Monday, May 26, 2008

Putt-Putt, Fusion and 16 Double Cheeseburgers!

This weekend has been such an exciting one with our kids, it provided new experiences for a lot of them along with amazing teaching opportunities. Saturday we were supposed to take our kids to Halethorpe to play in the gym, but it didn't work out because they were having an event, so we instead decided to take the kids to play Putt-Putt, taking a bunch of city kids who've never been putt-putt'ng before was pretty much amazing. Not just because they were so excited to be there, but also because it was so much fun to listen to them work together on teams, to cheer each other on, to be excited and to laugh and laugh.

A couple of highlights from that outing include, seeing the kids play with worms and get all squirmy when someone caught a fish and let them hold it :)! Another funny thing was these kids don't get to see many goose or ducks running around in the you can imagine how excited they were when a flock of geese and a few ducks were hanging they went chasing them....

After putt-putt the we crashed the Newell's house they were such good sports for running at the last minute to the store to buy hotdogs and making nearly 60 on the grill for us to polish off before heading home, it was such a great relaxing night for us/the kids!

It's nights like Saturday that make my job worth it, to see how the little things that I and my friends take for granted make my kids so hear them say how much fun they had at the end of the night and thank us...ah!

Last night we had the opportunity to take some of our kids to Fusion, it was such a great night for the teens, I heard some really positive feedback, not only that I think it was good that Fusion had the chance to experience them. We stayed and had dinner with them at Food and Fellowship and people loved on them...and the drummer (I don't know the name of last nights drummer) made one of my kids SO excited when he let him have the drumsticks he played with last night.

But the best night of all was we went to the city and the kids were so excited...there were about eight of them in the backseat of my car within five seconds, because apparently that were all the cool kids hang out. They really wanted us to take them to get food, so I decided we should, so that began our search for food, we ended up at the Mcdonald's close to the church, which the staff there was amazing, all in all we ordered 16 double cheeseburgers and 16 orders of french fries, and we feed 16 kids tonight! But while we were counting T piped up and said that we should count some of the kids because they don't love God, I didn't really reply to him, I just kept on...three more times he said this to us, and finally we were able to have this amazing teaching moment with him. Explaining about how them not loving God was more of a reason for us to love them, and how we should all love like Christ. I pointed out that there were people who loved him before he loved Christ, examples being Ms. Karen, Pastor Mike, Mr. Bruce etc. and he totally got it...and was even excited about it....

Then there's N.P. he's someone who's a leader in the making and has a heart as big as Texas, but sometimes he doesn't use his tonight we had a couple of amazing teaching moments with him, one included treating girls/women not as sexual objects, but as the beautiful women that God created them to be, the other was a lesson in manners, when someone does something special or nice for you, you should thank them for it. Again, it's nights like these that make all of the pain, hard exhausting nights and moments when I question this all worth it.

I told Ms. Crystal tonight as we were pulling away for these kids who we spent time with tonight are the ones we see most often, and they are finally reaching a point with us of trust and of love, they can see that we're not going to let them down and that we love them and it's okay for them to love us back, which for some of them that's such a foreign concept, they can't really grasp.

So normally before I end I have some prayer requests, but tonight I have such a huge praise report and then a prayer...two of my girls Cierra and Sarah are speaking tomorrow night at Hopkins, about their success stories, where they've come from and where they want to go in life, these girls are AMAZING, they both are going to spend almost the entire summer living on college campuses, taking classes and continuing to succeed and excel. Word on the street is tomorrow night they might possibly be presented with scholarships.

I beg you as my friends to pray for these girls, thank God in their honor for the opportunities He continues to provide them with, thank Him for making them see that there is something more out their for them, ask Him to continue to allow these girls to glorify them through these opportunities, and beg Him to provide opportunities for these girls to share their story.

Thank you friends!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Excuse me miss...

Tuesday afternooon, I got out of my car and headed down Lemmon St. to talk to some of my kids who were playing basketball, when all of a sudden I heard "Undercovers" and the people on that street fled, like it was their job! At first I was a little confused as to what exactly was going on, and then I heard, "Excuse me miss, rumor on the street is your an undercover police officer, you're always hanging around here, so what exactly is it that you're looking for?" I looked at this kid like he had three heads and replied, "Me undercover and then laughed, and quickly explained that I worked at that church (and pointed over to Charm City)." He didn't believe me at first and I felt like I had to convince him I wasn't lying. As I walked across the street to my office, I laughed out loud to myself and thought me undercover yeah right :)! I wasn't sure if I should be honored that they thought I held such a high title or scared that they didn't believe me that I wasn't.

Tuesday evening we met for prayer, just as we do every Tuesday night and then we hit the streets for visitation and prayer, we walked over to Hollins St. and pastor Mike embarked on a group of kids who've got my heart, I love these kids, I don't really know them other than I know that they are the young hustlers on the corner. A few of them used to hustle against the church, but I think they got tired of me making conversation with them and inviting them to Metro Kidz because it hasn't been happening as frequently. But these particular kids are the ones who act so tough when you tell them about Metro Kidz and invite them. One kid even went so far as to rip up the paper Pastor Mike gave him with the church information on it and using a few choice words to express his anger with being looked at, let alone talked too. This particular child steals my heart every time he walks past the church, I just want to run after him and tell him how much we love him and his buddies, how they should come and hang out with us and find something that so much more fulfilling than the lifestyle they currently lead, I can only pray that one day God will send me the words to say to them, to share His love with them.

At the end of those nights, I always come home on an emotional high, I love being out in our neighborhood, meeting our neighbors and making them aware of whats going, sharing Gods love and allowing his presence to be felt. I love the opportunity to pray with people who are some what leery of us in the beginning, but end up talking to us for a lot longer than they actually expected. On this particular night we had the opportunity to pray with a few people who had sincere requests and really need God to intervene in their life.

The kids were wound for sound last night, nights like that we seriously have to walk away and ask God why, why he's put us there. Nights like that we sometimes find it hard to love the kids who are walking all over us and disrespecting us, but God reminds us of the Grace and Mercy He has on us and that makes it easier to have that Grace and Mercy on the kids. I have to do three home visits on Monday, none of which I am excited about, these three girls will have to be out for a week and have to apologize to one our volunteers, I can only hope that they'll be able to put their pride aside, understand that they are in the wrong and apologize.

On a more positive note, Tucker Hibbs ( visited us last night from Pennsylvania, we met him via Tally Wilgis ( who paid us a visit a few months ago. Tucker is planning to bring a team down this summer the weekend of the block party, they will be staying with us the entire weekend at the church :)! I was so excited to meet him, and when he left was even more excited to be able to serve alongside him and his team this summer. He is so excited, so on fire for Jesus and so full of energy. God is really blessing us with some amazing partners...I pray that their experiences serving with us in the city, will be just as exciting and rewarding for them as it for us.

So to close out here are a few prayers requests:

Pastor Mike, 10 a.m. Friday morning he has an important meeting about finances for the church, we're still praying for a miracle so that we can secure our building and continuing to reach our neighborhood.

For N.P. I'm still have dreams about him and last night he was kind of in a mood and left in a tizzy. I just pray for protection over him.

For N.C. she is 20 and has two children age 1 and 3 and I know she got herself into this situation, but I know it's hard for her, I pray for love from an older Christian woman to be a good example in her life, I pray for guidance and wisdom on how to raise her children and for protection for her family.

Thanks friends!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Angels, Light Company and Drugs

So it's true that angels really do exist, on Sunday one of our kids, rode his bike to church and parked it in the lobby, while we were having a church service someone walked in and stole it, this kid was heart broken. Several people drove through the neighborhood trying to help him find his bike, and there was no luck. The very next day I receive an email from someone asking me where this child lives as God had blessed them with something for this child. These angels delivered this child a brand new bike. Last night as I was leaving Metro Kidz I saw this child and he was so happy about his new bicycle and raved about his angels and how awesome they were, and how he didn't think he was going to get a new bike, and how sad he was. He was honest and real with me, he made tears well up in my eyes, because the conversation I had with him last night made me realize just how "innocent" he really is. I love all of my kids, but this particular child pulls at my heart just a little bit more, even when he's telling me that this is the worst church in the city and he's never coming back...I just have to smile and think to myself yes he is, because he knows that he is loved, and he craves that.

Speaking of innocent children, yesterday as Nicole and I were pulling into Metro Kidz we went down my favorite street (Hollins St.) I want to do an outreach specifically to that block, because the corner of Payson and Hollins is a very high drug traffic street. Yesterday I watched a baby, a child I just met two weeks ago at the Spring Fling, who is at the most eight years old buy drugs, I watched the entire transaction take place. I feel so helpless in situations like that...what do I do, what do I say...if anything at all? I drove away, praying in my head for this child, asking him to be delivered from these circumstances...he's so young, who knows if he was buying the drugs for himself, a friend, a relative it doesn't matter, it makes me sick to think about it...these are babies...

Literally an hour later, I went outside to sweep up the mounds of glass that were lining the Payson St. sidewalk and I saw my buddy "Na" hanging out with some of his friends on the steps next to the church, within the 20 minutes that were outside, I watched two drug deals take place, involving "Na" and his buddies, one of them was not discreet at all and they were doing their hustling right against the building.

It was so hard for me not to run after "Na" and scream he's mine, Satan let him go...these kids some of them are bound by Satan, they need to be delivered and caught...we as servants in this neighborhood, need to be ready to catch them...

On a more positive note, last night Light Company the middle school ministry at Grace, came and rocked Metro Kidz (literally) the ceilings were shaking up and downstairs. It was pretty much a condensed version of a Sunday morning at Light Company and it was amazing! One of the girls "S" that I took with me on the Light Company retreat a few months ago, accepted Christ last night, and Andrea, Shaun and I got to pray with her. It was such an amazing experience. I watched cultural barriers be broke down in a way last night, that I will never ever forget. The Light Company kids were so excited to be there and it was evident in their actions, our kids (most of them) were excited for them to be there, they joined them in worship (a few of them might be recruited to start our own worship team) and sat quietly (which sometimes doesn't happen often) for Shaun's talk and actively participated. I can only hope this is the beginning of a great relationship and nights like last night happen more often.

So tomorrow (Friday May 9th) marks my one year Metro Kidz anniversary, it was one year ago tomorrow that I walked through that door on 2001 Frederick Ave. and my heart was stolen forever. So much has happened in the past year, it makes me excited, giddy and a little sad as I scroll some of the events through my head, but it's been an amazing year, one that's changed my life and one I wouldn't change for the world.

So before I end a few prayer requests:

Finances, so we can purchase our building and it'll be ours!
Relationships, ones that are being restored, some that are beginning and the ones that are continuous.
N.P. he's the kid I wrote about last time, for his safety
For laborers, we still need a few more people in place

thanks friends!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

And the Chaos Continues...upcoming events and some specific prayers

As the days go by the chaos continues, it feels like we're all in a bad dream and can't wake up, my heart aches, my heart got broken yet again, I can't seem to stop the tears tonight, it's very rare when this happens, but it just feels like every act of violence that's happened in the last few weeks we've been connected too somehow, and my heart has that very real feeling of how much longer are we going to be "lucky," how much longer is it going to be before we're really affected, until this is one of our kids?

The gangs and the drugs are on the rise in our neighborhood, you can just feel it. I've been approached several times in the past few weeks, and each time a young man has offered to sell me drugs. One of those times I was in my car with my window down and a young man came up to my window, and said "What can I get for you today." It makes me sad, everyday I pray about walking up to these kids and trying to form a relationship with them, I really desire to learn more about them and how they can be helped? I pray everyday for the right words to say to them...I really hope that God gives me some words/wisdom soon...

I've had a really burdened heart lately for these kids who are involved in the gangs, violence, drug hustling etc. that's happening in our neighborhood, but I've had a separate burden for one of my kids specifically. In fact I fear for his life, I've had some pretty scary nightmares about him. One night I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, so I just spent serious time in prayer for this kid. I don't want to disclose his name, but please pray for "N.P."

On a happier note, there are some pretty special things about to happen at Metro Kidz, all of which are going to rock our kids and community to the core. I am super excited about each and everyone of them. The first one happens on June 21st, it'll be our second Annual School's Out Block Party, I am hoping that this years will be just as amazing or better than last years! If you're interested in helping this year (please check out for some specific needs.

The second event is going to take place on June 28th the event doesn't really have a name yet :) but it's going to be a day of fun and pampering for our girls and hopefully some girls from Urban Outreach (UO) in D.C., hopefully we'll have an amazing woman coming to talk to the girls about being God's princesses, I have a few friends who are coming to do hair and makeup and at the end of the day we'll serve them a nice meal. This is probably one of the most exciting things to plan :)!

The third, doesn't have a date yet and is not 100% official yet, but God has really placed this on my heart and I just have to figure out the best/safest way to pull this off, I want to hold an Midnight Lot Party, I want to open the gate from 11:15-11:45 p.m. and let kids in off the streets into the lot, then I would like to have the gate closed and manned from Midnight until 2 a.m., I would love for it to be a safe place for the kids to come, play volleyball/basketball, eat some snacks and hang out. That's the time when some of the places surrounding the church are beginning to hop, and if this is successful I would love to make it a "regular" event.

So before I end...I have some specific prayers:

For laborers...we need just a few more people to make our team complete

For Unity we need to make sure we're unified as a team all on the same page and all in this together for the right reasons

For "N.P." for his life, for his future, for his family and most importantly his safety

And finally a personal request:
Is for my trip to California for UYWI to really be a'll be such a GREAT learning experience for me as well as a time to reload and recharge my battery!

Alright friends, thanks for reading, praying and being involved!