Sunday, April 13, 2008

Southwest Baltimore: Afterhours

Last night I had this urge to play in the city, when I set out my intentions were to go straight to Fell's Point find Myra (our homeless friend), go to Wal-Mart and come home at a decent hour. But I just couldn't, I kept feeling tugged in the direction of our neighborhood, I needed to see what was going on there, I needed to see if any of my kids were out playing and if they were I wanted to spend time with them, I wanted to see Ms. Val and pray for her, I wanted to hug Mr. George, I wanted to see what kind of "shady business" was taking place in this building I pray about everyday. I want to be in the midst of my neighborhood all the time, in fact sometimes when I'm not there my heart is aching and longing to be there.

So as I turned on too Eagle St. I saw two familiar faces standing against a building and my heart broke that at 11:41 at night these boys were going to have to ride a bus 1.5 hours to get home, so of course after much convincing that I REALLY didn't mind driving them the 20 minute ride home and them screaming I was forcing them to get into my car (in a joking manner of course) I drove them to there house. These boys were so extremely grateful and it was so rewarding because we got to talk about school, how they're going to be Seniors next year, college and their futures in general. We got to laugh and be silly together. And the best part of the evening was when I dropped them off at their front door and the words..."I love you Miss Colleen..." came out of both of their mouths. My heart always gets that warm and fuzzy feeling and I feel like God is really truly using me to work in the lives of these kids when they say those five words.

A side funny story, as we are sitting on the corner talking to the boys all I could think about what was if a cop came around the corner how they'd probably think I was buying drugs, pull me out o my car, search everything and laugh when I really told them what I was doing there. This thought actually runs through my head quite often.

Finally, after dropping the boys off we made our way to our original destination Fell's Point, where we found Myra in horrible shape, in fact last night, she pretty much made my night by screaming and yelling and cussing me out. She was having a total withdraw for her alcohol addiction, she kept yelling and telling us it was her medicine and we didn't care about her because we wouldn't take her to buy Vodka. These people are truly the people of my heart, I love them, I love being cussed out by them, I love the tears they cry to me, I love the beautifulness that I can find in them that others can't...I love that even when Myra looks and acts disgusting towards me I can still find her beauty.

The entire time we were in Fell's Point I couldn't stop thinking about that building on Lombard St. and what was happening there. I wanted so badly to be there, I wanted to pray over it, I wanted to see for myself what happens there after hours, so finally at 2 a.m. we made our way back over the neighborhood and not to my surprise there was a TON of police activity outside the church, a car that appeared to be shot up, was pretty much blocking the road and the police were searching it, the "building" was hopping and I finally was able to report to the police the things I was witnessing with my own eyes, and on a street a few blocks away there was another car in the same condition as the one sitting directly in front of the church.

My heart broke instantly for my kids who have to live in this neighborhood, who are tempted and lured by the people like ones who open this building after hours. This building sits lifeless until late at night, then it becomes an alcohol, gun, and drug flowing house. If you walk by it the next morning you'll find lots of interesting things (needles, bullet shells, and beer cans/bottles). As I drove by the car that appeared to have been shot, my heart broke because this is not uncommon, one Sunday morning we found 16 gun casings on our front porch, another Sunday morning there was a girl who was shot on our steps. these things happen almost everynight. From the shady building to the fake Jazz Club to the dealers and gang members standing on the street. Last night I realized exactly what happens here after midnight, which makes me want so much more to become a 24 hour place of hope, I want those gang members, drug dealers and drunks to be able to wonder in the church anytime they want so they can be restored, put back together and loved with the Love of Christ.

So of course after all of this, I have a few prayer requests and one of them is very serious:

*We've lost the contract on our building and we need God to send a miracle, so that we can continue to work out of our building, so we can continue to see miracles happening, so we can continue to love kids, we can continue to give away food, clothes and share God's love with the broken and the lost. Please join us as we pray about the future of Metro Ministries and Charm City Church.

*Please pray for the people of this neighborhood as they walk around in a place of brokeness, a place of despair, a place where hope seems lost.

*Pray for our kids, that they can continue to walk proudly to Metro Kidz, they can continue to seek God's plan for their lives and they can continue to feel how much we love them and want them to succeed.

*Please pray for all of my volunteers as they are serving in this broken place. That they'll continue to feel the effects of their influence in this place, that they'll continue to be encouraged by the miracles that are happening daily.

*For Pastor Mike that he'll just be encouraged from all aspects and he'll continue to let God guide him.

thanks friends!

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