"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations."
In January 2018, Dave and Dawn Longval purchased 100 New Salem St. in Laconia as the new home of Isaiah 61 Café. We, along with several volunteers, provide continental breakfast and lunch daily Mon-Fri. Our friends are able to take showers, do laundry, store belongings in lockers and rest in a peaceful atmosphere, filled with worship music, prayer, video Bible studies and fellowship. Since the start of this ministry in 2018, we have had several friends go through rehabilitation for both drug and alcohol addictions, as well as 35 salvations and 3 baptisms and counting. We look forward to how God will continue to revive Laconia and make our friends into "oaks of righteousness" breaking every chain of addiction surrounding them.
Dawn was inspired by the Scripture, Isaiah 61:1-4 which calls to rebuild, restore, and renew, naming the café after it.
Looking ahead, Dave and Dawn plan to expand in order to offer shelter during winter months. Their recent purchase of the adjacent building, will make this hope a reality!
At age 28, I realized my need for Jesus Christ on January 24, 1999, as I ran to the front of the church desperate to ask Jesus to rule and reign in my life forever. He saved me that night, and I became born again. Most believers can relate that one's life does not change immediately with no sin remaining, rather, it is a journey… a long journey! But one that is worth undertaking!
Over the next 12 years, God blessed my husband, Dave and I, with 6 beautiful, healthy children and a prosperous marketing company. We began to feel a call to the Lakes Region, so we purchased a vacation home on Lake Winnisquam (now our primary residence). While there, God tugged on our hearts to help revive downtown Laconia. So we purchased 4 duplexes in rough shape, completely gutted them, and began renting them at very reasonable rates to give people a "New Life". I began ministering to my tenants by showing God’s love in simple ways. God gave me a life verse that I display on my license plate as a reminder. 1 John 3:17, "But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?"
Then, after my son decided to quit guitar lessons, I decided to go in his place at age 42. That was the beginning of God setting me free completely to be who He made me to be! I joined the worship team at Grace Capital Church in Laconia (now Laconia Foursquare Church) and began to sing and play regularly. Prior to moving up full time to the lake, my good friends suggested I go to 1269 Café (a homeless café in Manchester, NH) to minister with music to the homeless. God led me to 1269 Café, and I began ministering through music once a month for about a year. During one of my times there, I remember God burdening my heart with the need to have a similar café in Laconia. I had no idea when this would come to be, but I knew I was being called in this way.
In May 2017, God led me to begin an outreach to the homeless in Rotary Park. After prayer walking the streets of Laconia, I and a team from church would gather in the park, provide sandwiches and water/coffee and minister with music and fellowship: simply pouring out God's love on the less fortunate (our friends).
Later that summer, our friends moved to the cemetery across from Cumberland Farms, so we continued our ministry there through rain and snow. At this time, I was beginning a personal Bible study based on Isaiah 61:1-4. Since music helps me, I wrote a song using these scriptures; as I sang the song, it became clear to me that this was exactly what God was calling and anointing me to do, to preach Good News to the poor, to bind the brokenhearted, to free captives and release prisoners from the darkness of addictions and stongholds.
"For when you saw me hungry, you fed me. When you found me thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I had no place to stay, you invited me in, and when I was poorly clothed, you covered me. When I was sick, you tenderly cared for me, and when I was in prison you visited me.... And the King will answer them, 'Don’t you know? When you cared for one of the least important of these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you demonstrated love for me.'" -Matthew 25:35-36,40 (TPT)