I never thought that this (inner city ministry) would be easy, but I never realized all of the lessons I would be taught along the way. I'm not perfect in fact on a regular basis, I have a bad attitude when things don't go the way I planned, the most important lesson God is teaching me, is this is not about ME and this is not about MY plans, but about what HE has planned for me, for my team and for the community in which we're serving. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn and I admit that sometimes I still let my attitude and my pride get in the way of what God wants to happen! It's in times when I let my attitude get in the way that God uses the people around me to show me that it's not about what I want or have planned. I am so thankful that God has put people on my ministry team to love me through times like this.
Another important lesson that God has been teaching me is flexibility, things are not always going to go the way we imagine or want them too, and this goes along with this is not about us or me, it's about what God wants to happen. There are times when I spend hours plan an entire night and God has planned something totally opposite, a few months ago this would have a been a HUGE issue for me and sometimes it still is, but this is another one of those little (BIG) lessons God is teaching me. I have to admit, this is something I've struggled with for a VERY long time and am so thankful for this lesson.
So tonight is Operation Christmas Kidz (read: MetroKidz Christmas Party), it's a lot of work, and a little bit of a stressful night, but at the end of the night it's so worth it!! It's a little up in the air as to how many kids will be there tonight, but last year there were a couple of hundred, this year there was SO much more advertising, and a website directing people to our event. But tonight is going to be awesome, if you're reading this and aren't able to be with us tonight, then please pray for tonight. I am expecting God to do something BIG tonight. My prayer is that the kids, leave feeling loved, but also knowing that Christmas is about WAY more than the gift we're giving them as they walk out the door. I am also pleased to have Brothers N' Christ performing tonight, which will be a special treat/surprise for the kids, they REALLY enjoy them when they come in the summer, so this will be awesome!
So I'd like to end this blog with some good news, a few months ago, I wrote about N.P. one of our teens, who struggled, who would come to MetroKidz and have to be put out every week, we called the police on him at least once a night. I and most of the others on our team have been praying for him, have been investing in him and loving him. I am so happy to share with you, that there has been a TOTAL transformation in this teen, I get excited to see him on Wednesdays, he's a servant now, and he's willing to go out on a limb. He's not perfect, but no one is :)!
This week/past weekend alone, I've seen him do things that leave me praising God, this weekend he helped M.A. move her belongings from the garage to her home, that's a few blocks away from the church, they didn't have a moving truck, or really anyone to help, but N.P. was there and honestly he's one of the only teens who worked and he worked his tail off, making numerous trips back and forth. But the best thing happened last night and it is when I realized God really is working in this teen, it was freezing rain, there weren't many people there, but N.P. and a friend came into the building, his friend got frustrated after a few minutes and was ready to go N.P. looked at his friend and said, ah man you can go I am staying for prayer, he did JUST that, he stayed, offered words of encouragement to a man who'd come in in off the streets and told us he needed some encouragement. I am more excited than ever to love on this kid, to continue to watch him grow and continue to invest in him.
I am thanking God today for working in his heart, for allowing amazing people to be put in his life to love him and for his maturity within the last few months.
Thanks for praying with us!
Photo: N.P., Ms. Colleen and T.T. at Corn Maze this past October