who am i?

my name is charis (pronounced ka-reese).  i am a 34 year old mom to 5 boys and wife of 11 years to the most amazing guy on the planet.  here is a picture of my little family (pre- new baby hosea justus.  i will update our picture as soon as i can!!)  well, i guess we aren't quite so little anymore as a family of 7 now are we?!

hosea justus moments after his arrival.  we are in love!

i am a normal christian mommy learning how to raise my children to follow the Lord and struggling to learn how to follow Him myself.  some of my favorites things are leading worship from the piano (got a b.a. in music from azusa pacific university), knitting and crocheting, cooking real whole foods for my family, gardening, spending time outside enjoying nature, and reading and writing.  i love girly things like dark chocolate, hot teas and coffee, glitter, fresh flowers, purple nail polish, pretty eye shadows and lip gloss.  of course the Lord saw fit i would have a house full of boys that don't understand all those girly things.  i have the privilege of serving in full time ministry, but i am really right there with everyone else learning what it means to follow God and be pleasing to Him in my everyday life.

what does the title at the gate called beautiful mean?

well, just like peter said to the man at the gate called beautiful in the book of acts, silver and gold have i none, but what i have i give to you...   sure, his was in the context of healing, but i hope that the sharing of what i gain on this journey of knowing God will bring healing to countless lives.  we all have something to give from our life experiences and i hope you will consider joining this community of like minded believers who share the common goals of living a life of the 1st commandment and who are seeking the face of God.  i hope that you would share a part of your journey, so we can all gain from what you have learned and where you have been!

so... what is it that we do?

my husband and i are overseers of a house of prayer that is in redding, ca.  the vision of the ministry is to serve the entire city of redding.  right now we have 24 hours of prayer meetings, but overseeing the building of a community dedicated to prayer, worship, and intercession is a very full-time job.  we have found, at least to my surprise, it to be a lot of administration and a lot of pastoring of people.  we have monthly teaching meetings with our prayer room community, classes on growing in the gospel, worship practices, leader meetings, and home groups we oversee, as well as the counseling and pastoring that comes in one on one sessions too.

the house of prayer here is called the watch.  do we have a website?  yes!  check it out!!  we also have a facebook page that we would love for you to follow if you want to have more info on how to stay connected.   although we are not 24/7, our house of prayer is similar in general style to the house of prayer in kansas city called ihop.  check it out and you will have a little bit of an idea of what we do, but they do it on a much much larger scale.

if you are ever in the redding area, we would love for you to come by and be a part of one of the prayer meetings.  they are all open to the public.  message me on this blog and i can give you more info if you would like to come and check it out!

why a house of prayer?  what is a house of prayer?

well, simply put, it is an earthly model of the unceasing worship and intercession around the throne in heaven.  it is also based upon the model of the tabernacle that king david established during his reign, where 4000 musicians and 288 singers ministered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to the presence of God bringing both songs of adoration and petitions before Him for justice on the earth.  it is also rooted in the passage in luke 18 about speedy justice when there is night and day prayer.  you know it... the parable of the persistent widow:

now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?
"i tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. however, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"
luke 18:7-8 

so i know you are all wondering... how do we feed the kids?

by our own choice, we live as missionaries here in california on monthly support from people who feel stirred my God to partner with us.  (we do supplement with a few private music lessons we each teach one afternoon a week.)  some have even coined the term "intercessory missionary."

why do we do this?

well, for one we would like to be a blessing and not a burden to the body of Christ in our region.  second, we know full well by the amount of work it is already taking to build the house of prayer that it isn't a job that can be done by one or two salaried positions.  it takes a lot of people, just like in the days of king david, to staff a 24/7 gig!  third, we believe this is real, we believe the Lord is doing this all over the earth, and we realized at the beginning that we could be an example to many many others who feel night and day ministry to the Lord is their full-time calling.

...if we can do it, surely they can do it! (family of 7 now, remember.) 

we have found the dynamics to be very similar to when both moses and david received the heavenly vision to establish on earth what they saw happening in heaven.  they would cast the vision and some people's hearts were stirred.  these people built the house of prayer in their generation.  have you ever wondered why God gave all the gold and silver from egypt during the exodus to the people and not simply to moses or aaron?  He doesn't just want a job done.  He wants the hearts of His people connected to it.  this is why money plays such a dynamic role in our relationship with God.  Jesus even said in the Sermon on the Mount:
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
matthew 6:21

it's a team ministry

some will be called to give their time for the mission, others may be called to an administrative role, and then there will be those who fund it.  all three receive the same reward when it is all said in done because all three joined their hearts with the Lord to see His vision accomplished.  in the Bible, it is extremely rare to find a situation where it was 1 man called to accomplish the mission.  God is into teams.  why?  because He is into people being connected with one another and loving one another.

so, this is what we do.  

this is what helps shape my perspective and the context in which i blog.  you are welcome to ask questions and, if you heart is so stirred, to join with us in one of the 3 parts of the team we are building to build the house of prayer here.  one way you can partner is to give on the paypal link on the home page of this blog.  if you would like to become part of our partner team and financially support our family as intercessory missionaries on a regular basis, or if you would like to find out more about to get involved in the watch house of prayer in redding,  please contact me and i will get you info of how to join the team.  you can follow our family facebook page to hear about updates on our family's adventure as missionaries in the united states!  we feed our 5 kids off of the support we receive from people just like yourself - average people who want to join their hearts with ours through using money to build this local expression of the global house of prayer!

join me on this journey!

become a follower of this blog or subscribe with an rss feed.  join our blog community on facebook.  comment in the comments below - i love the discussion and feedback from those who are like-minded and who are the journey of following Jesus.  add my button to your webpage or tweet and facebook about this blog so our community can grow.  i can't wait to get to know you and share this journey together!

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