A Realized Dream
For a decade, the St. Louis Dream Center’s team of volunteers and trained staff has been reaching out to thousands in the inner city. While it’s a thriving, life-giving church and ministry center now, its conception was a little bumpy.
Before we opened the St. Louis Dream Center, Joyce Meyer Ministries operated a soup kitchen. We did a lot of good things to help the poor in that area. But after some time, we started to feel quite unsatisfied with the long-term results we were seeing in the lives of those we were helping.
God soon showed us the missing piece. Even though we held daily services at the soup kitchen, we still were not able to see the full effects without a permanent local church.
How the Dream Almost Didn’t Come True
David Meyer, CEO of Hand of Hope, distinctly recalls a trip with parents Dave and Joyce in 1999 to the Los Angeles Dream Center. After Joyce had preached in a very crowded gymnasium, they were given a tour of all the various ministries they were operating. On the plane ride home, she turned to David and said, “I want to start a Dream Center in St. Louis.”
David admits that for the first time in his career at Joyce Meyer Ministries, he looked at his mom and said “No.” He went on to list every reason he could think of: how much work it would be, how we didn’t have the personnel, how we weren’t properly equipped…
Joyce didn’t argue with him. She simply said, “Okay.” David breathed a sigh of relief, thinking he had avoided the situation. What he didn’t take into account was someone else was pushing this idea.
Taking a “Blind” Step Forward
“Not even a week had passed before God started to convict me and He clearly asked if I would do this for Him,” David explains. “So I was faced with a choice—I could be disobedient and miserable or I could choose ‘blind’ obedience and be in God’s will.
“So we prayed, trusted God and started taking steps to build a Dream Center in St. Louis. God provided the opportunity to purchase a fairly run down campus that was no longer being used. And it just happened to be in the most troubled part of the city.”
David went on to say, “We put one foot in front of the other, hired like-minded staff and started meeting the needs of the poor—asking for nothing in return. It took a while for the neighborhood to trust our motives but love always wins in the end.”