Saturday, September 22, 2007

Transitional Youth

Andy and I went downtown last night to a place called Transitional Youth with some friends of ours. You can read Andy's thoughts on it here.
Transitional Youth is a place of safety for kids who live on the streets. Where they can come in, get a good meal, watch a movie, play ping pong or pool, and let their guard down a bit and just be kids for a few hours. Most of them are high school age, some a little older, one kid was still in middle school. As I sat with them, played ping pong, held Stephanie's baby, and watched them carve pumpkins, all my fears vanished. This happens every time I decide to learn from my best friend, Jesus. He is so good to take away all of my insecurities and remind me that I am just like all of these kids. I am not better than them and I really don't have anything to give to them that is from myself. All I have is Jesus. And all He says to do is to LOVE, because He is love and love casts out all fear.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

It is always intimidating when you decide to enter a culture that you are not a part of. A lot of times we get caught up in the idea that we have to speak their language first or study it first before we dive in. Yes that is great and all, and it does help. But there is something about just doing it and watching the Lord show up to connect you to that culture. He is the Maker of every language, every color, every race, every culture. He has the power to love anyone! So if you decide to take the leap of faith to Love people, God will show up, I have NO doubt. I am NOT perfect, but when I decide to accept that I am weak, His power, His love becomes perfect through me.

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.
2 Cor. 12:9

I experienced Jesus last night, I do every time we enter this foreign culture of homelessness/street living. I met Stephanie and her baby, Ricki, Kelly, Carl, Alan, Robert, and a bunch of others. I had some interesting conversations, to say the least, but they were real conversations. Robert, I like to think of him as today's John the Baptist, is the cookiest, craziest, sweetest guy I've ever met. He is completely sold out for God. Everyone loves him and he is ready to just talk to anyone. (I wish he could come to our prayer meetings, his presence alone could bring movement towards Jesus! I only hope I can become so close to my Father that my presence just oozes with His Love.) Once again, the poor ministered to me and peeled off another layer.
The majority of the folks who come to TY just come for the pure fact that it is safe and they can get their bellies full. Some of them come for more and are searching for hope. But it doesn't really matter why they come, it just matters that we "Go". God will do the rest. God will use His willing vessels even if we are weak; all the better.

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