Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Detroit!!! IT"s the LAKE!!!!

Have you seen the movie Evan Almighty? Excuse me if you haven't, its a favorite at our house. I was in the car just now and had a light bulb moment and almost yelled out loud!!! ITS THE LAKE!!!!! It's the LAKE!!!

Translation, what if it's a school? What if Margie's vision, call from God is not just a community center? What if it's a Christian school in Detroit?

Is there a Christian school in Detroit? Is there one called Heritage Christian School? I don't know for sure about Heritage, that came later. I was just thinking it was kind of obvious what would be great to pass along would be our Christian Heritage.

Anyways, as Empty Buckets, we are reading the book BAREFOOT CHURCH, by Brandon Hatmaker. It is an AWESOME book that our fellow EB suggested. Some of us are currently having a hard time following the American dream, and really struggling with the American church. The consumerism and self service, and inward focus, to name just a few things.

We realize that we have our own city near by, not over seas that really needs to be redeemed. The city of Detroit needs Christ like San Salvador needs clean water. We are thirty minutes outside of the city and once inside, it feels like a third world country.

Last Friday the Empty Buckets went to visit a family that some of us had lost touch with over the past couple years, the Young's. They are a beautiful family that joined a church plant that some of us EB's were a part of. Even back then they had a call to plant a church in Detroit. They are in Detroit now faithfully following their call.

When we visited the other day, I know what hit most of us the hardest was that it is hard to serve the people in the city when you don't live there. Reaching in from afar is not as relational as any of us feel called to. Community is what most of us thrive on and are searching for what Christ has for us next.

I'm not saying that my family is ready to move into Detroit right this second. But what I am saying is that we are praying for direction and a clear calling on what to do next.

Back to the school idea that made me bust out the computer and start typing. E.J. (my husband) just called me about 2nd Mile Missions. It is a Mission that my sister in law's family started or helped start. They built a school in the Dominican Republic, I think it is actually several schools now, and I believe they are currently building a trade school. It's awesome!!!! You can even sponsor the children there just like you can with World Vision. They take mission trips there several times a year.

The more I thought about the school the more it seems like it could totally work. Margie could be the principle :) and lunch lady. Cesar could be the school counselor/ translator once he finishes school. Christy could teach music or something/translator. I could do landscaping/janitor/lunch lady/ something. Maybe Emily and Nathan Pergle could end up teaching there one day. Maybe SJ could teach? and Angela? Rachel could teach piano. Tricia, yes all the way from FL, just like Nathan and Emily....maybe GOD will call you, just saying. There are plenty of Christians around here, plenty of teachers, plenty of kids, and plenty for all of us EB's to do.

I don't know, I'm just dreaming right now but also, Detroit is a mission field just like any other city people are sent to. It would take some backing and support, but if a family can start a school in Bavaro, DR from Indiana. We could certainly start a school in Detroit, especially from Detroit.

Please just join us friends in prayer for Detroit, and for a clear call and possibly open doors. I don't know if it's a church, a school or just volunteering or a career with Habitat for Humanity or Blight Busters in Detroit, or partnering with the Youngs. Honestly, maybe it's not Detroit for all of us. Maybe it's some where else? But it is something. God is making a move of some sort, things are going to change, I can FEEL it!

I personally do not believe in coinsidence, I believe God in his perfect plan has brought us all together for a purpose, everone we know and love and support, who are trying to be faithful Christ followers. I appologize for calling some of you out and for those of you who we know who might get into this wonderful mess with all of us. Christ is King, he is in control and I will be praying that he uses you, yes YOU!

Also, please pray for the Young family living in Detroit. They are rockin the socks off Detroit city, honestly. What an encouragement they are. God Bless!

Peace <3

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Be Good To Each Other

A couple of weeks go my friend Jennifer and I met up with another friend of ours in St. Louis Missouri. Her name is Tamara. Once a month Tamara and her boyfriend, Jeff, head up something they call a Be Good To Each Other Drive.

They put a call out on facebook for donations and friends to help and they take sandwiches and snacks and personal hygiene items and pass them out to the homeless or needy people in downtown St. Louis. Jennifer and I were fortunate enough to be able to go with them the weekend we came to visit.

I'm writing about this because first of all I am proud to be friends with people who can love and respect people in need and second of all because it really touched my heart.

It was raining the morning we went into St. Louis. The good thing about that is that when it rains Tamara and Jeff know that the homeless people head into the library. We came across a few people just walking around and then headed to the library. Once you show up passing out bags of goods, word spreads like wild fire. More and more people started pouring out of the library. While in front of the library, a woman came up to me and I handed her a bag and she said thank you. Then she proceeded to tell me that her name was Jessica, and she asked me to pray with her. I just want to remind you that we were not with a church and not passing out any thing with religious connotations on it. I don't know why she asked me to pray with her, but to me it really just felt like one of those God moments.

I don't know about you, but I don't pray out loud with strangers very often. But I do know that when she asked I did not even consider being shy or unsure about it. I am very sure that the Holy Spirit took over and gave me the courage and the words to say. I don't even know exactly what I said, but I know I prayed for comfort, provision and peace, and that she would feel the Lords presence with her. What was super awesome was to my surprise, once I finished,  she prayed too. It was awesome because she prayed with such conviction and belief, it was obvious that she has spent time crying out to God. I'm not saying that I thought that because she was homeless that she must not pray, it just caught me off guard. Jessica was scared and was praying, pleading boldly, expectantly, for a shield of protection.

After we prayed, she apologized for smelling like alcohol and then told me about another homeless woman that she knew that was just killed a few days earlier. The woman had been raped, strangled and was found dead and naked in the street. My heart just broke for Jessica and the woman who was murdered. I cannot imagine an hour in either of their shoes. Jessica was scared, and rightfully so.

I can't forget about her, and truthfully I don't want to. That day plays through my mind all of the time. I don't remember as often the fun that we had in the city. Most often I remember Jessica and how scared she was. I think of all of the scared homeless people throughout the world and its heart wrenching. My prayer is that The Lord continues to break my heart and provide me with opportunity to share his love and comfort, hope and resources with as many people as possible.

I am so thankful to know that at least once a month there are people showing love and respect to complete strangers in St. Louis, with no agenda or personal gain. That Saturday we passed out 88 lunches. Also, the more often they go, the less strangers they meet, and the more friends they will make.

Matthew 25:34-40 says

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.35 For I was hungry, and you gave Mesomething to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and youvisited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give Yousomething to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

Love in St.Louis