February 2017 Newsletter








February 2017

Dear Friends,

Last week at prison, it became obvious to me that the group of guys that came to the program were a little more difficult than usual. Guys in the small group seemed more closed off personally, and seemed as if they weren’t interested in being there. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect this week when I had to speak on “Trust”. It was from the perspective of rebuilding trust after a relationship had been broken. This is a pretty common experience for any adult but especially these men. I adapted some material from a book by David Horsager called “The Trust Edge”. It was easily the best non biblical book I read this past year. It was meant as a business application but I found it to be very practical in people’s personal lives as well. It is easy to read and well written without an ounce of fluff. I thought I could adapt it to the men. One of the chapters was about restoring broken relationships and building trust again. We need to be aware of who we trust and why. I am convinced that if we go towards those who love and trust us, life will go a lot better and we will be able to see our way clear through difficult situations. Other questions brought up in the book were: How far do you trust someone and to what degree; what are our expectations when we trust someone; how can I be more trustworthy myself? It was really well received by the men and they even clapped when I got done. And I don’t believe it was because I finished and they were sick of me. For me, it’s nice to present material that can give them a clearer picture of their future and it doesn’t have to be defined or the same as their past. The small groups were more open and honest with everyone giving their input. That was a good night. But I have to tell you, we started the evening with a group prayer among all the leaders before the men arrived. Prayer changes everything.

The other day at the Juvenile Detention Center, it seemed awfully quiet, everyone seemed ok and didn’t need to talk. These are the times when just being there and building relationships with the staff and young adults is the order of the day. I had to endure losing five games of dominoes – that was painful. There is a friend of mine on staff that even trash talks while he is winning! But the kids love him. He is positive, energetic and speaks really great things into the kids’ lives. Most of the people that work there are very gifted at working with troubled youth. For them, it’s more than a job – it’s a calling. The youth are still who they are and have great reasons for being at the JDC, but they are with people who really care about them and want the best for them. It makes all the difference in the world. Taking the time to build relationships makes it much easier to talk with whoever wants to talk next time. It is the currency you pay for the right to speak into their lives when they are ready.

The mission trip went well, but I have to confess, I was delighted to get home. It was hot, humid and basically a construction site where we built a playground and a long driveway for a private Christian elementary school. Hot, humid and construction are really not my strong suits. So if any of you are thinking of a construction project, please don’t call me J . But the kids were delightful and I believe God is going to use the two Jamaican leaders in very significant ways in their country. Thank you for praying for us.

Grace and Peace,

Phil and Jane

August 2016 Newsletter





Dear Friends,                                                                                                         August 2016

There was a young man, named Tyrone, at the Juvenile Detention Center who I have spoken with before, and he showed up again, but this time with a limp. He was walking oddly and told me that the last time he was “out” he had been with friends and got shot in the thigh and that his foot was not responding to any kind of rehab. This is a young man who loved playing basketball. His foot now lays limp and he has little control over it. He remembers our conversations and said he still has the words I spoke to him in his heart. Please pray for Tyrone that God would heal his leg and transform his life as he seeks Jesus.

I have spoken to a number of young men and prayed with them. Another young man, Jesse, who is 17 and has two children told me a little bit about himself. For these guys, they are usually in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people doing the wrong thing and that’s how they get there. Sometimes I’ll just sit back and marvel at the difficult situations these young men put themselves in and the huge challenges that lay ahead of them that they will need to overcome. Wow! But with God all things are possible. Please pray for Jesse that God would touch his heart and make a way where there seems to be no way.


A few days ago, I attended a Jesus celebration down at the Marie Sandvik Center in the inner-city of South Minneapolis. I’ve had a long relationship with the Marie Sandvik Center, and was invited by an old friend of mine who asked me to help. The celebration was outdoors, so it could be shared with the neighborhood and they could see what goes on at the Center. As greeters we passed out food and other items to all the people on the sidewalk and in cars. This allowed us to break down barriers and explain what the party was for. The Center wanted to share what they do in the neighborhood and all the resources they have available for kids and families. We met hundreds of people that day in 87 degrees of summer heat who had no idea what the Center stood for. There were games for kids, bands, speakers, and lots of free food. It was a great party to bless the neighborhood and to let people know that someone is there for them to help if they need it. One of the speakers came up to me after he spoke and stared at me and the said, “Phil it’s me, Luke.” I had no clue who he was but on the other hand, that happens to me quite a bit. There were a lot of Kingdom Seeds planted that day, and it was a pleasure to be a part of.

Grace and Peace,


Phil and Jane

May 2016 Newsletter





Dear Friends,                                                                                                May 2016

Over the last six months, a young man named Tony has gotten out of prison, and has had quite a journey towards freedom and wholeness. He had been “inside” for a number of years and has to re-learn everything!  The everyday decisions we make on a daily basis to function in the world and succeed are what he is learning. He is learning how to take care of himself so he can do life in a healthy way. He did a great job adjusting for the first four months. He entered a half-way house with a program, found a job and was paying his bills. He had very few positive contacts “outside” except for me and a good friend of mine that I introduced him to named Jim. As he looks back, he says he was getting bored and started a slow “fade” from doing what he needed to do.

Tony is in his late 20’s and started to deal with loneliness and emptiness from a lack of healthy relationships and social life. And on top of everything, he had little contact with the influences from the body of Christ. My friend Jim and I aren’t exactly the type of guys he can hang out with every day because of our generation gap. From my perspective, I saw his life going in the wrong direction like a tire on a bike that is out of balance.For a person who hasn’t known how to take care of himself well, this is a huge time in his life getting established by developing a new skill set of healthy habits.

For the first four months, he did great. Then he got bored and started questioning all the ‘whys’ of making healthy choices and took a sabbatical from healthy choices for a weekend and dove into the deep end of the world’s pool of self-destruction. Then he started jumping in the same pool every week. The slow fade was complete. My friend Jim and I had to confront Tony and let him know that we weren’t going to be able to help him anymore because where he was going we had no resources except an intervention. It shocked him! He was looking for someone else to do the work he needed to do which is absolutely unacceptable because it can’t be done. It’s impossible. We can only help him make the next step in the right direction and he came to the point of needing a treatment facility. Tony is learning the extent of his personal limits of what he can do and what he can’t. Consequences are very unforgiving. So, he called me the next week and told me he put himself in a treatment facility! That was a great choice. As both Jim and I have followed up, he sounds like the free clear-thinking Tony again. He has mentioned he has had a breakthrough in his personal life.And what I see from my perspective is Tony is learning about himself which is a very powerful thing. We don’t fix people or make decisions for them. All we can do is come alongside and point them in a specific direction. They have to choose! Building a relationship with them and becoming a trusted friend gives us the platform to speak into people’s lives.

I mentioned Tony a month or two ago to you and asked for prayer. Thank you for praying! This is part of the result of your prayers. Hopefully you will get to meet him someday.

Grace and Peace,

Phil and Jane

3rd Annual Father’s Heart 4U Golf Tournament: Friday, Sept 23rd at 4pm Rum River Hills Golf Course

See the Father’s Heart 4U website for more details!

April 2016 Newsletter






Dear Friends,                                                                                               April 2016
There is a conversation that I have gotten into recently with a couple guys (Deon and Colin), that I want to tell you about. It takes time to build into a relationship that gives you the credibility and right to speak truth into someone’s life. But after you put in the time and you Agape love the person, you can gently speak the truth and let it find a home in their lives. That has been the case lately. As I have walked with these men for a while and watched them make some horrible choices with devastating effects that they never saw coming, I get to speak God’s love and truth into their lives. Realistically, would anything else really do any good? People think they are immune to consequences when they are building a fantasy world, so they walk into the situation with their eyes wide open and never see what is coming next. Have any of you ever been there? You walk into a situation of your own making with your eyes wide open and never saw the truck of consequences coming right at you until it was too late! We humans are amazing with our uncanny ability to do that. Then I get to talk to them very frankly and try to remove the blinders of their fantasies. I look right at them and tell them, “Man, you are absolutely kicking your butt! The person who is doing this to you is you! You aren’t taking care of yourself at all. And if you keep going down that road, it’s going to get a lot worse!! It’s going to spiral more out of control than it already is!!”
That’s usually when they look up at me and I can see the light dawning inside them as I rip away their tinted fantasy sun glasses. Their response to the truth about their situation is very important. If it’s “a new day dawning” because they received it, they are open and willing to receive more. It’s just like the story of the Prodigal Son. When he was feeding the pigs and couldn’t even get a bit of what they were eating, scripture says, “When he came to his senses . . .” (Luke 15:17)!
This is really an important moment! Something inside a person has to break to set them free -brokenness is absolutely essential for there to be change. This is when a person can be moved into a whole new direction in their life by seeing a new vision of their future because everything that was blinding them is broken away and humility is left behind. But, if they still give you that blank look and they received nothing and still want what they want as they blame others for their actions and situation, it’s probably going to get a whole lot worse. I think that is what I have been seeing recently. Some people rush in to fix or alleviate a person’s negative consequences so they won’t feel the pain. When in reality, pain is exactly what they need to feel. People need to feel the whole weight of the consequences to bring them to repentance. If there is no repentance, there is no grace for forgiveness. You never want to walk into situations too quickly with a ready-made formula to fix people. No matter what I do, I cannot make decisions for anyone else. I never go into conversations thinking I am going to fix their situation and them. That’s crazy thinking! You don’t fix people like you do a bike or a refrigerator. The best I can do is try to clearly show them their situation, reinterpret their past and give them a vision of their future. But the choice is always theirs! What needs to change is what’s within them, not their situation.
Please continue to pray for Deon and Colin and for others we talk to.

Grace and Peace,
Phil and Jane

March 2016 Newsletter





Dear Friends,                                                                                                                March 2016
I would like to tell you about two of my mentees and a young man I met at the JDC. These are very different people and situations but very similar in how we approach them. I actually just got back from spending time with one of my guys this afternoon. He is staying at a half-way house and will be involved with daily structured program and its accountability. It is a challenging atmosphere with the other men there for various reasons. I can see he wants to ‘get out’ from underneath the responsibility of being in the program to be ‘free’. But the very thing he wants, he’s not ready for. The only way you can be free honorably and with integrity is to be responsible. Please pray for Bill.
The next couple of days, I get to spend time with another Brother in Christ who is my mentee named David. He is working hard doing the next right thing for his family and himself. He is being the poster boy for responsibility and freedom in all his does. But his situation is way different from the other mentee. David is working two jobs, his ex-wife is a drug addict who is in and out of prison. His kids also have chemical dependency issues which makes for continual drama and unhealthy atmosphere. I am proud of David. He is choosing to speak the truth in love and is not avoiding his responsibility. It’s not easy, but he is always making the honorable decision as he walks with God. He is one of the freest men I know.
One of the times I was at the Juvenile Detention Center this past month, I had a chance to talk with a very scared and despondent young man named Lamar. He was freely sharing his situation out loud with everyone who would listen. What really got my attention besides his body language was the fact that he was telling everyone how he would kill himself if he got all of the years he was supposed to receive for his crime. But he also asked to talk to me. This was one of those amazing divine appointments! He began by telling me, for the first time in his life he just started praying at the JDC, and God is answering his prayers. I started smiling. He asked me if I thought that was significant. I obviously told him it was. It took a while but he started to calm. He listened ‘hard’ to every word I said and just took it in. I was struck by the change in his countenance. I believe Jesus was there with us.
To each of these men, freedom is very important. The last young man doesn’t know Jesus yet but is beginning to see the landscape and vision of his life from God’s perspective, including his freedom. The first young man wants to me free of responsibilities and accountability which means he’s not completely ready to exercise His freedom in Christ. He needs to grow in it more. And David, who is using his freedom to be committed and responsible is in a difficult situation but is the most free. The freedom that the world offers only leads to bondage and oppression. It says you can have anything you want, as much as you want, with whomever you want and you can take it from anyone to get it and there are no consequences. It promises a good time, great future and personal glory but only gives destruction and death of all hopes and dreams.
The healthy freedom that Jesus gives brings rootedness and blessing. It builds up and encourages. It protects the renewed innocence and integrity that Jesus gives. It demands commitment and responsibility to grow. God’s freedom is a gift from above while the other freedom is birth from below. This is also how we keep choosing life and not death, blessing and not destruction. Many people are not familiar with freedom and need time to grow in it so they don’t go back into the ‘stuff’ that brought them destruction in the first place. We need to practice our freedom, which for us is also obedience to Jesus. I believe it is one of our inheritances in Christ. God always does His part in the process as He draws people to Himself in love, so freedom comes out of our relationship with God from within us.
We love you. Grace and Peace,

Phil & Jane

January 2016 Newsletter



January 2016

Dear Friends,

As we begin the New Year, we find ourselves very grateful. I may be repeating myself from last month but I just have to! I don’t have words to tell you what a relief it was to know that Jane is free of cancer! We are thankful for all the ministry opportunities from divine appointments, people coming to Christ, guys growing in Christ while being discipled, seeing old ministry friends, and the list goes on. We are thankful for our home church and friends that put up with me (Phil}. Our two sons are doing great. And we are thankful for you as well, standing by us, believing in God with us for amazing things, your prayers and support means more than you know. We have a lot to be thankful for!

2016 is going to be an interesting year! All the same ministry opportunities will continue into the New Year. LOTS of people are going to hear the Gospel and come to Christ from all over the place. They are going to get cleaned up, discipled and encouraged in a new direction as they do life. We are going to partner with other organizations that will make us more effective exponentially in all we do. Here are a couple pictures that really work for me concerning this year.

We want to be like the nation of Israel in the desert. They moved when the cloud moved and just followed God’s gentle leading. That’s how we want to follow Him wherever He takes us. Another phrase I really like is, keeping in step with the rhythm of His Grace. That is like music to my ears. He still leads and we still follow, but it’s about how He leads and how we follow.   (Psalms 23)

I also want to share a couple focuses God has put on my heart for this year.

Col. 3:1-3. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”

So often down here on earth, we get consumed by busyness, relationships, cares and concerns. It has a way of stealing our focus from things above. We forget our position in Christ and who is actually doing the ministry. We get to show up at all the different places, but God does the work. We are co-laborers with God but He does the lion share all the time. Ministry flows out of our relationship with Jesus, not a job description. The priority of quiet alone time with God is essential to receive all that He wants to give us. We cannot give away what we have not received first. Receiving His agape love and His phileo (friendship) love are essential. To me, this is how we get to know Him more and get ready to go and give. We need to continually reset our minds on things above as we fast and pray. I want to invite you to pray and fast right along with us if you are able. Once a month on the first Monday through Wednesday we are going to set time aside to do this.

Thanks for loving us and being our partners in ministry.

Grace and Peace,

Phil and Jane

November 2015 newsletter

November 2015

Dear Friends,

Jane and I want to extend to you our heartfelt prayer for your upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas. This time of year can be a wonderful remembrance of all the ways God has blessed you: A safe secure home, health and stamina, solid healthy friends and family relationships where you are accepted and embraced, peace and rest, the wondrous love of God and the sweetness of the gift of Jesus and all He brings. I would also ask that you would remember those who are in difficult situations with little or no support, as well as those who have lost a cherished loved one, the homeless, the inmates in the judicial system, and the youth in the JDC. It is a great time of year to reach out, if you are able, to those with huge holes in their lives and hearts. A simple hug, handshake or smile can do wonders.

I recently reminded a young lady at the Juvenile Detention Center how much her life has changed since she has been at the JDC. God has restored her relationship with her mother who now supports, visits and takes care of her newborn baby. Her tears are now for the most important people in her life – her mom and her baby. That is a beautiful fruit of coming to Jesus. She couldn’t see any of these things, but it was obvious to me. I have also noticed how much scripture she is learning and the depth of her prayers. We have had a number of talks about where she can go to church, how to live at her mother’s home while taking care of her baby, and about growing up as a person. She relates well with the other girls and staff but misses her mom and baby terribly. Please pray for her.

I also had to remind some young men that they were valuable and worth more than they know to those that love them and to God. God made them for a purpose and intention in their lives. A few of them I reminded that their lives were too big for them to carry and that God wants to carry and shepherd them. This is the way God has created all mankind. We are incomplete and wandering apart from Him. That’s why it feels like coming home when we come to Christ. It’s where we belong. I told a number of the guys that God is in the business of resorting our lives and relationships as we follow Him. He always works from the inside out, so our change starts in our hearts.

When God sets people free in the inside, they can be anywhere and be free in Christ. This is very important to guys that may be doing some extended time in a prison, jail or JDC, which is what these guys were looking at. It takes them out of “just get me out of here” to “HE will be with you wherever you go.” I reminded a young man the other day that God can do amazing things as we trust Him. Years from now he can look back to this time as a “speed bump in the road” that made him slow down and think about what he was doing with his life. I also told him that he was important and that he needed to quit playing with his life as if it were a video game. There are consequences to everything you choose. After a while he started telling me Jesus stories he had heard and seen take place in other inmate’s lives. It started to get fun. Then he couldn’t put down the Bible because he loved Palms. He is in a difficult situation and I will be looking in on him again soon.   Speaking the truth in love is a powerful thing.

Lastly, I want to remind you how we could not do any of this without you! We appreciate you and your partnership in this ministry!



Phil and Jane

May 2015 Newsletter

Dear Friends,                                                                                                                                                       May 2015

We probably don’t say it enough:  Thank you for being part of our Father’s Heart 4U ministry team! Everywhere we go, we take you with us in heart and spirit. Without you, none of what we do would be possible. Ministry is not a simple lifestyle. We constantly feel the challenge of speaking into peoples’ lives, finances, responsibilities at home, but we also feel the challenge of being clay in the Potter’s Hands. I really mean it when I say God is the one who is discipling us. Through all the different experiences – sharing the Gospel, building relationships and discerning God’s leading and direction, the Lord always seems to gently bring me back to Isaiah 61 to keep me centered in Him. It’s one of those defining scriptures, for me, which expresses the core of the Father’s Heart 4U.

Isaiah 61:1-3: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.”

It’s interesting to me that this scripture was written by Isaiah under the influence of the Holy Spirit. But it is spoken in the first person by the Spirit of Christ 600 years before He was born and He was speaking about Himself. This is some of the DNA or description of His calling and ministry, but it is ours as well. In John 17, which is Jesus high priestly prayer to the Father, verse 18 says, “As you sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” We have the same calling and work to do that Jesus did. It has always been the Father’s Heart and he is now completing His plan in us. These scriptures are like a compass, always pointing True North. It always brings us back to where we need to be in our hearts.

I not only want to communicate what we do on a monthly basis but why we do it. This is part of our why. I invite you to quietly read this scripture and listen to what Jesus is saying about Himself and the Father. And I believe He will share His Heart’s desire for you. It really is amazing!

Prayer requests:

  • For the two young men in the JDC who are facing court to determine consequences to their actions.
  • For my mentee who is fighting a great fight of faith and needs to be loved on a little bit.
  • The men in our prison group who are still deciding whether to live for God.


Grace and Peace,


Phil and Jane

February 2015 Newsletter


Hi Everyone!                                                                                                                                                                      February 2015

We hope you are well and enjoying our winter reprieve of 30 plus degrees. I think I can hear my fishing boat call my name.

Wow, this last month has been really interesting! Now and then, ministry has a flow to it that just carries you to each new encounter you run into. It sometimes seems like God meets you everywhere you go and impacts the people you speak with. It has been delightful. Here are some of the things that have happened.

  1. I had a conversation with a 50 plus year old man that inspired me. Bill was getting fed up with the other men at a treatment facility playing their games instead of being open to Jesus and confronting their past behaviors. He was ready to walk out of the treatment facility.  Bill told me he got down on his knees and told God that if he was going to do the things God wanted him to do and become who He called him to become, God would have to take away all this junk so it would not affect him. Then he went to bed and the next morning when he got up, “it” was all gone. Awesome!
  2. The services in the jail were incredible. God is so faithful to show up and touch peoples’ lives if we just do what He asks us to do. He loves the broken-hearted. God really was touching the deep places of all of our hearts.
  3. Talks with youth at the JDC have been deeply impacting. After walking into one of the units, five young men wanted prayer and a little conversation. It was really sweet. All these young men have done very violent acts against people, but here they were pouring out their hearts to me and asking for prayer.
  4. A friend of mine was having some awful difficulties in his marriage and wanted to talk. Why he would call me is beyond me. He told me he was ready to walk away from everything and start over. Then he prayed. He asked God that if He was real and had a desire to be a part of his marriage, that He would do something. Well, he is on his second honeymoon season with his wife and wants to know how to make it last a long time. That is why he called me. It’s amazing what God can do.
  5. After I gave a talk on humility and brokenness at a prison, using the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 as my text, some guys actually clapped and the guys in my group thanked me. These men are usually respectful and say what is on their minds but this behavior was exceptional.

I wanted to tell you a few of the latest happenings so you would know God is really meeting people where they are right now. I don’t get to tell Him what to do – I just follow. I believe He is responding to the cries of peoples’ hearts that are open and humble before Him.

Please pray for all these men and for us as well. It is fun to be involved in all these events but there seems to be a cost. The spiritual warfare can be consuming at times. We always need wisdom and clarity wherever we go and whoever we speak with.

Lastly, we want to thank you for loving and caring for us. We are aware that we represent you everywhere we go. You are part of our team.

Grace and Peace,                                                     Phil and Jane Schipper

November 2014 Newsletter


November 2014

Dear Friends,

God is good – even with an early snowfall we have much to be grateful for!  We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! We are always encouraged when we look back at a period of time and see the work what God is doing in so many peoples’ lives.  Here are some highlights:

  • Amazing conversations at the Juvenile Detention Center – kids are asking good questions as they look for help and really want to move in a different direction. We go in as Chaplin, but are a friend, counselor, father, etc., and we speak in the lives of these young adults. We pray with many of them to come to know Christ.
  • Continued discipleship of men who have been out of jail and are doing well, with ups and downs, but doing life in a new and better way. They are learning to walk with God daily as they confront their old lifestyles.
  • Favor at all the different facilities that we go into – good relationships with most of the staff. It makes a big difference in connecting with the people who need help and counsel. But there are still a few difficult ones that can be very resistant to God and us.
  • God’s presence and healing in jail services– with men and women in a smaller group environment. God has been really faithful as we go to love and serve as we share the Gospel of the Kingdom. We just bring the “loaves and two fish” and watch Him feed everybody.
  • In Prison, watching the walls in men’s lives come down as they come to learn about doing life in a new way with Jesus at the center. They are becoming more open and receptive to God.
  • Watching people respond as we evangelize, mentor and disciple. It’s incredible to watch. Literally hundreds of people are given the opportunity to respond to Jesus.
  • We have a great team! We could not do any of this without your love and support. You mean more to us than you know.  We love you!
  • Jane’s healing and recovery from cancer and the love that was extended to us during that time. Thank you!

We also want to recognize that this ministry moves by God’s leading and mostly through prayer. Here are some of our requests – would you please pray with us?

  • Continued favor wherever we go.
  • Leading and guidance, wisdom and discernment, vision and direction, and His Presence.
  • New open doors but also closed doors. We want to be right where Jesus wants us.
  • We would like to be really fruitful and see many come to Christ and have more opportunities for mentoring and discipleship.
  • Partnering with other ministries for outreach, etc.
  • Open hearts to the Gospel everywhere we go.  (Divine Appointments)
  • Health and blessing on our family. Eli is in college and Jeremy is in High School. That they would grow in their faith along with Jane and I.
  • That God would continue to open His word to us.
  • Our personal finances-we are behind in our fundraising for the year.  Pray for God’s provision.

Also, this last week I spoke with a young man who was on a suicide watch at a facility and another man who lost everything through drug addiction. These were key moments where I was able to counsel both of them, and I think it really had an effect.  Please pray for both of these men.


In Service of the King,

Phil and Jane