Friday, February 27, 2009


I heard a quote this week, that has stuck with me all week, "Being in Poverty is not just a lack of money or material things, but a lack of hope," I wish I could tell you who said, it but I don't remember his name. But as I was driving down the road and listening to this guy speak, I realized he's absolutely correct. The majority of people, kids, adults, families etc. who walk through the doors at Charm City, have lost hope, and really more than anything I want to give them hope, don't get me wrong, I am so sad that they don't have money, or homes some of them, but I am even more sad that they don't have the hope to go on.

This week I've had the opportunity to experience some of the reasons, why I believe the people of my neighborhood have lost hope, one of them being, that everywhere they go for help they get the run-around, "come back tomorrow, I need more documents, we're closing." When MA lost everything in a fire last weekend, she's been running all over town trying to get everything together so she can find a new place to live and start over, however she's getting every excuse in the book as to why she needs to wait just one more day. It's hard to find hope when the people who are supposed to be helping you get it together have a lack of hope for you.

My heart breaks when I have conversations with mothers and fathers whose kids come to MetroKidz and how I can hear in their tone, and words that they've lost hope, not only for themselves but also for their children. It's not fair that they have to walk with their heads down because they don't feel like there's anything worth looking at, it's not fair that they feel like the rest of the world looks down on them, but what's really not fair, is that they've lost ALL hope for their kids.

I pray for opportunities to be able to see a glimmer of hope in the eyes of one of my friends. This afternoon, I saw a glimmer of hope in the eyes of someone who I've fallen in love with, I love this person without boundaries, I pray that she'll be delivered from the things that are holding her back, I pray that someday she'll be able to love with out boundaries! This afternoon when I got to the church I got to spend a few precious moments with her, encouraging her and loving her, I asked her about school and she looked away, then told me she didn't think she could do it, but you see I know she can. She promised me she'd come talk to me about it next week, all I can do now is wait and hope that she does...but as I walked away, she thanked me and for one second I saw hope...

This glimmer of hope is what I want for all of my "friends" I want them all to start looking up, I want them all to start smiling, I want them all to continue to seek opportunities!

Will you join me in praying for hope for my neighborhood?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Volunteer Profile: Ms. Crystal

So I've decided that I need to recognize the forces behind MetroKidz, so I am going to (or attempt to) introduce you to one volunteer a week, so this week, the lucky one is Ms. Crystal.

As you can see from the picture to your left, Crystal and I are one of a kind, when God crossed our paths several years ago, it was an answer to pray for both of us. He sent me my partner "in crime," and sent her someone who dreamed of the things she did and had a heart to get them done.

For years before God sent us to Charm City Church and the MetroKidz program, He sent us on an adventure, most Friday and Saturday nights you'd find Crystal and I driving the streets of Southwest Baltimore, praying for the people we encountered, the kids, the homeless people, the prostitutes and the drug dealers. We'd pray about the building we later found out was the previous home of Charm City Church. Neither one of us had any idea, that God was preparing us to serve Him in this community, but I think she'd agree with me when I say we are so thankful for where He has brought us.

Crystal is a ball of sunshine in the lives of our kids, she loves without boundaries, she's a wild and crazy as they are (see picture) and the Love of Jesus Christ shines through her. Since coming on as MetroKidz volunteer nothing has changed, you'll still find Crystal out on the streets playing with kids at midnight, praying with the lady on the corner who is so high she has no idea where she is or what she's doing and investing everything in her in these kids.

Crystal currently serves our junior kids (grades 1st-2nd grade), her class is not easy to lead, but she makes it look easy to an outsider looking in. She's dedicated to loving her kids both in and outside of Wednesday nights, she takes her weekly lessons above and beyond the minimum. Crystal's heart bears the burden of her kids and she spends hours of precious prayer time on her knees for these kids. She's not only a blessing to our kids but also to other volunteers, her smile and personality will light up a room when she walks in, and her heart for others is one in a million.

When Crystal is not out in the streets loving kids or serving at MetroKidz, you can find her loving kids in other places, Crystal is involved in Kid's Ministry at her home church, she works as an after school para at a school for autistic kids and finally she works full-time as a para-educator for emotionally disturbed kids. In her free time, she loves to scrapbook, spend time with her family and friends and put her photography skills to use.

How can we pray for Crystal:
*We can pray for Crystal's class, that they continue to seek the presence of God in their lives and that she'll continue to be a shining example in their lives.

*We can pray that she knows what a blessing she is to our MetroKidz team and personally in our of lives and we can pray that God continues to bless her.

Thank you Ms. Crystal for your love and dedication to my MetroKidz and my life personally!

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's a Miracle, Abe Lincoln and New volunteers

I really do intend to be better about updating my blog, but I find myself overwhelmed when I sit down to write because there's so much I want to write about and I don't even know where to begin! So here it goes!

A Miracle:
A few weeks ago, one of our girls mothers came to us and told us that she was pregnant again, the problem is she already has one child in foster care and she's only 16. It broke my heart to hear this, but what broke my heart even more is that this child who was pregnant wanted to have an abortion, she made this decision even after four couples stepped up and were willing to take full custody of this child after it was born. Ms. Karen and I spent several hours praying for and counseling this child. She told us that she had already made up her mind and there was nothing we could do to changer her mind, so I just decided that I would continue to pray for her and for Divine Intervention in her life.

Well Sunday, my prayers were answered, she decided to keep the baby, we've not worked out the details yet, of whether or not she's keeping the baby or she's giving the baby up for adoption. But this is such a blessing...

Abe Lincoln:
Last Wednesday Abe Lincoln, visited MetroKidz, I know what you're thinking, but it's true! See the picture above! Abe visited us last year and the kids loved it, so he actually called us about coming back this year. Brother T, comes and shares the story of Abe Lincoln with the kids and all about his life, and then he opens the floor up for questions, whether they are about Abe or about his personal life, he entertains all of them, he also encourages them in ways that I don't even think he realizes. At the end of the night kids get quizzed on what they learned and get prizes. Brother T (Abe) is such an encouragement to us, and we are so thankful for him!

So today as I was coming into the church I saw the local police, questioning some of my friends, I love these kids, I've said this before and I will continue to say it, but I wish I could just go and yank them from the corners and help them see the opportunities that await them. I watched with sad eyes as the police questioned one child after another, and then ended up taking three of them in the squad cars, tears ran down my eyes, my heart broke and I wanted to just yank them out of the cars and love them. I know that these kids are lost and broken and I don't want to give up hope on them, I want to pray for them, love them and encourage them.

New Volunteers:
I am so excited, in the last week we've acquired a few new volunteers for my Teen Program and I am so excited! They are dedicated, compassionate and loving individuals, who are so excited to serve with us. I can't wait for them to get started, and for the teens to have their own program!

What We're Praying for:
*M.A. home caught on fire on Sunday, they lost everything, she's homeless again. We're praying that her name gets moved up on the housing list and that she'll have a place to live soon.
*We're continuing to pray for Pastor Mike and Ms. Karen as they prepare for Kidney surgery
*I'm personally praying for more financial support so that I can continue to work in Southwest Baltimore.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Block Party, Love Night and Visiting Kids

This weekend I was sitting around with some of my team members and we tossed around the idea of having a themed block party this year, we decided we'd give it a whirl! After last summer I had thought that having a block party wasn't in the future for this summer...but a few months ago I realized that not having a block party wasn't in the future. The Block Party is next to the Christmas Party our biggest outreach of the year. I am so excited to begin the planning process, my goal is to have a whole "Block Party" week doing mini outreaches (such as a movie night, water night on the lot etc) inviting the community to join us and getting them revved up for the weekend! I'm already revved up.

Tomorrow night we celebrate our 2nd annual Love Night, it's a whole night dedicated to loving our kids, writing them letters, poems, songs,making them a special and sharing stories about loving them. We spend the whole night just loving our kids, and then hype them up on sugar (that's nothing out of the ordinary) and send them home! I am VERY excited this year, because I have some amazing stories about love that come from our kids, I can't wait to remind them of them. This year a Fusion Bible Study partnered with us, and put together treat bags (with fresh baked cookies) for the kids.

This weekend we went on our monthly visit to see kids, it was an exciting morning, everywhere we went people knew where we were coming from. People encouraged us, helped us and allowed us to speak into their lives. We gathered kids on our walk through the neighborhood, and hosted a pizza/rec party at the church. We had a handful of kids come and it was fantastic!

What we're Praying for This week:
*"A" she's one of our teen girls, who's planning to have an abortion, we're praying for God to do a divine intervention in her life. And for her to allow someone to adopt her unborn child.

*Pastor Mike/Ms. Karen as they prepare for Kidney Transplant surgery, I'll update when we know the specific dates.

*The Gagne's Baby to turn before birth in March.

Thanks friends!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Police Meeting, TLT and Prayers

There was a special community meeting held in the Southwestern District this week, involving community members and members of the SWD police force, I was able to attend alone with two of the teens from our TLT(Teen Leadership Team). I will say that I feel like the meeting was successful and if nothing else comes out if other than two of my teens have a new found respect for some of the officers in our neighborhood, then I am happy! I hope their new found respect becomes contagious to the other kids. Because I think this week, I've instilled in them that the ways of the police may not always be right, and we might sometimes be let down, but they are still working to protect our neighboorhoods and they still deserve our respect.

I felt that the meeting was fruitful because the officers really listened to our concerns, answered the teens questions to the best of their knowledge and got to be a voice outside of their commander on Tuesday. I am pleased and while I don't want to get my hopes up too high, I really feel like there could be some changes in our relationship with them coming.

So our TLT is taking off, I've writing before that I am SO excited about these teens that have stepped up and out of their groups of friends to be a part of something BIG! This week, we had our first official meeting and these kids are ready to serve their hearts out. They are so excited about serving not only within their community but also outside of it.

Wednesday evening we began planning our first event for the junior kids, they had great ideas as and we eventually voted on one that won't be too hard to pull off!

I hope you'll join me in praying for these ten teens who are going to soar, who I have so much confidience in and who I am so excited that God has put in my life!

So we have a few other requests this week as well:

We're praying for a teen girl, who's considering an abortion, we're praying that God provides a divine intervention. That she will see that he has a plan for this child and this child is/was not an accident.

We're praying for February 15th as we invite our congregation/kids to invite their family, friends and foes to church for the day. We're planning a celebration of love followed with a dessert reception. We're praying that God works in the hearts of the guests we'll have that day.

Finally we're praising God for continuing to amaze us everyday, by the people he places in our paths, we're so thankful for friends, supporters and most of all the people God sends to us.

Thanks friends!