Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tasi, Superfresh and Neighbors

Yesterday, I attended The Afterschool Institute (TASI) Networking meeting, it was so much fun, I met so many encouraging people, I learned how to apply for funding for the program we want to start, grants that might be available to us and I'm going to visit some local programs that are already in place. I felt so encouraged by the people I met and the seasoned pros at running after school programs!

So yesterday we got our first donation towards Thanksgiving (granted if we can still pull it off) from SuperFresh, I thought it was quite interesting that the local Superfresh was willing to help us out but Giant sent us a letter telling us to contact our local foodbank, it was a little frusturating. But alas, Thanksgiving is in three weeks, and it doesn't really seem like anyone is too interested in planning the dinner, and honestly I have so much on my plate right now, I just can't take on that task as well. I feel a little guilty even saying that, but I am in the midst of planning many many things right now!

I'm so in love with the people in this neighborhood, so many of them are hungry for God, but they need someone to grab their hand and lead the way, and so many people look down upon them and walk away or don't know how to handle them. Last night I had a heart breaking conversation with one of the volunteers here, and he was telling me about "R" (which I promise to someday devote and entire blog to "R"), but "R" is a very special unique person and has been moving from church to church for the last 10-15 years because churches weren't sure what to do with him, they'd push him to the side because he was different, and honestly I've grown so fond of "R" I don't know what I would do if he weren't here, but he's a good example of the people of this neighborhood. They feel that because they are in someways different people aren't going to accept them or grab their hand and lead them in the right direction it breaks my heart.

Last night we had a lady here who all she wanted was for someone to acknowledge her, love her and listen to her. I had that opportunity and God really taught me a lesson, she came at an extremely inconvient time or so I thought :), but when she started talking God slapped me upside the head reminded me why I was here and I realized I should be paying attention to this woman God obviously sent her to me for a reason. It was an amazing time of fellowship with her. I thank God everyday for loving me enough to smack me upside the head everyonce in a while :)!

So some prayer requests:

For finanaces both personally and for metro Kidz
For God to continue to lead and guide "R" and for him to let "R" know he's so loved here
For Pastor Mike and his Family
For the Volunteers at Charm City
For the two new volunteers who'll be joining us next week
For safety for our neighbors and kids.

Thanks friends! Love you all!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Murder,TLT and Praying

Murder is such a disgusting word! I hate it, I hate the thought of it, I hate the sound of the word, I hate the action etc. Murder hurts, it destroys sometimes innocent people. This weekend it affected people I love...people I care about and people I pour my heart and soul into, people I would do anything in the world for. What do you do when your driving through the neighborhood and kids, yes kids you love are sitting in handcuffs on a street corner and there's been a murder in the neighborhood, my heart sunk, I felt so helpless, I did everything I could to hold back the tears, but I couldn't. It's real life, it happens on the streets every single day, but why MY kids? It's such a hard thing to understand, such a tough thing to grasp, but the truth is, it's expected here, expected of MY kids, it's a way of life on the streets to be caught up in gangs, to hang with the wrong crowd, to live your life in a reckless way, because unfortunately for most of them this is ALL they know.

I was reminded yesterday that's why God has called us here to this place in Baltimore, to save these kids from the streets, to encourage them through the Lord, to love them where they are while pulling them up. I was extremely encouraged yesterday when a middle schooler came up to me and said I am going to pass out tracts on my way home, these people in the streets need Jesus, and then she proceeded to tell me about the murder. It's so cool to see a Middle Schooler stepping out of her comfort zone to share the gospel with her neighbors! It made me smile in a time of sadness!

So we finally had our meeting with the TLT yesterday and honestly I left feeling a little big disappointed, I think out of the 9 that came to the meeting 1-3 of them might take is seriously, they suddenly don't have time in their schedules, or just don't know if they want to do it, or they just weren't into it, however there is one boy who I absolutely adore, who I think is going to step up to the plate and want to be a leader, the answers on his leader application were amazing, he said things like I want to learn how to be a good leader and lead my peers, when asked what he'd like to see more of at Metro kids he said things like more bible study time, bible memory verses etc. I can't wait to work with him.

So there are a few things you can be praying for:

Finances- That they'll continue to come in
The Neighborhood- In general Satan has been on the prowl both in and outside of our building the past few weeks
Metro Kidz- Please just surround it in prayer, it has been crazy and Satan has made his presence completely known

Friday, October 26, 2007

Satan's on the Prowl

I haven't updated in about a week, because I didn't really know where to even begin writing, I had prepared myself in the way that I knew Satan would be attacking me for doing God's work, but I don't think I quite prepared myself for the ways Satan would attack me or how frequently. It started last Wednesday when Satan began attacking several key people at Metro Kidz, it carried on throughout the entire night, week, weekend and into this week. This week Satan began attacking different key players. It's been a never ending cycle over the last couple of weeks and honestly I've been spending more time in prayer for my kids, my volunteers and the other key people at Metro Kidz, instead of updating my blog or doing many other things.

Admist, all the chaos of Satan there have been a few good things happening. I did my first home visit a week ago yesterday, I visited a family that has SEVEN kids who come to both Metro Kidz and church on Sunday morning, they are a group full of leaders, three sets of twins and one single child. The girls had intimidated me about meeting their father and made me promise not to go to their house, which I refused to do. I am so glad I went, I met their father had the opportunity to pray for their family and their home. But not only that, it made me see what these kids go home to after they leave the safety of Metro Kidz or Charm City. I could describe the scene, the smells and the people, but you wouldn't truly understand unless you are there.

God is so faithful and that was completly reconfirmed for me this week, when my car went from maybe costing $2000 to fix to only costing $50 :)! God is so Good! Even though Satan has been on the prowl, I've been so encouraged by the people God has blessed my life with.

Some prayer requests:
That Satans hands will be bound, and that he'll stop attacking us!
For the TLT which is having a harder time getting started up than planned
For Pastor Mike and his family
For Brother Paul
For Miss Roxanne
For Metro Kidz and everyone involved.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Home Visits and Movie Night

Today I did one of my first home visits, I went to visits a family who has seven kids in Metro Kidz, the mom works ALL THE TIME supporting the family and the father is disabled. The girls who are in my group discouraged me from visiting but I wanted to badly to meet their family, start a relationships with the family, not just kids, but also to praise their children and let them know how for the most part their kids are so well-behaved and in tune with what's going on. Thier father whom I got to spend some time with today was so excited to meet me, gave me a huge hug and told me how much he appreciated what we were doing with his children.

It was there I realized what kind of enviorment these kids live in, this particular family has a both the mommy and daddy however, as I was standing on the porch I was taking in every smell, sight, and sound. It broke my heart but at the same time it was eye opening to see what their home was like, to see a struggling family, trying to make honest people out of their kids. A daddy who can't work and a mommy whose never home because she's supporting a family of at least nine. As I left their daddy standing on the porch I prayed before I pulled away, blessings for their home, for their family, healing for their daddy and even more importantly continued support from their family for their kids in our programs, and hopefully a long lasting relationship not only with the kids but with the family as a whole. I hope you my friends will join me in prayer for them as well. Pray for family G.

So our meeting with the police comissioner didn't happen, it was very sad, he just didn't show up, pushed his promise off on his subordinates, and apparently the group that is working with us trying to make a difference had met with him prior and he promised to be there. So we're hopefully going to get in within the next few weeks to see him.
So tonight is movie night, on the top level screen we're showing Freedom Writers and on the Bottom Level screen we're showing Akeelah and the Bee. Should be fun and relaxing for our kids and volunteers tonight, hopefully :)!

Prayer Requests:
*For family G.
*My heavy heart
*For upcoming Adopt-A-Block Activities

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fusion, Police Meeting and Miss Val

Bruce and Julia came to Fusion with Bryan, Melissa and I on Sunday night it was super fun, the message that night was really good to. I spoke about Metro Kidz, what's going on in my life etc. and I think if everyone follows through I will have recruited somewhere between 10-15 new people to volunteer at Metro Kidz, including a small group who would like to make dinner come down and serve the kids! How cool!!!

Today is our meeting with the police comissioner I'm a little bit nervous about this, but alas, I think it will be fine. I promise to update and let you know what happens.

I'm still super excited about Miss Val's desire to change her life, but please continue to pray for her because each day we have to wait for someone to return our phone calls and find a place for her to go, is one more day she's falling into the lap of Satan and the streets! I desire nothing more than to be able to find a place for her to go and get help this week. A place where she can go away, detox and come back in a few months a changed woman whose not bound by Satan to life of distress and disaster.

Prayer Requests:
*For my heart it's been really heavy the past few days, not really sure why but something's got it going.
* For my TLT members, that God will work in them through this leadership opportunity and they'll grow as Christians, leaders and young men and women.
*Miss Val that God continues to keep her strong while we figure out the best option for her.

Thanks Guys!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Police, Miss Val and Prayers

So I didn't have time to update yesterday, but something pretty fantastic happened on Tuesday night, I was able to buy lunch for Mr. George and Miss Val on Tuesday, which sparked an amazing conversation later that day. As Crystal and I were pulling back up for the Core meeting on Tuesday night Miss Val gave me a big hug told me she was so thankful for the food, we asked if we could pray for her and we did. Then she started crying and telling us that she wanted help, she wanted a new life, to leave behind her addiction, to make a better life for her kids, and do something. So as we stood there and cried with her we promised to find her help, and so that's what I've been doing the past couple of days. It looks like I might have found a couple of options, if they work out I am going to be so excited for her because it's such an answer to prayer.

It's been a little nuts down at the church, last night the police were out in full force, it sucks, and I really just wish they'd come visit Metro Kidz on a Wednesday night and try to break down the barriers between them and my kids

So there is so much more to write about but I just don't have the time today so here are somethings you can pray about:

*For Miss Val and that God would do a wonderful work in her life.
*Her children
*Miss Rosa Lee and her daughter and grandaughter
*Pastor Mike and Family.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Must Have Been a Wild Night

It really must have been a wild night on the street last night, because as I was crossing the street to come into my office, I stepped over at least five needle caps, several broken bottles and little bottles of liquor. Honestly, I'm not suprised these are things that happen here, these are the things that my kids deal with on a daily basis, people struggling, people addicted and people so lost they don't know what to do. These are the people I've fallen in love with, and that I want to love on and form relationships with more than anyone else in the world. These people are the reason God has sent me here.

Last night as I was crawling into bed, my heart ached, yesterday I ran into one of my friends on the streets he was supposed to be in school and when I asked him why he wasn't, he didn't really give me a very good answer, most of my kids live in homes where there parents could care less if they went to school, or their parents aren't around to make sure they've gone to school that day. My heart breaks on a daily basis for these kids, for some of them the only hot meal they get is the one they get at school and the one they get on Wed. nights at Metro Kidz, for other they only time they ever experience true undenying love is when they walk through the doors on Wednesday night. For others they don't know what love is, they don't know what respect is and they don't understand the consequences of their behaviors. These are the kids God has sent me here to help mold, to make successful leaders out of them. I love them.

Last night I met with the MTF at Grace, I left feel so encouraged and excited to know that there is a whole body of Christ behind me, praying for me, cheering me on and stepping up to help me. That to me is so exciting!

So, I was lucky enough to be able to have a conversation with Mr. George again today, I felt like I should bring him and Miss Val lunch so I stopped and value menu'd it at BK and brought them cheeseburgers and FF's, I can't even begin to explain how excited they were about this. Mr. George proceeded to tell me that he wished he'd taken a different direction in life. I am so excited about the relationship God is allowing me to form with them. I just pray that He continues to give me the words to say to them.

For the relationship with Miss Val and Mr. George that God continues to bless it and give me the words to properly minister to them.

For "P" that whereever God leads him, he'll continue to seek, he'll continue to run to the Lord and not backwards.

For my kids, that they'll continue to be blessed by the people that God is placing in their lives, that their hearts and lives will continue to be changed and that they can and will be delivered from the street life they are used too.

For the people that have not yet experienced the amazing things that God is doing here at Charm City, but God is currently moving in them to step out of their comfort zones and check it out.

Love you all!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

My Life Has Been Blessed

My life has been blessed today, I can't even begin to explain it, this morning I woke up and I had time to relax before going full-force into my day, which was nicer than you can ever imagine. I had time to pray over my day and meditate on the messages I'd heard at church over the weekend.

When I got to work, my friends Mr. George and Ms. Val were out and I got to explain to them what a Miracle is, and I prayed with them before I came inside and got to work, this week, I am soliciting (I hate that word) donations for our Thanksgiving Feast.

I had no idea how my life was going to be blessed today, I had the opportunity to sit down with "P" and he shared his heart with me, he encouraged me in a way I've not been encouraged in a long while, quoted scripture and prayed and prayed with me. It was such a blessing, I feel so rejevunated and ready to finish out my day.

Things to Pray For:

My meeting with the MTF this evening
Maurice (One of the kids)
Pastor Mike

Friday, October 5, 2007

Networking and meetings!

I've been so busy the past couple of days I've not had time to sit down and blog, well our meeting with the city guy didn't go so well, but he showed up to Metro Kidz on Wednesday night and was extremely impressed with what he saw happening there. So that was encouraging, also Wednesday evening we had Lottie and Gwen from Build back again, and they observed what was happening with the teens upstairs and then gave them a few words of encouragement.

I spent Thursday most of the day in Towson Matt Stevens of Chain Reaction, Baltimore invited me to a lunch for Youth Workers, sponsored by Embrace Baltimore and Chain Reaction, it was so encouraging to meet other local Youth Workers. Jeremy Del Rio ( spoke and I felt so encouraged when I listened to him speak. Afterwards I got to spend some time picking the brains of Jeremy, Matt and Brian C. I learned several things from this day one of them is that networking is the key. It's so important to network and use the resources that others can lead you too. Yesterday was so encouraging for me, because I got the pick the brains of amazing leaders and men of God.

Today I submitted letters for Turkeys for our thanksgiving feast, and then attended a meeting with Tanya Featherstone of Just for Youth, inc. based out of Baltimore, she allowed us to sit for an hour and pick her brain and really learn about her experiences. It was encouraging to meet with her as well, because she is truly about relationships and partnerships and working together for the Youth of Baltimore City. Her passion is science and she pretty much has a science lab on wheels, I wish I were a kid so I could experience more of what she has to offer.

I truly feel like positive things are happening for us, there were at least 80-85 kids again this week for Metro Kidz, what an amazing experience! I am so happy that the kids know there is a safe place for them.

I've picked my TLT and we should be meeting sometime within this next week or so, to start picking their brains and finding out their true leadership skills.

Things you can be praying for:
Continued Finances, so I can continue to work only two days a week and be okay financially, God has truly blessed me the past couple of weeks and I hoping it continues that way.

For continued relationships, I've made some amazing connections both in and out of the neightborhood and want God to continue to guide me in the process of maintaining these and making new ones.

For the volunteers God has sent already and the ones he has not yet sent.

Thanks friends!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

These are the days of our lives

Yesterday as I was coming into work in the office before our "big" meeting I stopped to talk to my friends, Mr. George (this really cute little old man), Val (a woman whose living in his home I think) and a few other people whose names slip my mind, usually they're not happy, but their smiling and excited to see me, yesterday I said to Miss Val, where's your beautiful smile and she said, "Baby, don't you see these are the days of our lives, we sit here drink all day and watch the cars go by, pretty sad don't you think? What do I have to smile about?" It broke my heart she's 100% right, everyday her and Mr. George and usually a few others are out there, I've invited them to church, prayed with them, shared the bible with them etc. And I am now at a loss at how to properly minister to them, aside from just being a walking testimony in their lives.

Everyday Mr. George says, I'm coming over there on Sunday, and every Sunday he doesn't and every Sunday I look for him to be outside and he's usually not. So I suppose I'm supposed to just continue to pray for them.

So our "big" meeting yesterday turned out to be a joke, one person out of the six who were supposed to show up showed and he really didn't desire to be here and let it be completly known! So he said he'd look over the packet we made him and get back to us on Monday so we'll see what really happens!

So somethings to be praying about:
My friends that I've mentioned here
Funding for Metro Kidz Programs
Continued Patience
Pray for the relationships God has been allowing me to begin
Pray for the teens that I have picked for TLT (Teen Leadership Team) they include:


Well it's a Metro Kidz Night so I am off to get things ready! I love you all!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

West Sides Got Talent

Last night was the Charm City West Sides Got Talent show, it was quite the night, the kids had fun, pastor had fun and we had fun, that's all that matters really. At the end of the night we were all winners :)! The kids never cease to amaze me, no one really practiced when we gave them the opportunies, but they were all for the most part prepared, even some of the kids who weren't signed up participated. We then had an ice cream party for them downstairs! I can't tell you enough how the highlights of my job include the giggles and laughter of kids who are being loved on by the amazing people I've been blessed with as volunteers! I feel like the luckiest person in the world, when I am surrounded by these kids and volunteers!

So tomorrow we're meeting with a committee from the city, to propose to them several things, one includes the afterschool program, so I spent the afternoon putting together job descriptions, budgets and explaninations about the program, what it would offer etc. I am so excited for the meeting tomorrow, it might be the answer to prayer.

I'm also in the process of picking a student leadership team, I've asked one of the students to help me with this team, I've thought of seven kids I think would be good candidates and asked him to think of six, and together we'll put together the team. I am excited for the opportunities that these kids can have as leaders in the church, in Metro Kidz and in the community. The hard part write now is writing the leadership contract and make them understand that adhering to this contract is VERY important! But it's going to be exciting once it's up and running!

Well there's not much to write about, there are somethings you can continue to pray about, I am meeting with the Missions Task Force at Grace a week from today so you can pray about that I am excited to share my heart and experiences with them as well as propose being supported by Grace as a missionary. You can also pray for a calm heart about finances, I know God will provide for me, what He knows I need, but I have never been in this kind of situation, so I'm learning. Thanks friends for all the love and prayers!

Also don't forget if you're ever in the area and want to stop by please let me know :)!