Monday, March 02, 2009

Catching Up

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible, an account of my journey to become closer to God.

I just finished reading in 1 Samuel how David killed Goliath. Of course I knew the slingshot part of the story, but didn’t know David beheaded the giant too. Wow, the strength if David’s faith was such that one thrown smooth stone could bring down a massive man who had singlehandedly held an entire army at bay. How often do we stand before our own Goliaths but shrink away in fear instead of asking God to shore us up? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve not faced my Goliaths, but through your prayers, I’m learning how to.

About last week:

Twenty-five years ago while in college I had a friend whom I was quite fond of but lost touch with as we went our separate ways after graduation. I can’t say that I’ve thought of her often but now and then I did pause to wonder what had become of her.

Last week while sitting at a table discussing issues facing Christian non-profits these days, I looked over and saw her sitting at the next table. Eventually our eyes met and she recognized me too. She is the Director of an organization called Street Grace; they combat the sexual trafficking and exploitation of children in Atlanta (I was shocked to find out we have more adult establishments here than in Las Vegas!). I will be meeting with her next week to interview her and write a story for the church blog about her important organization. Wow, God brings people back together when to do so is for the purpose of His work.

A few days later at a second meeting I met a pastor and his family who run a ministry serving refuges who move to Atlanta and settle in the International Village, an enclave representing over 145 countries. In addition to offering Bible studies to people who are being introduced to Christianity for the first time in their lives, they provide after school mentoring for the children and English as Second Language classes for the adults. I’m meeting with this pastor next week to write his story too, and I’ve already begun to rewrite his mission literature. I’m excited about this project because I love to learn about different cultures; I’m eager to spend a day in the Village.

At a third meeting I was invited to (when I asked God to use me, he absolutely took me up on my offer) by an organization called Unite, which works to bring churches together in a community to work collaboratively solving problems impacting everyone (more on Unite tomorrow), I listened as the speaker described needs in our city that too often go unrecognized. He repeatedly emphasized the need for male mentoring in our public schools, especially in middle and high school where so many males are growing up in fatherless homes.

All my adult life I’ve raised daughters and have often said how glad I am that I wasn’t also trying to raise boys. Yet as I listened to the speaker I couldn’t help but feel my heart tugged. I wondered if I could do anything, even with my lack of experience with boys, to change the life of a young man who might be headed for trouble only because he has no male role model to help guide him.

As I sat there wondering about this, I remembered a statement the teacher made during our Sunday service: “God calls on you to meet the needs of others, not to serve your own comforts.” When I recalled those words my mind turned decisive and then I reached for a response card and checked Yes, I want to mentor in our middle and high schools.

Like I said, God is using me a good bit right now, and I love it. Pray for me that I stay on straight paths as I go out in His name.

And then I finally got to my fourth meeting on Friday, breakfast with the nine students and two ministry leaders from the Bible class taught in the nearby high school. I interviewed the leaders, a few students, and took photographs to feature in their story, also to be written for the church blog. This ministry is facing several challenges with their fundraising efforts, not to mention how delicate it must be to adhere to all the federal rules about the co-mingling of public education and religion. I’m hoping their story will touch a few hearts in our area and lead to a few new donors. Their work is so important. One student told me he had never been exposed to the Bible before taking this class; he is sixteen years old.

So you see, I have a lot of writing to do, and I can’t wait to get to all the other ministries I’ll be working with over the coming months. I hope my contributions will inspire others to help these ministries to continue with their missions. Times are indeed tough right now, but through faith I believe grace will prevail and all these organizations will receive the financial support they need to continue their good work. That’s one of my prayers anyway.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for me and my family. Now go out and hug somebody!

1 comment:

Ginny said...

What an amazing week you had! You are truly an inspiration, my friend! In order for the Lord to work through us, we have to be willing. You are willing, and your blog will be overflowing with stories of lives changed. Lord bless!