers through this ministry’s history. Hard to forget it all (and yes, I still get jokes about the first year).

4. Provision of personal encouragement.

Yes, Project Shine’s ministry encourages many who participate. But, this year encouraged me in some specific ways. See a few here:

  • It warmed me to see the sensitivity of several work crews toward their residents.
  • I truly believe God has opened up a partnership between Pastor Brandon File (of Akron’s Church of Deliverance) and me. I have no idea what that looks like, but He has brought us together revealing similar passion, love for our churches, and places in life. I look forward to learning from Pastor Brandon.
  • Hearing a teenager talk about how he learned to pray with a total stranger and had never really prayed with anyone really meant a lot. It excited me to see God using an experience in our neighborhood to shape this young man’s faith.
  • Project Shine increases my faith every single year. I do enjoy work which stretches my faith. Project Shine does that in different ways than I experience in pastoral ministry. To describe basic personal encouragement doesn’t fit the bill. God really provided a faith boost for me this year!
  • Witnessing the youth group from Riverwood drench each other with encouragement Friday night will stay with me for a long time. It provided a great thrill to know God brought that about through a shared experience!

I suppose I could go on and on. Praise God. That’s all I can really muster. I hope this has helped you understand Project Shine and understand God. But most of all, I hope this helps you praise God!


  1. I’m humbled that my children (teens) were able to be a part of this incredible Kingdom-driven team. Thank you to each and every person who kneeled before the throne to ensure that Christ was Glorified through this incredible ministry.

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