You will have to pardon my frequent spelling and grammar mistakes because I am not taking the time to proofread this. In face, I really don’t have time to write this. I have never felt so overwhelmed with schoolwork, and my most stressful project was almost finished, but then I discovered this afternoon that it got deleted. Yes, I cried. A lot. But life goes on.
I wish that I had just a few days (maybe even one day) to process all the things that I went through and thought about when I was at Urban Hope. I jumped right back into classes and haven’t had a lot of time to think about things. I think that this is part of the reason that my previous blog post was so deep…because that was the first time that i realized I was thinking those thoughts, and I had to get them out. Continue to pray for me as I am exhausted (a total of 9 hours of sleep since monday…ugh…), and really needing to process some of these deep things.
I just wanted to write down some quotes from Pastor Vega, the man at the Inner City Mission. His testimony is incredibly powerful- addicted to crack by age 12. Eventually put into jail, where he detoxed himself, without any professional help. Turned his life over to Christ. And then started the Inner City Mission.
Here is the website for Inner City Mission. Check it out! Read the stories! Be blessed!
This city is under the dark oppression of addiction
When you see what Jesus saw, you will do what Jesus did
We can always see their sin (the prostitutes and drug dealers), but they cannot always see ours. Make it known to them that we are all the same in Christ.
That night in devotions I read “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.”
And it hit me again. I am no more worthy of ascending the hill of the Lord than that drug dealer. Or that prostitute. So I need to stop living like I am so much better. Can you imagine what the gospel would look like if we all actually lived like that???
Anyways, on to Tuesday!
On Tuesday we had a rather relaxed day- well, relaxed compared to all the rest. We did devotions, and then heard the testimonies of some of the staff members at Urban Hope. I find it amazing how God has brought so many people from so many different places to work together for the kingdom. We went on another prayer walk- and I ran into a man from Senegal! It was awesome! It was so nice speaking the good ol’ West African French- even though I was sooo rusty. He kept telling me he couldn’t understand me. I think I might throw in Songhai words every once in a while without even realizing it. Oops.
We worked on the house some more- painting and continuing the never-ending job of stripping wallpaper. In the afternoon we helped with Urban Hope’s after school club. We ate a very quick dinner (oh, i was in charge of the cooking, btw. STRESSFUL! But good times haha) and then were invited to house church. House church is the meeting together of Urban Hope staff members. It is very intimate and a beautiful picture of the body of Christ. Then, we had an awesome soccer game in the small indoor court at the Urban Hope Youth Center.
Wednesday was a fun day. In the morning, the pastor drove us downtown, dropping half of our team off at Chinatown and the other half at the Italian Market. They said “Here are your tokens. Be back by four!” Our mission was to discover what it would take to build a church in that area. So, we had to ask a lot of questions about what kind of community it was (ei- lots of kids, immigrants, etc). I went to the Italian Market, and the people were so open and friendly. Most of them leaned towards the idea that they did not need a church in that area. We saw a drastic wealth difference in the Italian market and Kensington. And along with this wealth in the Italian Market came the idea that they don’t need any help. Most of the people in Kensington would be willing to hear the gospel because of desperate situation in their lives. Interesting, huh? Wednesday night, we went to south street armed with a scavenger hunt. The idea was to find a lot of very different people using the scavenger hunt. The other part of the idea was to start conversations with random people. It was a blast, but there were so many conversations that we had to cut off to get back to bed in time. I wish I could just live on South street and talk to people all the time.
Well, I need to go get some work done. So this trip will probably take three posts.