At Hope Ames, we have grown familiar with running out of space, and that is a great “problem” to have. In order to keep up with the church’s growth, we moved into The Link at 3329 Lincoln Way (twice the size of our old rental space) in August 2019 on a rental agreement. In our new home, each of our ministries is able to continue to grow, as it opens new opportunities for children and family programming, student youth groups, college ministry, and adult classes and groups. Every dollar that is given to Hope Dreams will be spent on purchasing The Link (a cost of $1,075,000) or put into savings for another capital campaign in the coming years for a permanent church home. By purchasing the space, Hope Ames will secure a midweek ministry space (and a potential place for Saturday worship) to grow in over the next few years, and we will be saving significant dollars that will go toward purchasing a permanent church home in the coming years. Who knows what God has in store for Hope Ames’ future home, but it feels like God is up to something amazing!
A letter from Danny
Dear Hope Family,
What were you doing four years ago?
An “app” on my phone reminded me today that exactly four years ago (Oct. 20, 2015), I was driving from where I lived in St. Paul, Minnesota to where I grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa. I was a second-year seminary student, stressed about a long paper, wondering how to nail down Biblical Hebrew, with no idea how this whole “pastor” thing would work out.
The future scared me.
“This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
That trip down I-35 was familiar to me, and so were all the landmarks. Each time I passed Highway 30, I looked to my right, saw Ames, and I knew I was close to home – closer than I thought.
Little did I know that as I drove by Ames four years ago, the Holy Spirit was revealing a vision to a small group of faithful folks in the Cyclone City, and they dreamt of a place called “Hope.” Within a year, they called themselves a church, and they were! It just didn’t look like an ordinary church. It was a few dozen people gathered in an old oil shop that had turned into a well-worn, miniature concert hall. By faulty Wi-Fi and a yellow-tint projector, they watched a worship service that took place at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines. Afterwards, they talked about the future.
The future excited them.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13).
Fast forward to April 2017. I was sitting in a room with those Ames dreamers, and they invited me to dream with them. What would it look like for “Hope” to overflow in Ames, we wondered? By summer’s end, we were getting a taste of it. Lutheran Church of Hope – Ames launched on August 20, 2017. Over the next year, the few dozen worshipers grew to a congregation of 300 people every weekend in the Ames City Auditorium. Another year later, it was an average of 350. Over the last few months, it’s been 450, plus another 275 on Wednesday nights at our college service, Kairos.
As it turns out, the future is bright, and the best is yet to come for Hope in Ames.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who live him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Hope is growing in Ames, but so is Ames. In 10 years, the population has increased by 10,000, and the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the city will be home to over 100,000 people soon. That goes without mentioning Ames’ growing surrounding communities. As the city of Ames grows, we have an incredible opportunity to share the Good News with our neighbors.
The time is now.
“For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2
Today, I am writing to you from home, and I’m not talking about West Des Moines, Iowa. I’m talking about that “old oil shop that had turned into a well-worn, miniature concert hall,” but it doesn’t look so old anymore, and there is enough room for 325 people. We call it The Link now, and it welcomes hundreds from our church family every week. After a long season of prayer, our church intends to complete a purchase of this space through “Hope Dreams,” and I hope you will be a part of it. Let’s do this, Hope. Let’s faithfully follow the Holy Spirit into the future.
Who knows what we’ll be doing four years from now, but I think it will be beyond our dreams.